National Hockey League action on Thursday evening and we will see a pair of teams from the Central Division square off as the Nashville Predators invade Little Caesars Arena to rumble with the Detroit Red Wings. The Predators enter this game at 21-19 on the year while Detroit comes in at 13-28. Nashville leads the season series 5-2.
The Preds Have Been Hot Between The PipesFor much of the early part of the season, the Nashville Predators had their issues in the crease, but that has changed drastically of late. Through their first 28 games, the Preds allowed 3.42 gpg, but after taking game one of this set by a score of 3-2, the Preds have now allowed just 1.58 gpg over their last 12 games. Juuse Saros has taken back the number one goalie spot, and he has allowed a total of 11 goals over his last nine starts. He got the win in game one to move to 12-7 with a 2.24 GAA on the year, including 3-5 with a 2.89 GAA on the road. In his career, he has gone 39-32 with a 2.61 GAA on the road and 4-2 with a 1.89 GAA against the Red Wings.
Thanks to their play in the crease of late, the Preds have gone 10-2 in their last 12 games, but they are still in 4th place in the Central and 13 points out of first. The offense still needs some work as the Preds have averaged just 2.75 gpg over their last 12 games. The Preds took game one in a shootout. Nashville was down 2-1 late before tying the game with just 3:58 left in regulation. Scoring in the win was Luke Kunin, which was his 4th, and Mikael Granlund, which was his 9th, while Roman Josi got the deciding goal in the shootout.
Team Stats & Rankings: Nashville enters this contest ranked 27th in scoring at 2.45 gpg, 11th in shots per game at 30.1, and 16th in power-play conversions at 21.2%. At the defensive end of the ice, they are ranked 17th in goals allowed at 2.88 gpg, 21st in shots per game allowed at 31.0, and 29th in penalty kill at 73.4%.
Red Wings Suffer A Let Down In Game OneProfessional sports teams are not nearly as prone to suffering a letdown as college teams are, but it sometimes happens. The Red Wings entered this game off a 5-1 road win over the Tampa Bay Lightning as dogs of +284. Detroit proceeded to lose game one of this one by a score of 3-2 in a shootout. Inconsistency has been a theme of the Red Wings, who are now 13-28 on the year, including 1-4 in their last five. Detroit is in the basement of the Central Division, and they are already 24 points out first. The offense continues to be an issue for Detroit as they have now averaged just 1.90 gpg over their last ten games and just 1.00 gpg in their last seven losses.
Scoring in the loss to the Preds was Danny DeKeyser, which was his 2nd of the year, and Adam Erne, which was his 9th. Detroit's play at the other end has improved dramatically as they have allowed just 2.38 gpg over their last 13 games, after allowing 5.40 gpg in their previous five games. Absorbing the loss in game one was Thomas Greiss, who has played well for much of the year, but the offense has let him down. Greiss is now 3-21 with a 3.14 GAA on the year, including 1-9 with a 3.29 GAA here at home. In his career, he has gone 73-54 with a 2.55 GAA in his home games and 3-11 with a 3.53 GAA against the Preds.
Team Stats & Rankings: Detroit enters this contest ranked 31st in scoring at 2.20 gpg, 29th in shots per game at 27.6, and 29th in power-play conversions at 12.1%. At the defensive end of the ice, they are ranked 23rd in goals allowed at 3.10 gpg, 20th in shots per game allowed at 31.0, and 27th in penalty kill at 74.8%.
- 6-0 in their last 6 games as a favorite
- 6-1 in their last 7 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game
- 19-7 in their last 26 vs. a team with a losing record
Trends Are Courtesy Of Covers.com Detroit is:
- 27-80 in their last 107 games as an underdog
- 15-39 in their last 54 vs. a team with a winning record
- 16-41 in their last 57 games playing on 1 days rest
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Preds have started to figure things out and if they hope to remain in playoff contention, these are the games they cannot afford to lose. Nashville enters this game having won 10 of their last 12 games and it all starts with their play in the crease as they have allowed just 1.58 gpg over that stretch. That isn't likely to change as Nashville is facing the worst offense in the league, which was averaged just 1.90 gpg over their last 10 games. Thomas Greiss has been playing better of late but not as good as Juuse Saros has and Saros has the advantage of having the slightly better offense behind him. Take the Preds in this one.
Full-Game Total Pick
Nashville has had their issues on offense this year and they have averaged just 2.75 gpg over their last 12 games. They will face a Detroit team that has played much better between the pipes of late, allowing an average of just 2.38 gpg over their last 13 games. Nashville has been very stingy in the crease of late as they have allowed just 1.58 gpg over their last 12 games and Juuse Saros has allowed just 11 total goals over his last nine games. Saros also has a solid 1.89 GAA against the Red Wings in his career and Detroit comes in having averaged just 1.90 gpg over their last 10 games. We also note that the Red Wings have averaged just 1.00 gpg in their last seven losses. Lastly, the Under is 5-1-1 in Nashville's last 7 road games and 5-1-1 in Detroit's last 7 overall.