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Wings-Preds Preview

Monday, 12.10.2007 / 6:41 PM ET / Preview
Associated Press
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Wings-Preds Preview

NASHVILLE -- The Predators finally figured out how to beat Detroit in the teams' last meeting on Thanksgiving. They'll hope the formula works again on Monday when they try to slow down the NHL-leading Red Wings in Nashville.

The Predators (14-11-2) beat the Red Wings 3-2 on November 22, ending an overall five-game losing streak in the series. However, the victory was Nashville's fourth in its last six home games against Detroit (21-6-2).

"The key to beating Detroit is having the right mentality," Predators coach Barry Trotz said after last month's contest. "They are so skilled. They move the puck so effectively and efficiently from the back and through the neutral zone.

"If you just want to play a very safe game and watch them throw the puck around, then I think your team is going to have a long night. If you participate and play hard against them you will have more success against them. It is not the total key, but it does help to use their approach against them."

Executing that game plan could be easier said than done this time around. The Red Wings have won six straight games - one shy of their season high - and have scored at least four goals in all but one of those victories.

Detroit is coming off Sunday's 5-2 win over the Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes. Datsyuk and Holmstrom, who form the Red Wings' dominant first line along with Henrik Zetterberg, both scored in the game's final minutes.

Zetterberg (41 points), who had an assist, Datsyuk (35), and Holmstrom (28) are the team's three leading scorers. However, the key goals on Sunday came from Andreas Lilja - who broke a second-period tie - Valtteri Filppula and Johan Franzen.

Lilja's goal was just his second of the season and fourth in two-plus years with the Wings. Franzen's goal was his third of the season and Filppula netted his fifth.

"It's 82 games, you've got to help the first line," said Detroit right wing Jiri Hudler, who had three assists. "They score a lot of goals, but we're going to need everybody."

Goalie Dominik Hasek made 15 saves to win his third straight start after dropping three in a row. He has yielded just three goals during his winning streak.

The Predators, meanwhile, won for the third time in five games on Saturday, beating Anaheim 4-2. Despite being credited with just 3:45 of ice time, Jordin Tootoo managed to post a "Gordie Howe hat trick" with a goal, assist and a fight and extended his career high with his sixth goal.

"He didn't get a lot of ice time, but put forth a strong effort," Trotz told the Predators' official Web site. "He continues to show that maybe a bigger role and more ice time is in the future for him."

Defenseman Ryan Suter added his fourth goal for Nashville, which had managed only three total goals while dropping its previous two games. Vernon Fiddler returned after missing two games with a strained groin and had two assists.

"All good teams have good balance from their forwards and defense in scoring," Suter said. "This was a big game for us, because we lost two in a row, and we didn't want to lose three in a row."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80