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Nashville Predators visit Detroit Red Wings
Posted By Hank Bonecutter On Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 8:00 pm In Sports | No Comments
Friday, March 30th, 2012 at 6:30pm CT
Detroit, MI | Joe Louis Arena
Detroit, MI – Friday night, the Nashville Predators and Detroit Red Wings close out their season series at Joe Louis Arena. Detroit leads the season series 3-2, but Nashville has taken three of its last six trips to Detroit dating back to April 3rd, 2010.
In Detroit’s final trip to the Music City on March 10th, the Kostitsyn brothers stole the show as the Predators edged the Wings, 3-2. Andrei Kostitsyn notched two power-play goals on the night, including the game-winner at 4:34 of the final frame. Both of his goals were set up by Sergei Kostitsyn and David Legwand – who posted three helpers on the night. Patric Hornqvist opened the scoring for Nashville with his 21st goal of the season.
The Predators open their 11th and final set of back-to-back games tomorrow tonight before facing the Chicago Blackhawks in the Music City Saturday night. The Predators 11 sets of back-to-back contests this season were the lowest total in the team’s last four campaigns.
Thus far, Nashville has posted a 7-3-0 record on the front end and a 5-5-0 record on the back half in 2011-12. A season ago, the Predators were 9-4-0 on the front end and 6-6-1 on the back end of two-games-in-two-nights scenarios.
Pekka Rinne has gone 10-5-3 in his career against the Wings with a 2.36 goals-against average and three shutouts. Legwand and Jordin Tootoo lead all Predators with four points (1g-3a) each against the Wings this season. Sergei Kostitsyn has 10 points (5g-5a) in his last 11 games against the Red Wings. Ryan Suter has seven points (1g-6a) in his last nine games against Detroit.
With the San Jose Sharks’ loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night, the Predators clinched their seventh playoff berth in the last eight seasons, becoming one of just four teams – Detroit, Philadelphia, San Jose are the others (New Jersey will most likely join them) – to accomplish the feat. Nashville has posted a 44-25-8 record for 96 points through 77 games.
The team’s 44 victories this season are the fourth-most in franchise history. A season ago, Nashville was 41-26-10 for 92 points through 77 games. It went 3-1-1 in its final five games to finish with 99 points, good for fifth in the West. This season, the Predators play three of their final five games against teams currently holding a playoff position.
With its win over Detroit on March 10th, Nashville became just the second team in the NHL to post at least 40 wins in seven consecutive seasons – the Red Wings are the only other team to do so. The team accomplished the feat in just 68 games – the third fastest in franchise history. The Predators are now just one win shy of the franchise’s 500th victory.
Nashville has been one of the League’s best on home ice since the beginning of the 2005-06 season, compiling 179 home victories – ranking it third behind only Detroit (188) and San Jose (180) in that span.
Shea Weber, Nashville’s captain, has now topped the 40-point plateau for the fourth consecutive season and the fifth time in his career. The Sicamous, B.C., native ranks among the League’s Top 10 d-men with 46 points on the year (16g-20a), while his 16 goals rank second among blueliners.
Weber is now plus-18 on the season – that ties him with Erik Karlsson for fourth among defensemen with at least 40 points this season. Weber has already posted a career-high 21 power-play points (9g-12a) this season – surpassing his previous mark of 20 power-play points (7g-13a) posted in 2009-10. Weber ranks among the Top 10 d-men in power-play points and leads all NHL d-men with nine PPGs on the year.
Suter has surpassed the 40-point mark (7g-36a-43pts) for just the second time in his career. Those totals ranks 10th among NHL blueliners and put him on pace to match his career-high 45 points (7g-38a) set during the 2008-09 season. The Madison, WI, native is third among NHL blueliners in power-play points and assists (3g-20a-23pts), and ranks third in the League in average ice time (26:39), 20 seconds ahead of Weber (26:19), who ranks fifth.
Weber and Suter are one of just three defensive tandems to post at least 40 points apiece this season. The St. Louis Blues’ Alex Pietrangelo (12g-37a-49pts) and Kevin Shattenkirk (9g-32a-41pts) and the Vancouver Canucks’ Alexander Edler (11g-35a-46pts) and Kevin Bieksa (8g-34a-42pts) are the others.
Predators 0, St. Louis 3 at Scottrade Center
The Nashville Predators take on the Detroit Red Wings Friday night in Detroit. The puck drops at 6:30pm.
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