Posted: 10:50 AM ET April 17, 2012

detpredators7:30 ET, Nashville at Detroit: The last thing the Detroit Red Wings need is to head back to Nashville for Game 5 later this week facing elimination. With a 2-1 series deficit heading into Tuesday’s game at Joe Louis Arena the Red Wings have to find a solution for Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne.

Detroit is more than capable (as it’s shown over the first three games) of controlling the play and forcing Nashville into its own end of the ice, but Rinne has been his usual sensational self in the crease. After Sunday’s game, which wasn’t exactly a bad performance by the Red Wings in defeat, Rinne is the biggest reason, if not the only reason, this series isn’t 2-1 in the other direction.

Home ice was supposed to be a major advantage for the Red Wings based on the way they played throughout the regular season, and they need to take advantage of it on Tuesday.

We know they’re already defending their turf by policing the ping-pong tables.
PanthersDevils
7 ET, Florida at New Jersey:
I’m not going to lie, I thought it was going to be difficult for the Florida Panthers to win a single game against the New Jersey Devils in this series.

Not because the Devils are some sort of unstoppable force, but mainly because I had so little faith in the Panthers based on the way they backed into the playoffs.

As the series moves to New Jersey it’s all even at one game apiece after the Panthers were able to take Game 2 on the strength of their power play and a pretty solid effort from goaltender Jose Theodore, a player that may actually give them an advantage in net. And don’t think that’s a crazy statement. Brodeur may be going to the Hall of Fame, but he’s not the same player today.

COYOTESBLACKHAWKS9 ET, Phoenix at Chicago:
If nothing else, the Blackhawks-Coyotes series has had some of the most entertaining finishes of any matchup currently taking place. Games 1 and 2 not only went to overtime, but Chicago had to tie each game in the closing seconds to force the extra action, with the two teams splitting the games in Phoenix.

On Tuesday, the series shifts back to the madhouse in Chicago.

So far things have played out on the ice as they should have been expected from the start.

Most of the series is being played in the Phoenix end of the ice, with the Blackhawks controlling the puck and managing to fire an incredible 95 shots at Coyotes goalie Mike Smith over the first two games.

We knew Smith was going to face a lot of rubber in this matchup, and for Phoenix to have any sort of a chance to move on he would need to play as he did during the regular season. If not better. And so far, he has.

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Tags: Coyotes-Blackhawks, Panthers-Devils , Predators-Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, Phoenix Coyotes, NHL

Source : Pregame Skate: Red Wings look to even series against Predators – CBSSports.com (blog)

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