… The Wings’ll play their third game in four days tonight in Nashville. The Predators will be in their third in five.
… The Preds are currently riding a five-game winning steak and have won six of seven. Since a six-game losing steak in October, they’re 9-3-0, so this is a team on the rise.
… They played on Saturday and beat the Jackets 3-4 in OT. Their last loss was on the 10th to San Jose (4-3).
… They’re just one point behind the Wings with 25, so they’ll be motivated tonight.
… The Tennessean is characterizing this as a “battle of Swedes” because of the Preds’ Patric Hornqvist and his playing a style similar to Tomas Holmstrom’s.
… Colin Wilson (groin) is on the IR and Wade Belak (lower body) is day-to-day.
… Shea Weber (Damager of Brains) has five goals already this season, which is three more than the highest-scoring healthy Red Wings defenseman, Brian Rafalski, has put up. Three of them came on the power play, so here’s hoping the Wings’ penalty killing is ready to go tonight.
… It looks like Pekka Rinne will start tonight. He’s 9-4-0 with a 2.38 GAA and .914 save percentage. Another good young goalie for Nashville.
… The Wings are coming off a tough win in Montreal Saturday night. They played most of the game with only five defensemen due to Niklas Kronwall’s knee injury, but managed to pull out a win in a shootout.
… With Kronwall out for 4-8 weeks, Derek Meech will get some regular playing time. It looks like he and Lebda will be paired together, while Ericsson will move up to play with Stuart.
… I haven’t seen anything official on any other lineup changes, but it’s possible Babcock will insert May back in at Maltby’s expense.
… Osgood should get the start tonight.
… This’ll be a good test of the Wings’ latest version of the roster. Losing Kronwall was a major blow to team defense and the hot Predators won’t be easy to handle (even if they’re not exactly high-scoring).
… Darren McCarty will be the
color guy guest studio analyst tonight on Versus. Should be interesting.