It’s a lot of fun to write about the Detroit Red Wings when they win and it has been a while since they looked for their sixth straight win. But they wouldn’t get a win tonight as the Predators held Detroit at bay overnight in a 5-2 decision.
Nashville had a 2-0 lead after goals from Ryan Johansson and Roman Josi, following a fine individual effort. Larkin hit the crossbar on a shot, but the Red Wings looked very lethargic, although it’s fair to point out that regulars Marc Staal and Gustav Lindstrom were absent.
The Red Wings had some great highlights in the second period. Givani Smith landed some hay in a donnybrook midway through the period while Robby Fabbri netted his sixth goal of the season on a third chance that started with a bomb from Moritz Seider.
The defenseman’s shot ricocheted off the board and returned to Pius Suter who shot one, then Fabbri shoved the puck away from Rittich, made a swing and then unleashed a quick shot into the net.
Alex Nedelkjovic had another great game, consistently knocking a team down while giving up confusing turnovers. No bigger than at the end of the period, when Larkin accidentally spat one out, leading to a breakaway. Nedelkjovic calmly pushed him away and killed the chance.
The Predators would get a three minutes in the third on a bizarre rebound. Moritz Seider passed to Sam Gagner on the sideboards, but the puck bounced off a Nashville leg, straight into the lunge and practically into Nick Cousins’ knees. He backhanded and covered a shot on a sprawling – and dragged dry – Nedeljkovic giving Nashville a 3-1 lead.
Dante Fabbro passed a puck into the slot which was redirected by Eeli Tolvanen and passed Nedeljkovic to give the Predators a 4-1 lead with just over 12 minutes to go. But the Red Wings wouldn’t turn around.
Rasmussen would respond with a goal on a nice pass from Adam Erne, reducing the deficit to 4-2. There wouldn’t be much after that, as Detroit would get a few chances with an empty net, but since that was the theme of the night, there couldn’t be any real, sustained pressure. Nashville would add a goal into an empty net to score 5-2.
The Red Wings were largely overtaken and struggled to generate an attack. Danny DeKeyser returned but seemed out of place at times and even as if playing with an injury. Please don’t read this as a skill-based criticism either – rather as if he seems to be suffering or gutting him down. Worse, Seider left in the third after a hit that saw his hit on the glass.
He was able to skate and shook his head several times going down the tunnel. I hope he will be okay because it would be a big blow to Detroit if they lost him.