Friday, April 13, 2012

Preds look to hold serve at home against Detroit

The Nashville Predators will try to hold their end of the bargain on home ice when they take on the Detroit Red Wings for Game 2 of the first round series at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville was able to hold on for a 3-2 victory in Game 1 over Detroit.

After a controversial incident with Henrik Zetterberg in Game 1 on Wednesday night, Shea Weber escaped without a suspension for Game 2. Weber was fined $2,500 for the incident, and will undoubtedly have a close eye placed upon him as the rest of the playoffs move along.

Pekka Rinne made 35 out of 37 saves in Game 1 to keep the Predators ahead on Wednesday night. He will have to be equally as good on Friday night because the Red Wings will be playing desperate hockey. They don't want to fall behind 2-0 to the Predators in this series.

Gabriel Bourque scored two goals for the Predators on Wednesday night to lift them to their first home playoff win since the end of the Anaheim series last year when the Predators won their first playoff series in franchise history.

Nashville's first and second lines were not very impressive on Wednesday night. The third and fourth line carried Nashville's play on Wednesday night, which is a testament to the offensive distribution that the Predators have displayed throughout the regular season.

Detroit will be without Darren Helm for the remainder of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Hal Gill is still listed as day-to-day for the Predators, and Chet Pickard has been recalled to Nashville from Milwaukee. Jeremy Smith was sent back down to Milwaukee on Thursday by the Predators.

My player to watch for the Red Wings is Jimmy Howard. How will he respond after giving up the initial loss in the series on Wednesday night? Howard made some key saves in the game, particularly in the first period. He'll have to be sharp for the Red Wings on Friday night.

For Nashville, my player to watch is David Legwand. He always seems to elevate his game in the playoffs. Legwand created a few glorious scoring opportunities for the Predators on Wednesday night but was held off of the scoresheet. Nashville will need the Legwand line to produce offensively on Friday night.

(Photo Credit: Leanne Charles)

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