PREVIEW: Detroit Red Wings look to climb out of Central cellar, face Nashville Predators

Feb 15, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin (71) skates with the puck during the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

It has been nearly a month since the Nashville Predators won back-to-back games. The Detroit Red Wings, meanwhile, have yet to accomplish that feat this season.

Each club will look to build on a victory Tuesday night when the Predators visit the Red Wings.

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Nashville sits one point ahead of last-place Detroit in the Central Division, and is 3-7-0 since winning consecutive home games over Chicago on Jan. 26-27.

After blowing a 2-0 lead Saturday at Columbus, however, the Predators regrouped and got third-period goals from Calle Jarnkrok and Filip Forsberg to win 4-2.

“Certainly, a game I think we can build off — some things that we did really well. And, that’s how we want to play the game,” Predators coach John Hynes said. “It’s nice we were able to put together 60 minutes of that.

“We should be ready to go for Detroit.”

Forsberg, who continues to be a popular subject of trade rumors, recorded three of his team-leading 15 points while Nashville split back-to-back home games against Detroit earlier this month.

Nashville’s Pekka Rinne, who made 21 saves on Saturday, posted a 3.02 goals-against average in starting both of those contests against Detroit. Teammate Juuse Saros, meanwhile, is 0-3-0 with a 4.58 goals-against average during four starts this month, but owns a 2.75 GAA in four career games opposite the Red Wings.

Detroit snapped an 0-2-1 home rut with Saturday’s 2-1 victory over surging Florida. Patrik Nemeth and rookie Mathias Brome each scored their first goal of the season in the second period, and Jonathan Bernier stopped 38 shots as the Wings won for just the fifth time in 2020-21.

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They last won back-to-back games on March 6 and 8 of last year.

“This was what we’ve talked about lots,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “We have to be in this spot lots, and find ways to win them.”

Even with the victory, Detroit failed two more times to score on the power play Saturday. The Red Wings are scoreless in their last 36 chances with the man-advantage. They went 0-for-8 against the Predators in their two games earlier this month.

Bernier, though, has looked strong while stopping 83 of the 87 shots he’s faced in winning two of his three starts this month. That included a 21-save effort in the 4-2 win at Nashville on Feb. 13.

“He’s on a great run here,” teammate Dylan Larkin said. “It’s great to get a win for him and how hard he played (Saturday).

The Red Wings’ Thomas Griess, however, has a 3.56 goals-against average during an 0-3-1 starting stretch. That included a 3-2 loss at Nashville on Feb. 11.

Detroit’s Robby Fabbri has gone four games without a goal since scoring one in each of this month’s contests versus Nashville. He’s recorded four goals with three assists in his last 11 games against the Predators.

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Larkin leads the Red Wings with 11 points and had an assist in each of the last two games. However, he’s gone his last three against the Predators without a point.

The teams will play again Thursday in Detroit.

–Field Level Media