Commentary

Preds looking to end Joe playoff woe

Updated: April 15, 2012, 11:12 PM ET
By Craig Custance | ESPN.com

DETROIT -- They know the quirky bounces along the Joe Louis Arena boards as well as the Red Wings do. They realize that a Saturday night Nickelback concert probably means the ice won't be great early Sunday afternoon.

The Predators have played so many times at Joe Louis Arena that there won't be any surprises when they take the ice to try to take the lead in this tied series.

Still, if they do win Game 3, it'll be the first playoff win at Joe Louis Arena in Predators history. Nashville was winless on the road against Detroit in 2004 and 2008, the two other times these franchises faced each other in the postseason.

The Predators beat the Red Wings the last time they were in Detroit, a 4-1 win on March 30.

"We've won here," said coach Barry Trotz from the team hotel in Detroit early Saturday evening. "If you would have asked me 10 years ago about coming to the Joe, it was a little different animal. We've always been a big-time underdog the last two series in here. It's a new year, the teams are different."

They're much more closely matched than the last time they met in the playoffs as the split in Nashville showed. Trotz echoed the words of Detroit coach Mike Babcock before Game 1, agreeing that playing on the road during the playoffs can be an advantage. It has certainly played out that way this spring, with teams like the Kings and Capitals playing well early on the road.

"We have to be ready to go at noon. It's an early game," said forward David Legwand. "We're excited for tomorrow."

White banged up

Part of the Red Wings' success on the penalty kill has been their willingness to get in shooting lanes and block shots. With that comes the risk of injury, as Detroit defenseman Ian White was reminded in Game 2. He didn't practice for Detroit on Saturday, with his foot a little tender after blocking a second-period shot on the penalty kill in Game 2.

He said he'll be ready to go for Game 3 and that the injury wasn't severe enough for X-rays.

"I've been hit in the foot by a puck many times, so I was pretty sure it wasn't broken," he said. "It was just one of those things that when you take a puck in the foot, it's going to hurt."

Predators defenseman Hal Gill remains day-to-day with his lower-body injury. He told reporters in Nashville on Saturday morning that he hopes to be able to play on Sunday even though he didn't practice with the team.

Predators have confidence in power play

No. 1 during the regular season, the Nashville power play is still looking for its first goal of the postseason. Detroit's penalty kill is a perfect 12-for-12.

What do the Predators need to do differently?

"Uh, score," quipped David Legwand. "That's the one big adjustment. Score when we get our chances and go from there. I think we need to start putting some pucks in the back of the net."

Trotz said he wasn't too concerned about the power play because he still sees a confident group and the Predators are getting chances.

"When you're not getting chances on the power play, that's when you start changing things," Trotz said.