Fighting for Fourth
The Red Wings are returning to full health at just the right time. Tonight's game against Nashville at Joe Louis Arena may determine which of these teams will be the fourth seed and secure home ice advantage against the other for the first round of the playoffs.
According to Helene St. James of the Free Press, Jimmy Howard is starting, Gustav Nyquist says he's in again instead of Jan Mursak and Jakub Kindl will be replacing Kyle Quincey in the defensive rotation.
The Predators have retooled extensively over the past month through trades (Kostitsyn, Gaustad, Gill) at the deadline and the recent return of forward Alexander Radulov from Russia. After treading water through a February and March featuring a rash of injuries, Detroit's roster is almost back to full health with the return of Howard (groin). Only backup Joey MacDonald (back spasms) and Darren Helm (MCL Sprain) remain out.
The Red Wings lead the season series 3-2 and three of the five games have been decided by one goal. Henrik Zetterberg (2 G, 3 A), Valtteri Filppula (4 G, 1 A) and Pavel Datsyuk (2 G, 3 A) lead Detroit with 5 points apiece in the season series. Jordin Tootoo (1 G, 3 A), David Legwand (1 G, 3 A) and Martin Erat (3 A) are Nashville's top producers against the Red Wings this year.