Start Time: 11 am CT (radio pregame starts at 10 am CT) TV: NBC (National Broadcast) Radio: Preds Radio Network Flagship - 102.5-FM The Game; Network Affiliates Away Game Viewing Headquarters: Visit any Middle Tennessee O’Charley’s location to watch all Preds road games
THE CAPTAIN CONTRIBUTES
On Friday night, Shea Weber extended his franchise postseason points lead among defenseman with his first goal of the playoffs. Weber beat Jimmy Howard with less than five minutes remaining in regulation to pull the Predators within one. That goal gave him 18 career postseason points (9g-8a), which doubles the total of the next closest defensemen – Ryan Suter (3g-6a) and Dan Hamhuis (1g-8a). Weber now ranks third all-time in postseason points behind only David Legwand (23 pts) and Martin Erat (19 pts). Nashville’s captain has fired eight shots on goal through two games this series, which is the second-most among blueliners prior to Saturday night’s games.
PREDS LIMIT WINGS
After allowing 37 shots in Game One, the Predators held the Red Wings offense to just 17 shots on goal in Game Two. That is the second-lowest shots against total in franchise postseason history, after the Preds allowed only 16 shots on goal in Game Three of the 2011 WCQ vs. Anaheim (April 17, 2011). Friday night was also the first time Detroit has been limited to less than 20 shots on goal in the playoffs since 2007 – when they put 19 shots on goal against Anaheim in the Western Conference Finals.
The Predators put 26 shots on goal for the second straight game on Friday night. It was just the second time Nashville has outshot Detroit in the postseason (14gp).
PLAYOFF QUICK HITS
• This is the third Western Conference Quarterfinals series between Nashville and Detroit. The Red Wings have won both of the previous series – 4-2 in 2004 and 4-2 in 2008. Nashville has played more playoff games (14) against Detroit than any other teams in their seven trips to the postseason.
• Eleven of the 14 postseason games between the Predators and Red Wings have been decided by two goals or fewer.
• Nashville is returning 14 players from last season’s playoff team – Erat, Fisher, Halischuk, Hornqvist, Klein, Sergei Kostitsyn, Legwand, Lindback, Rinne, Spaling, Suter, Tootoo, Weber and Wilson. Francis Bouillon was injured and did not play during the 2011 playoffs.
• Martin Erat ranks second to only David Legwand on the franchise’s all-time playoff points (19), goals (7), assists (12) and games played (38) lists.
• Hal Gill – who missed Games One and Two – ranks sixth among active defensemen in postseason games played. He has skated in 105 career playoff games, making him the most experienced Predator in the postseason. Sixty-nine of those games have come in the past four seasons.
• Legwand is the Predators’ franchise leader in every postseason offensive category; he has posted 23 points (10g-13a) in 39 postseason games with Nashville.
• Ryan Suter (31gp) and Shea Weber (31gp) have each taken the ice in every Predators’ playoff game over their last four trips to the postseason – they are the only players to do so.
• Three players remain on Nashville’s roster from the 2004 WCQ series vs. Detroit – Erat, Legwand and Tootoo. Eight players who played against Detroit in the 2008 WCQ remain – Erat, Legwand, Radulov, Suter, Tootoo and Weber.
2011-12 SEASON SERIES VS. DETROIT AT A GLANCE
Nashville and Detroit will continue their Central Division rivalry tonight, as their 2012 Western Conference Quarterfinal series shifts to Joe Louis Arena.
The Preds and Wings split their regular season series 3-3-0. Here is how the six-game regular season series played out:
NOV. 26, 2011 (NSH 1, DET 4) – Valtteri Filppula scored twice and dished out an assist as the Red Wings skated to a 4-1 win. Pekka Rinne made 33 saves in net, while Jack Hillen scored his first goal as a member of the Preds and Roman Josi made his NHL debut.
DEC. 15, 2011 (NSH 4, DET 3) – Shea Weber scored twice in the third period as the Predators rallied from a two-goal deficit to edge the Wings, 4-3. Weber tied the game with a power-play goal at the 15:36 mark of the third and then put the Preds ahead with 1:36 remaining in regulation. Rinne made 37 saves, including 13 in the third period, to pick up the win.
DEC. 26, 2011 (NSH 1, DET 4) – Jimmy Howard stopped 31 of 32 shots to help the Red Wings to a 4-1 win over the Predators, despite the Preds out shooting the Wings 32-22. Filppula opened the scoring in the middle of the first period. Pavel Datsyuk and Danny Cleary extended the lead with goals 13 seconds apart midway through the second period. Ryan Ellis made his NHL debut in the game, filling in for an injured Weber.
FEB. 17, 2012 (NSH 1, DET 2) – Datsyuk scored with five seconds left to give the Red Wings' their 22nd consecutive home victory, 2-1. Johan Franzen opened the scoring in the first period and Nick Spaling tied the game with 5:02 remaining in the second period, before Datsyuk netted the winner in the waning seconds of regulation.
MARCH 10, 2012 (NSH 3, DET 2) – Sergei Kostitsyn found his brother Andrei twice on the power play, as the Predators edged the Red Wings 3-2 at Bridgestone Arena. Patric Hornqvist opened the scoring 7:30 into the game, but the Wings answered back on the game's next shift. The Kostitsyn brothers connected on their first goal late in the first period and, after a scoreless second period, they extended the Nashville lead to 3-1 early in the third. Detroit cut the final margin to one with 5:25 left in regulation.
MARCH 30, 2012 (NSH 4, DET 1) – With the Predators holding a 1-0 lead late in the second, Rinne made perhaps the save of the season as he robbed on Henrik Zetterberg to preserve the Preds lead. Nashville quickly countered with a Francis Bouillon goal just minutes later to push the margin to 2-0. The Preds added two more in the third period to skate away with the franchise’s 500th win.