This season's series between the Nashville Predators and Detroit Red Wings has been a terrific one. The teams aren't traditional rivals, but their games have been excellent for the most part, and they split their season series evenly. Both teams won two home games and lost one to the other team, going 3-3 against each other for the regular season.
Their most recent meeting was the one away win for the Preds. Pekka Rinne was downright brilliant for his team, stopping all but one of the 32 shots that the Red Wings threw at him, while Jimmy Howard did not have his best day in a 4-1 Predators victory.
In last season's playoffs, the Predators and Red Wings both got through their first round series before a lack of offense became their undoing in the second round. Both teams' offensive stars are performing at a similar level to last regular season, with two notable exceptions for the Wings. Henrik Zetterberg had an average season for the Wings by his standards, while Valtteri Filppula exceeded expectations with his production.
Between their head-to-head record, the form of the goalies and the production of their offensive weapons, the Wings-Preds series is extremely evenly matched. The series opens in Nashville, and the Red Wings won't be OK with less than a split heading back to Joe Louis Arena.
No. 5 Detroit Red Wings at No. 4 Nashville Predators
8 p.m. ET -- Game 1, Western Conference Quarterfinals | Series tied, 0-0
National TV: CNBC, CBC, RDS2 | Local TV: FS Detroit, SportSouth
For more on the Preds, check out Nashville Predators blog On The Forecheck. For more on the Wings, head over to Detroit Red Wings blog Winging It In Motown and SB Nation Detroit. We'll have coverage of every playoff series at SB Nation's NHL Hub.