Sunday, April 15, 2012
The Nashville Predators will look to take a 2-1 series lead on Sunday when they take on the Detroit Red Wings for Game 3 of their Western Conference Quarterfinals series at 11 a.m. central on NBC.
With Detroit getting a victory in Game 2 on Friday night, they now have taken home ice advantage away from the Predators as the series moves forward. If Nashville is able to get a win on Sunday, they will reclaim home ice advantage in the series.
Nashville's power play is 0-for-12 so far in this series after having the number one power play in the NHL in the regular season. The Predators are going to have to produce on the power play at some point in this series if they hope to win.
In both of the previous two games in this series, the team that has been out-shot has also been the team that has walked away with a victory. In Game 1, the Predators were the benefactor of two strange pucks that somehow found their way past Jimmy Howard. In Game 2, the Predators were victimized with a lucky goal by the Red Wings that ended up being the game-winner. It's been a bit of a quirky start to the series for both teams.
The Predators have never won a postseason game in Joe Louis Arena in the history of their franchise, going 0-for-6 in their two previous postseason series with the Red Wings. If the Predators are going to change that trend, they will have to get more production out of their top line.
For a good portion of the regular season, the line of Sergei Kostitsyn, Mike Fisher and Martin Erat was the most consistent offensive line for the Predators. In the first two games of this series, they have been almost non-existent offensively. If they are able to get back in the swing of things, it will be good news for the Predators on Sunday.
My player to watch for the Red Wings is Tomas Holmstrom. He has registered a point in each of the first two games in the series for Detroit so far and always finds a way to plant himself right in front of Pekka Rinne. His net presence can make a crucial difference in the outcome of a game.
For Nashville, my player to watch is Shea Weber. He was the subject of a lot of controversy after Game 1 of this series and responded with a goal on Friday night. Besides being arguably Nashville's best defenseman, he plays a pivotal role on the power play with his booming shot. Look for him to put lots of pucks toward the net on Sunday.
(Photo Credit: Leanne Charles)