Slumping Red Wings visit Predators
Detroit seeks to snap 3-game winless streak during trip to Nashville
Winless in their last three games, the Detroit Red Wings visit the Nashville Predators on Tuesday for the first of four contests between the Central Division rivals this season.
The Red Wings gave rookie goaltender Petr Mrazek his second career start on Sunday because of starting netminder Jimmy Howard’s continued struggles. Mrazek, who made 26 saves to win his NHL debut, allowed three goals on 24 shots on Sunday in a loss to Minnesota. Pavel Datsyuk sat out one game with a shoulder injury but returned Sunday to extend his goal-scoring streak to four games.
The Predators rallied on Monday at Colorado, but couldn’t overcome the damage done by backup goaltender Chris Mason, who was pulled after allowing six goals on 18 shots. Mason was starting his third game of the season to give Pekka Rinne rest for Tuesday’s contest, but Rinne stopped all 10 shots he faced in the 24:18 he played. Nashville captain Shea Weber did his best to key the comeback with two points. He has four points in his last three games as well as goals in his previous two.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, FSN Tennessee
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (7-6-2): In 13 starts this season, Howard has a 2.97 goals against average and .900 save percentage. Captain Henrik Zetterberg leads the team with 20 points, but has two assists in his last three games and hasn’t scored in eight games.
Rookie Damien Brunner is tied with Datsyuk for the team lead in goals with seven. Rookie Tomas Tatar has three points in his last three games. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall has 10 points - seven on the power play, but is a team-worst minus-9.
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (7-4-5): Weber began the season with one assist in his first 13 games. Colin Wilson leads the team with 12 points and is on a four-game scoring streak. Wilson had one point in seven games in January. Rinne, who has three shutouts in his last five starts, is 11-5-3 in his career against the Red Wings with a .932 save percentage.
Ryan Ellis leads defensemen with six points (two goals, four assists). Both of Ellis’ goals this season have come on the power play.
This is the first time Detroit and Nashville are meeting since the Predators defeated the Red Wings in five games in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs last season.
Neither team has been very effective on the power play this season. Nashville is ranked 23rd in the league with a 14.6 percent efficiency, while Detroit is 25th (13.9 percent).
The Red Wings and Predators will face each other again in Detroit on Saturday.