Archive for December 14, 2011
Detroit Red Wings 19-9-1
Nashville Predators 15-11-4
The Nashville Predators are winners of three straight games and find themselves in unfamiliar territory as they get set to host the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena.
Not only are the Predators enjoying their first three-game winning streak of the year, but they have also scored in six straight games on the power play. Nashville’s man advantage is one of the best in the League with a 20.8 percent success rate, tied for third with Colorado.
In the last 12 games, the Predators power play percentage has converted for an impressive 30. 9 percent, or 13-for-42, of its man-advantage opportunities. Furthermore, since notching two power play goals on November 19th versus Columbus, 13 of Nashville’s last 29 goals have been scored on the power play.
Only Vancouver and Toronto have more successful power plays than Nashville.
The Predators hope their power play success continues when the red hot Red Wings come to town.
Like Nashville, Detroit has won three straight contests. But the Wings are also 8-2-0 in their last 10 games, a much more impressive record than Nashville’s 5-5-0.
Also like Nashville, Detroit’s power play is in the top 10 percent in the NHL. Where the two teams differ is on the penalty kill.
The Predators are 11th in the League with a 84.3 percent kill off rate. Detroit sits 20th in the NHL with an 81.2 percent kill off rate. While there doesn’t seem to be a lot of difference in those statistics, Thursday night’s contest may be won based on who can win the special teams battle.
Goaltenders Jimmy Howard and Pekka Rinne have similar numbers when Detroit and Nashville meet up, though Rinne’s record is a more impressive 8-3-3 against Detroit. Howard sits at 5-3-1 against Nashville. Rinne’s goals against average against Detroit is 2.25 with a .934 save percentage. Howard has a 2.34 goals against average and a .921 save percentage against the Predators.
Last year, the Predators won the season series against the Red Wings 4-2-0. Nashville has picked up at least a point in eight of nine home games against Detroit (5-1-3) while outscoring the Wings 28-17 in those nine games.
After Thursday night’s game, the Predators host St. Louis on Saturday night before heading to Washington on December 20th.
Photo Credit: AP