The Games That Weren’t is one of many projects simulating the games lost by the NHL lockout. In the absence of actual games to write about, I’ll be checking in periodically on the fictional Red Wings’ season.
The Detroit Red Wings opened the 2012-13 campaign on Friday night with a 5-4 loss to the Nashville Predators, the team that eliminated them from the playoffs last spring.
New Wings’ captain Henrik Zetterberg scored twice but Nashville’s Colin Wilson scored just five seconds into a late power play to secure the win for the Predators. Detroit newcomer Carlo Colaiacovo was in the penalty box for the game-winning goal.
It was a see-saw effort all night. Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring with 7:01 left in the first but Nashville replied in the second with goals by Roman Josi and Sergei Kostitsyn. Zetterberg notched his second with 4:43 left in the period to tie things back up.
Kostitsyn scored again just 2:10 into the third and Mike Fisher extended Nashville’s lead to two with 8:59 remaining.
Jonathan Ericsson pulled the Wings to within a goal just 13 seconds after Fisher scored and Valtteri Filppula tied things up 3:28 later.
Wilson’s goal ended any momentum the Wings had, coming 16 seconds after Filppula’s.
Jimmy Howard was replaced in the Detroit crease by Jonas Gustavsson after allowing the fifth goal. Howard finished the night with 18 saves on 23 shots against. Gustavsson faced no shots in 5:02 of play.
Pekka Rinne made 26 saves on 30 shots against in earning the win.
With the Red Wings’ defense in flux following the retirement of former captain Nicklas Lidstrom, the Red Wings went with seven defensemen in the lineup. Kyle Quincey led all blueliners with 26 minutes, while Brendan Smith had a team-low five minutes.