It’s a lot of fun to write about the Detroit Red Wings when they’re winning and it’s been a long while since they’ve been looking to win its sixth straight. But they wouldn’t get a win tonight as the Predators kept Detroit at bay all night in a 5-2 decision.
Nashville had a 2-0 lead after goals from Ryan Johansson and Roman Josi, following a nice individual effort. Larkin hit the crossbar on a shot but the Red Wings looked very lethargic, though it’s fair to point out that regulars in Marc Staal and Gustav Lindstrom were out.
The Red Wings had a couple nice highlights in the second period. Givani Smith landed a couple haymakers in a donnybrook during the middle of the period while Robby Fabbri notched his sixth goal of the season on third chance that started with a bomb from Moritz Seider.
The defenseman’s shot ricocheted off the boards and back to Pius Suter who shot one and then Fabbri poked the puck away from Rittich, made a move and then ripped a quick shot into the net.
Alex Nedelkjovic had another great game, constantly bailing out a team giving up baffling turnovers. No bigger than late in the period, when Larkin accidently coughed one up that led to a breakaway. Nedelkjovic calmly kicked it away and killed the chance.
The Predators would get one three minutes into the third on a bizarre bounce. Moritz Seider zipped a pass to Sam Gagner on the side boards, but the puck bounced off of a Nashville leg, right back into the slot, and practically into the lap of Nick Cousins. He went backhand, and roofed a shot over a sprawling–and hung out to dry–Nedeljkovic giving Nashville a 3-1 lead.
Dante Fabbro passed a puck into the slot that was redirected by Eeli Tolvanen and past Nedeljkovic to give the Predators a 4-1 lead with just over 12 minutes left. But the Red Wings wouldn’t roll over.
Rasmussen would answer with a goal on a beautiful feed from Adam Erne, cutting the deficit to 4-2. There wouldn’t be much after that as Detroit would get a few chances with an empty net, but as was the theme of the night, couldn’t get any true sustained pressure. Nashville would add an empty net goal to ice it 5-2.
The Red Wings were significantly outshot and struggled to generate any offense. Danny DeKeyser returned but he looked out of place at times and even as if he was playing with an injury. Please don’t read into this as skill based criticism either–more like he appears in pain or gutting it out. Worse, Seider left in the third after a hit that saw his hang bang on the glass.
He was able to skate off and shook his head a couple times as he walked down the tunnel. Here’s hoping he’s ok as that would be a huge blow to Detroit if they lost him.