Penalties, Juuse Saros upend Detroit Red Wings, 2-1, at Nashville Predators

Detroit Free Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Juuse Saros denied the Detroit Red Wings almost till the end.

Saros made 28 saves Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena to lift the Nashville Predators to a 2-1 victory. The Wings didn’t help their cause with five penalties, including one on Jake Walman with 8:11 to play and the Wings trailing by two goals. The Predators have the 25th-ranked power play in the NHL, but as ineffective as it is, skating ruts to the box disrupted the Wings’ flow.

Their own power play didn’t convert until there was 2:16 left in the game, when they pulled Ville Husso to have a two-skater advantage. Alex Chiasson responded with his third power play goal in six games since joining the Wings March 3.

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Penalties, not much power in first period

There wasn’t much energy at the start of the game. An early Wings power play was negated after 31 seconds, when Moritz Seider took a first-period penalty for a third straight time. The Wings earned a second power play midway through the period, but weren’t able to generate scoring chances, or even momentum. They killed off a penalty to Dylan Larkin late in the period. Husso’s best save among the five shots on net the Predators generated in the first 20 minutes was gloving a Roman Josi slap shot. A late flurry by the Wings got them to 10 shots on Saros.

Past the midpoint

There was more special-teams play to start the second period, with the Wings playing shorthanded twice surrounding their third power play. They had killed off a too-many-men penalty when Kiefer Sherwood put a goal on the scoreboard. Colton Sissons and Philip Tomasino and won a puck battle against Pius Suter deep in Detroit’s zone and Tomasino made a pass to Sherwood, who got one by Husso on the Predators’ 11th shot.

Saros in the way

Shots favored the Wings, 21-13, after two periods. Suter had one of the better shots during an 11-shot second period, with a clear shot from the low slot. Larkin followed up on that chance with a wrist shot from the high slot. Seider was denied on the one shot the Wings got to the net during the power play. On the whole, the Wings could have made it harder on Saros, and the power play through three attempts was especially lacking in quality chances. Tommy Novak put the Wings in a bigger hole early in the third period when he deflected a shot.

Contact Helene St. James at Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from  Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

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