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Game 43: Detroit @ Nashville – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW


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Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

The Predators are simply playing out the strand on what most would call a very late training camp, getting a solid glimpse out of the younger players that Nashville has coming up through the Milwaukee system. The fans may also get a look at the newly acquired high draft prospect Filip Forsberg as it is rumored he may be in the lineup either Sunday against Detroit or Monday against Vancouver.

The Red Wings are 2-2-2 in their last 6 games and they are clinging to the eighth and final spot over Dallas, Phoenix and Columbus by two points. This is also the last time Nashville will play Detroit as a division rival as the Red Wings will be in a different conference next year. The Predators will always have a bitter rivalry with the Red Wings as seen by their high level of compete and the watermark the Red Wings organization set for the upstart Predators franchise since their inception.

While one is fighting for their playoff lives, the other would simply like to play spoiler and beat the Red Wings one last time for good measure before succumbing to Conference III.

As mentioned, the Red Wings have earned points in four of their last six games, but with Dallas, Phoenix and Columbus breathing down their neck by two points, every point gained is a positive for the Red Wings.

Detroit still has a multitude of different ways to beat a team. Offensively they are led by the phenom which is Pavel Datsyuk who has 39 points and is a +13 on the season. Johan Franzen has been a serious scoring threat in his last five games tallying four points (1G, 3A).

Jimmy Howard, who is rumored to be negotiating a contract extension with the Red Wings, has allowed 7 goals in his last four games with a record of (1-1-2). Some of his shootout saves were mind-boggling and his play during the games is why the Red Wings have earned points in the last few games with the only regulation loss being a 1-0 win by the St. Louis Blues.

The Predators continue to develop a keen eye and understanding of the players in their pipeline. Taylor Beck is looking like the real deal, an offensive-first player with the ability to bang home goals ala Hornqvist, but his scoring touch and wrist shot are in the range of early-Predators Paul Kariya. If the future of the Predators includes the development of Beck and Watson with WHL scoring title holder Brendan Leipsic and Filip Forsberg, the Predators Erat/Latta traded draft prospect the future is uber-bright for the next three years.

Chris Mason looked spotty in his performance against the Dallas Stars allowing all five goals. Although he is a fan favorite and three time player for the Predators, he has not been able to sustain any kind of option to alleviate the strain of starting Pekka Rinne for almost every game. On the year, Mason is 1-5-1 with a GAA of 3.79 and a SV% of .848. Compared to Rinne at 2.29 and .916, this kind of discrepancy is something the Predators will need to address in free agency this summer.

Game time is at 6:30 P.M. Central and can be heard on 102.5 the Game and viewed nationwide on NBC Sports Network. If you like what you’re reading or have questions/comments feel free to write us below or follow us on Twitter @Preducated and @ThePredatorial.

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