Originally written April 04, 2012 on Inside Smashville:
The Nashville Predators are in a three-way battle for fourth place in the Western Conference standings with Detroit and Chicago. With fourth place comes home ice advantage during the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Some Predators admit to watching scores from around the Central Division On Tuesday night, Nashville’s 2-1 shootout win over the Minnesota Wild temporarily gave the Predators the fourth place seeding. Detroit, with one game in hand, however, controlled its own destiny when they went into action on Wednesday night against St. Louis, a game the Red Wings won 3-2 in a shootout. Some Predators admit to paying attention to the scores of their Central Division rivals. “We have been watching for a while now. The standings are pretty close, so seeing who we might play and the different scenarios is fun to watch,” Nashville center Mike Fisher said. Predators netminder Pekka Rinne agrees. “Everyday when you wake up or watch games at night you want to see how teams like Detroit and Chicago are doing. You pay close attention to those details.” Detroit’s 3-2 shootout win over the Blues means that the Red Wings reclaim the fourth spot. Detroit, Chicago and Nashville all have two games remaining on the regular season schedule. “It all depends on what Detroit can do,” Patric Hornqvist added. “We try to come to the rink every day and get better and see how far we can take us.” Not everyone is concerned about what Detroit and Chicago can do during their final games. “We are just trying to get ready for [the playoffs] and hope everything works out. We need to try to win those games,” Alexander Radulov said. “I don’t really think about anybody else except our team. I am just focusing on our game. That’s it. That’s the bottom line. Then the playoffs come and we have to play our best hockey.” All three teams see action Thursday and Saturday, the final day of the regular season. Thursday night the Predators host Dallas while Detroit hosts New Jersey and the Blackhawks visit Minnesota to take on the Wild. On Saturday, Detroit and Chicago face off against each other while the Predators end the regular season in Colorado.
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