April 17, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) makes a save on a shot by Nashville Predators right wing Andrei Kostitsyn (46) in the first period of game four of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: Red Wing Jordin Tootoo Returns To Nashville


The Detroit Red Wings take on the Nashville Predators for the first time this season tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET.

The Red Wings have been on a skid the past few games and while Pavel Datsyuk is back in the line-up, he cannot be counted on to provide all of the Red Wings’ offense.  Wings’ Jonas Gustavsson, Mikael Samuelsson, and Jan Mursak have, also, returned from injury. Gustavsson will chart face-offs, Mursak will enjoy the Leino Lounge, and Samuelsson will see time on the second line.

The Predators are heading into tonight’s game on a losing streak as well, which was partially a Lineman’s fault for missing an offsides call. The Predators will be coming into the game looking for retribution for that bad break and manufacture luck of their own.

Projected Line-up

Valtteri Filppula – Henrik Zetterberg – Damien Brunner

Mikael Samuelsson – Pavel Datsyuk – Tomas Tatar

Daniel Cleary – Joakim Andersson – Justin Abdelkader

Drew Miller – Cory Emmerton – Jordin Tootoo

Defense:

Niklas Kronwall – Brian Lashoff

Jonathan Ericsson – Ian White

Kyle Quincey – Kent Huskins

Goaltender

Jimmy Howard

Depending on Pavel Datsyuk‘s health he will either center the second line or play wing on the fist line.

April 17, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk (13) skates with the puck against the Nashville Predators in game four of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jordin Tootoo returns to Nashville as a Red Wing, expect him to start the game, but don’t expect him to fight right after the puck drop.

The Wings have juggled their power play lines by adding Mikael Samuelsson to the first power play unit defenseman position and moving Damien Brunner to the second unit wing.

Jimmy Howard will have a chance to redeem himself tonight. In his last two game he has been horrendous; people can chalk it up to fatigue or bad defensive play, but regardless he need to be much better tonight.

Prediction: Red Wings stop the skid and turn the Predators into prey as Jimmy Howard and Pavel Datsyuk take dominate the play. Wings win 3-1.

Tags: Detroit Red Wings