The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Nashville Predators 5-3 Saturday at Bridgestone Arena. While the loss seems inexcusable, the Predators are 1-10 in their last 11 meetings with the Red Wings.
Detroit’s Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha quickly solved Nashville’s goaltender Juuse Saros in the first period. Saros, who was not playing like himself, looked uncomfortable in net after Bertuzzi’s first goal.
The Predators responded in the second period with goals from Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg. After hovering around the slot, Arvidsson eventually received the puck from Duchene from the side of the net. A little later, Forsberg retrieved the puck from the corner, sliced through the defense, and struck on the short side to tie the game.
The Red Wings came out of the gate strong in the third period. Dylan Larkin scored their first of the three Detroit goals, but Mattias Ekholm netted his first goal almost immediately afterwards. However, Luke Glendening beat Saros over the glove late in the period, and Bertuzzi put the game away.
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Filip Forsberg laid the most hits out of any Predator on the ice and scored his second goal of the year. He will make Matt Duchene and Mikael Granlund’s lives very easy this season.
Kyle Turris was finally rewarded with his outstanding play with his first assist of the year, but it was on a defenseman’s goal. Calle Jarnkrok and Rocco Grimaldi are not great linemates for Turris, as he cannot keep passing the puck to the slot to no one. Given the level of play Turris brings to the bottom six, there needs to be more production.
Eight different Predators delivered three or more shots on goal. Although encouraging, the Predators need to figure out ways to beat goaltenders on their best nights. The Red Wings have given Nashville headaches since Peter Laviolette has been at the helm, but they are not a good team and it’s about time the Predators got over the Red Wing hump.
Viktor Arvidsson has benefitted on the man advantage because of Duchene’s presence already. Duchene’s first primary assist came from below the net and Arvidsson’s first power-play goal came from the low slot. Duchene dragged two defenders with him, allowing Arvidsson to slither into an open area of the ice. This top power-play unit will do damage in the weeks to come.
Dan Hamhuis and Yannick Weber were not good together at all, but this loss was purely on Juuse Saros. Saros’s performance is not worrisome, but the third defensive pairing might be.
Nashville will host the winless San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night in Bridgestone Arena, and then the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.
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