Final SO

Series (Game 5 of 6)

Detroit leads 4-2

Game 1: Monday, November 23rd
Red Wings1Final
Game 2: Saturday, December 12th
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Game 3: Friday, January 29th
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Game 4: Friday, March 5th
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Game 5: Saturday, March 27th
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Game 6: Saturday, April 3rd
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Red Wings 1

(39-23-13, 91 pts)

Predators 0

(43-27-6, 92 pts)

8:00 PM ET, March 27, 2010

Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

1 2 3 SO T
DET 0 0 0 11
NSH 0 0 0 00

P. Rinne (Predators - G): Saves: 38, Save Pct.: 1.000

J. Howard (Red Wings - G): Saves: 33, Save Pct.: 1.000

N. Kronwall (Red Wings - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

Red Wings-Predators Preview


In the Nashville Predators' limited playoff experience, the Detroit Red Wings have caused much heartache.

This year's postseason has yet to begin, but Detroit is once again creating headaches for its Central Division rival.

Seeking their fifth straight victory overall and their fourth straight in this series, the Red Wings will try to tie the Predators in the Western Conference standings Saturday night in Nashville.

Detroit (38-23-13) was ninth in the West entering last month's Olympic break, its streak of 18 consecutive playoff appearances in jeopardy. The Wings have been outstanding since the break, going 10-2-1 to move into playoff position.

The Red Wings pulled within two points of Nashville (43-27-5) for fifth following a 6-2 home win over Minnesota on Friday. Johan Franzen had two goals and two assists for his first career four-point game while linemates Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom also scored.

The victory was Detroit's season-high fourth straight and seventh in eight games, and gave the Wings a six-point cushion over ninth-place Calgary.

"Guys have been playing well," said Jimmy Howard, who made 25 saves Friday. "We've had it going pretty good since the Olympic break."

Howard has started 12 of the 13 games since the break, going 9-2-1 while posting a 2.32 goals-against average. He appears a good choice to start again Saturday, given he is 2-0-0 with a 2.01 GAA against the Predators this season.

Detroit has won three straight against Nashville since losing the season series opener in November. The Red Wings beat the Predators 5-2 at Joe Louis Arena on March 5, led by two goals from Darren Helm.

Given the history of this series, falling behind the Red Wings down the stretch could be a bitter pill for Nashville to swallow.

The Predators, who missed the 2009 postseason, lost in six games to Detroit in the 2008 opening round. The Red Wings also knocked them out in 2004.

Nashville has won seven of eight overall, though, including a 4-3 shootout victory at home over Phoenix on Thursday. David Legwand had the deciding goal in the third round of the tiebreaker to lift the Predators, who gave up two goals in the final seven minutes of regulation to force overtime.

"I'm not going to feel safe until we're in (the playoffs)," coach Barry Trotz said. "We've got to do it ourselves. I hate the fact that we're going to look at the other teams and hope they lose. Let's just win our games."

Pekka Rinne, who had 32 saves in Thursday's victory, is 1-0-1 with a 2.00 GAA in two starts against the Red Wings this season -- both at home. Backup Dan Ellis, who hasn't started since March 11, has lost twice to Detroit in 2009-10, giving up four goals each time.

These teams will conclude their season series April 3 in Detroit.