With a win against the Detroit Red Wings, the Nashville Predators would assume fourth place in the Western Conference standings. With a loss, they would fall three points behind Detroit and be in danger of falling into sixth with a loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.
The Preds are now in fourth place.
In front of 20,066 fans and grey seats, Nashville dealt Detroit just their sixth regulation loss on Joe Louis Arena ice this year. On an impressive performance by Pekka Rinne and goals by Gabriel Bourque, Francis Bouillon, Alexander Radulov and Shea Weber, the Preds dominated the Wings, 4-1.
Rinne was at his Vezina Trophy best on Friday. He made 31 saves — 17 in the second period alone — and was their best penalty killer when Nashville took three penalties in the middle frame. His 70th game of the season was one of his best, improving to 42-17-8.
Bourque’s wrister from the slot made it 1-0 and Bouillon’s shot from the left face-off circle put the Preds up by two but it was Rinn...