(Sports Network) - After finally suffering their first regulation loss of the season, the Nashville Predators will try to maintain their perfect home record this evening as they kick off a five-game road trip with a trip to Detroit to battle the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.
Nashville began the season with a 5-0-3 mark, winning two straight on the road after three consecutive overtime losses at home. The Predators returned to the Music City on Thursday, but were blanked, 3-0, by Jaroslav Halak and the St. Louis Blues.
Halak stopped all 24 Nashville shots in his second straight shutout, while Pekka Rinne halted 31 shots for the Predators.
"We've got to play better as a five-man unit," said captain Shea Weber. "We had a couple of chances early but we didn't have much after that. Pekka made some good saves but I do think we had some good chances."
Defenseman Ryan Suter missed his fourth straight game because of a lower-body injury, while forward Jordin Tootoo was given a five-minute charging major and 10-minute game misconduct with 6:49 left in the third period. Tootoo has yet to be suspended for the hit and may escape punishment from the league.
"The big emphasis is on shots to the head and I saw a shoulder-to-shoulder check," said Preds head coach Barry Trotz. "To me, he didn't leave his feet, so I'm a little bit confused on [his ejection].
Nashville will hope to have Tootoo for the start of this road trip as the club plays nine of its next 10 on the road. The Predators are 3-0 as the guest team this season.
Detroit caps a four-game homestand tonight and lost for the first time on the residency on Thursday. The Red Wings fell behind by three goals in the first period versus the Coyotes and was eventually handed a 4-2 defeat.
Chris Osgood got the start over Jimmy Howard, who was suffering from back spasms and is day-to-day. Osgood struggled early and ended with 32 saves.
"Any time you spot a desperate team three goals you are going to be in trouble," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. "I thought the team responded well and battled back, but we had dug too big a hole for ourselves."
Johan Franzen and Tomas Holmstrom both scored and Pavel Datsyuk notched an assist for his 600th career point as the Red Wings had a three-game winning streak halted and fell to 3-1-1 at home this season.
Osgood could get the nod in net again tonight with Howard ailing and is just 1-4-1 in his last seven appearances versus the Predators. He is 18-9-2 with a pair of ties and 2.43 goals-against average when facing them lifetime.
Rinne is 5-1-2 in his career versus the Red Wings with a 2.09 GAA.
Detroit took four of six from the Predators last year and has won 10 of the last 14 matchups at Joe Louis Arena in this series.