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Preview: Predators at Red Wings (4/3)

Location: Joe Louis Arena (Detroit, Michigan)

Game Time: 1:00 pm Central

TV: FSN

Radio: 104.5 The Zone (WGFX-FM)

Records:
Nashville: 45-28-6 (96)
Detroit: 41-23-13 (95)

Season Series:
11/23/09 – DET 1 – NSH 3
12/12/09 – DET 3 – NSH 2 (OT)
1/29/10 – NSH 2 - DET 4
3/5/10 – NSH 2 - DET 5
3/27/10 –  DET 3 – NSH 0 (SO)

Red Hot Wings: In the last 10 games, the Red Wings have registered a point in all of them.

An “Off” Year? The Red Wings have won the Central Division 8 times in a row. They have registered over 100 points in a season 9 times in a row. They have never finished worse than 2nd in the Central Division since there has been a Central Division. The Predators have never finished ahead of them in the final standings. With just 5 games to go in the season, all of those streaks are in danger. However, don’t let that fool you. The Wings were 19 points behind the Blackhawks at the Olympic break and out of contention. Now they are just 8 back. Ahem.

Detroit Dominance: Not surprisingly, the Red Wings hold a significant edge on the Predators in the all-time series. In the 68 times the two teams have met, the Predators have only won 23 times. The Red Wings’ 41 victories over the Predators is far and away the most of Predators’ opponent. In fact, 2008-09 was the only time in franchise history that the Predators won the season series against Detroit – a feat which will not occur this year.

Mule Day: Detroit’s late season surge almost directly corresponds with the return of Johan Franzen to the lineup. Franzen scored the game winning goal against Chicago on October 9…and then tore his ACL. He missed the next 55 games. Since returning, he has scored 16 points in 19 games. It may not sound impressive, but consider this: Without Franzen, the Wings were 25-19-11, a .454 win percentage. Since he’s returned, they are 15-2-2 with a .789 win percentage.

Finally 50: With his 3 assist night on Thursday, Patric Hornqvist passed the 50 point barrier and now has 51 on the season, giving the Preds their first 50-point scorer. Less than a period later, Steve Sullivan buried the puck in the net to register his 50th point of the season. So the Predators went into Thursday night’s game with zero 50-point players and left with 2.

Magic Number: Calgary’s victory over Colorado on Friday night means that the magic number remains 1. In other words, if the Predators pick up 1 point over the final 3 games of the season, there is no way that they can drop beyond 8th place.

Record Chasing: A win on Saturday would again tie the Sharks with the league lead in road victories. In addition, it would tie the franchise record for road wins in a season.

Quick Notes: Jason Arnott will most likely miss his seventh straight game, meaning Nick Spaling will most likely be in the lineup again…For real-time tweets during the game, be sure to follow us at @cellblock303 and, to join in on the conversation, be sure to tweet along with us by following @PredFans.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Nicholson