The Detroit Red Wings take on the Nashville Predators in their last game before the Winter Classic, tonight at 8:00 p.m. EST.
The Red Wings have their captain back on the ice, they beat the Panthers, Darren Helm is set to return and so is Jimmy Howard, and the Winter Classic is coming up. There are a lot of positives for the Wings moving forward, but the Wings need to keep their eyes on the game tonight in order to pick up a victory.
The Predators are 1-3-1 in their past five games and are having difficultly scoring goals, which could be a plus for the Wings; even though they tend to help teams regain their prowess. In net, Marek Mazanec has been very good and could give the Red Wings trouble.
- The Red Wings have a 58-40-4 overall record against the Predators, but have only won 47.1% of their games in Nashville.
- Since 2010, the Red Wings are 13-15-0 against the Predators, with one loss coming this season in Detroit, so the Red Wings will make to make it an even series.
- Darren Helm will make his triumphant return to the ice tonight after missing the past 11 games due to a shoulder injury.
- To make room for Helm, Luke Glendening has been sent down to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
- Henrik Zetterberg missed practice on Sunday due to a sore groin (what a surprise), but he will be in the line-up tonight.
- Speaking of groins, Jonas Gustavsson is out of the line-up tonight with a sore groin. Babcock could be giving him a rest because he is expected to start the Winter Classic or it could cause him to miss the game altogether.
- Jimmy Howard could make his return to the net, but if he cannot go it will be up to Petr Mrazek to defend the pipes.
- If there is any soreness in Howard’s knee I would prefer him to sit out, but if he wants a chance to start the Winter Classic he needs a game under his belt.
Prediction: With all the uncertainty in net it could cause the Wings to falter, but Helm is back and will add some energy to the line-up. Wings win 2-1.