March 30, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Nashville Predators right wing Patric Hornqvist (27) stops short in front of Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) in the first period at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Red Wings Vs. Predators: Detroit Falls To Nashville, 4-1

The Detroit Red Wings will host the Nashville Predators on Friday night in what could be a preview for the playoffs.

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Red Wings Vs. Predators Final Score: Detroit Falls To Nashville, 4-1

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard returned to the net Friday, but his team may have been better off without him. Gabriel Bourque, Francis Bouillon, Alexander Radulov and Shea Weber each scored goals, respectively, for the Nashville Predators who handed the Red Wings their second straight loss, 4-1.

Howard saw just 26 shots and made 23 saves in hist first game back from groin injury, which has kept him out since March 19. Jiri Hudler scored Detroit's lone goal, however, it came late in the third period when the Red Wings were already down 3-0.

An empty net goal by Weber, with just 40 second remaining in the contest, cemented the victory for the Predators, who surpasses the Red Wings for fourth place in the Western Conference standings. The Chicago Blackhawks are now just two points behind Detroit for fifth place.

On Sunday, the Red Wings will try to get back on track as they host the Florida Panthers at 4 p.m.

For more on the Detroit Red Wings, check out Winging It In Motown. For more on the NHL in general, check out the SB Nation NHL hub at sbnation.com/NHL.

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Jimmy Howard Injury: Red Wings Goalie Will Start Friday Against Nashville

Ty Conklin has started four straight games for the Detroit Red Wings, and he's been up and down in those appearances. Fortunately for Detroit, their biggest injured name appears to be ready to return, goaltender Jimmy Howard. The Red Wings themselves on twitter confirmed that Howard will be between the pipes against the Nashville Predators on Friday.

NEWS: Jimmy Howard will get the start tonight vs. Nashville.

Howard sat out most of February with a finger injury as well as a large chunk of March with a groin injury. His missed time in March -- alongside a bunch of other injured players -- has not been kind to the Wings, plenty of losses in March have marred their schedule. With all of their injured players returning including Howard, their fortunes should improve with the playoffs right around the corner.

For more on the Detroit Red Wings, check out Winging It In Motown. For more on the NHL in general, check out the SB Nation NHL hub at sbnation.com/NHL.

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