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Series at a glance: Nashville-Detroit playoff preview

Apr 8, 2012, 4:29 PM EDT

Schedule

All times are Eastern.

* – if necessary

Wednesday April 11 in Nashville @ 8 p.m. (CNBC, CBC)
Friday April 13 in Nashville @ 7:30 p.m. (CNBC, CBC)
Sunday April 15 in Detroit @ Noon (NBC, CBC)
Tuesday April 17 in Detroit @ 7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network, CBC)
*Friday April 20 in Nashville @ 8 p.m. (CNBC, CBC)
*Sunday April 22 in Detroit @ TBD (TBD)
*Tuesday April 24 in Nashville @ TBD (TBD)

Three storylines to follow

1. Third time’s the charm for Preds? This will be the third time that the Nashville Predators and Detroit Red Wings have met in the first round of the playoffs. Detroit defeated Nashville in six games in 2004 and then again in 2008. However, the last two times, the Red Wings were the top seed in the Western Conference and Detroit was playing against a franchise that had never won a playoff series. This time around, the Predators will have home-ice advantage with the knowledge they advanced past the first round last year.

2. Will the Predators’ playoff push pay off? The Predators were big buyers in what was a pretty quiet trade market this season. They acquired Hal Gill, Paul Gaustad, and Andrei Kostitsyn before the deadline. However, their biggest addition has to be Alexander Radulov, who returned to Nashville after leaving for the KHL following the 2007-08 campaign. Radulov has seven points in nine games, including a goal and an assist in Nashville’s 4-1 win over Detroit on March 30.

3. The Red Wings are finally healthy…mostly. Detroit dealt with more than its fair share of injuries in the second half of the season. Key players like Nicklas Lidstrom, Jimmy Howard, Pavel Datsyuk, and Johan Franzen all missed a noteworthy amount of playing time down the stretch, but they should all be available on Wednesday.

Records

Nashville: 48-26-8, 104 points (2nd in Central; 4th in Western Conference) | Detroit: 48-28-6, 102 points (3rd in Central; 5th in Western Conference)

Leading scorers

Nashville: Martin Erat (19G-39A-58PTS) | Detroit: Henrik Zetterberg (22G-47A-69PTS)

Starting goalies

Nashville: Pekka Rinne (43-18-8, 2.39 GAA) | Detroit: Jimmy Howard (35-17-4, 2.12 GAA)

Head-to-head

Season series tied 3-3
Nov. 26: At Detroit 4, Nashville 1
Dec. 15: At Nashville 4, Detroit 3
Dec. 26: Detroit 4, at Nashville 1
Feb. 17: At Detroit 2, Nashville 1
March 10: At Nashville 3, Detroit 2
March 30: Nashville 4, at Detroit 1

Last 10 games

Nashville: 6-4-0 | Detroit: 4-4-2

Playoff history

Detroit leads 2-0
2004: Detroit 4-2 (Western Conference quarterfinals)
2008: Detroit 4-2 (Western Conference quarterfinals)

2011 playoffs

Nashville: Def. Anaheim 4-2 (Western Conference quarterfinals); lost to Vancouver 4-2 (Western Conference semifinals) | Detroit: Def. Phoenix 4-0 (Western Conference quarterfinals); lost to San Jose 4-3 (Western Conference semifinals)

Injuries

Nashville: Anders Lindback (upper body), Brian McGrattan (upper body)

Detroit: Darren Helm (knee), Joey MacDonald (back), Patrick Eaves (concussion)

  1. phillyphever - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Nashville in 5. Sorry Detroit, too inconsistent this year.

  2. mrwang7450 - Apr 8, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    Did you miss the injury part? The inconsistency started after the injury bug hit…were number 1 in West prior to injuries. WINGS in 6

  3. vockeea - Apr 9, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    This whole series comes down to one player for Detroit. That is Darren Helm. When he comes back and his effectiveness when he does come back will have a strong correlation for any success Detroit plans on having. He is very important for Detroit’s depth, and will allow Babcock to roll four lines more confidently. Helm’s absence from the lineup was noticed the last few weeks. His effort and penalty-killing alone make Detroit a more complete team up front. It will also remove Cory Emmerton from the lineup, who has been relatively ineffective for most of this season. Not saying he is the difference between winning an losing, but his grit and determination will give the Wings the best chance to win.

  4. cloudraker62 - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    AS much as I love Detroit…..they just aren’t consistent enough this year to outplay clearly biased refs. I think that if left to their own, this would be a tough well fought series that would most likely go to 7 games. With the whole debacle of the piddling fine against Shea Weber. If it had been any other team that Nashville was playing, you could’ve counting on at the minimum of a one game suspension. The comish should be ashamed of himself, but then again, this is nothing new. For Detroit to win, they will HAVE to be consistent from this point on and to outplay the two additional Nashville players on the ice(the ones wearing black!) Why is it that all year long we hear from the refs that they hate it if their decisions decide the outcome of a game, then in the playoffs, the go ahead and try to lead a game to THEIR desired outcome? Only in the NHL would they be allowed to get away with and be encouraged to do this. The NBA goes after theirs when pointed out to them, just as the NFL has, as well as baseball trying to upgrade theirs to better officiating.

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