Nashville at Detroit Game Notes

The morning after and I’ve finally had some time to pull together some thoughts about Detroit’s matchup with Nashville.

I still say the game was pretty boring. Nashville managed to do what they always do to Detroit, limit the Red Wings’ chances to low-percentage shots from the outside. The Wings threw a ton of shots on net but Chris Mason didn’t have to come up big all that often. That said, Mason did make some key saves.

And the other end of the ice, so did Chris Osgood. He was barely challenged until the third period but came up big and had some luck. Nashville’s first goal was through a screen and Osgood had no chance. The tying goal could have been stopped but it would have required cheating towards Dumont, which would have left a clear shot for Radulov. Not much he could do but technically there was something.

Osgood also got some help from the refs with a quick whistle stopping play just before the puck slid into the net after it got caught up under him. Considering how those breaks had gone against the Wings for awhile, I’m happy to see it work out in their favor.

Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg scored two very nice goals in the shootout, making Mason look absolutely ordinary. Osgood was solid in the tiebreaker, stopping both Nashville shots.

The win was Detroit’s eighth in a row, Osgood’s eighth in a row, and included a Zetterberg assist to give him points in fifteen games in a row.

Out in Front: Red Wings move into first place with win over Predators

The Detroit Red Wings leapfrogged into first place in the National Hockey League Wednesday night with a 4-2 win over the Central Division rival Nashville Predators. The Red Wings now lead Nashville by one point in the standings while retaining a game in hand.

Detroit needed a comeback to earn the win and rookie Jiri Hudler delivered, scoring twice to even the game and then put his team out in front.

With the Red Wings down 2-1 and 3:37 remaining in the second period, Robert Lang threw the puck out in front from behind the net and Kyle Calder got a whack at it. The rebound came out to Hudler, who whipped it past Nashville goalie Chris Mason to even the game.

At 5:41 of the third, Hudler would score the eventual game-winner, sneaking in behind the defense and taking a pass from Lang before roofing a shot over Mason.

Kirk Maltby added an empty-net goal to seal the win.

Alexander Radulov opened the scoring for the Predators with 1:54 remaining in the first period. Radulov stole the puck in the neutral zone and got around defender Andreas Lilja, who couldn’t get back to stop him from putting a shot past netminder Dominik Hasek‘s glove.

Nicklas Lidstrom tied the game just 1:16 into the second, blasting a shot from the top of the left circle past Mason.

Jason Arnott put Nashville back out front 8:56 later, knocking a fluttering puck past Hasek with the shaft of his stick.

Hasek finished the night with 27 saves on 29 shots against. Mason stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced.

Neither team scored on the power play. The Predators had five chances with the extra attacker while the Red Wings had one.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Saturday night in Vancouver in the first game of a brief two-game Western Canada road trip that will wrap up on Tuesday in Calgary.

The Red Wings lost rookie Valtteri Filppula to an unspecified lower body injury at the end of the second period.

Four Second-Period Goals Lead Red Wings over Predators

The Detroit Red Wings scored four times in the second period Wednesday night, completing a come-from-behind victory over the Central Division-leading Nashville Predators.

With the Red Wings trailing 2-1 entering the middle frame, Henrik Zetterberg spun through the right circle and put a backhander through Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun and into the net just 1:32 in.

The goal was Zetterberg’s second of the night and the second questionable goal Vokoun gave up, leading to his early exit as Chris Mason replaced him in the Nashville crease.

Dan Hamhuis put the Predators back out in front just 53 seconds later with a long wrist shot that evaded defenders and attacking forwards alike before slipping past Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek.

With 7:38 remaining in the period and the Red Wings on a power play that saw them in full control of the puck, Pavel Datsyuk threaded a pass to Nicklas Lidstrom in the slot to redirect the puck past Mason and even things up again.

Jiri Hudler gave Detroit the lead 1:54 later, rifling a high wrist shot into the net for his second goal in as many games.

With 1:00 remaining in the period, Tomas Holmstrom added what would become an insurance goal with a wrist shot from the slot.

Neither team scored in the third period as the Red Wings preserved their lead to earn the win.

The Predators had gotten on the board early with Greg Zanon‘s first career goal at 6:35 of the opening period.

Zetterberg’s first of the night tied things back up 50 seconds later but Jordin Tootoo gave Nashville the lead after 20 minutes on a tip-in goal with 5:08 remaining in the first.

Hasek made 14 saves on 17 shots on the night, while Vokoun stopped six of eight shots against and Mason went 16-for-19.

Each team had two power plays, with Detroit picking up the lone goal with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Friday when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets, who host Nashville on Thursday night.

Hudler’s goal was his second game-winning goal in as many games.

Wings Close Regular Season with Loss to Preds

The Detroit Red Wings, having already clinched the NHL’s best regular season record, ended their schedule on a low note Tuesday, dropping a 6-3 decision to the Nashville Predators.

Four goals in the second period helped propel the Predators to the victory.

Detroit had opened the scoring when Kris Draper scored off a Mark Mowers rebound with 6:19 remaining in the first period but Nashville scored the next six goals.

Early in the second period, after an apparent power play goal by Paul Kariya was called back, the Predators went on the first of a series of five-on-three power plays that led to two goals.

Kariya scored at 4:29 to put the Predators on the board, rifling a one-timer off of Detroit goalie Chris Osgood‘s glove and into the net.

Just 21 seconds later, Martin Erat deflected a shot by Shea Weber to give Nashville the lead.

At 9:45, Kariya scored his second of the night on a two-on-one rush, getting a pass from David Legwand. With 3:57 remaining in the period, their roles were reversed as Legwand scored the Predators’ fourth goal.

Kariya completed his hat trick on another odd-man rush at 1:40 of the third period and Mike Sillinger added another goal 1:31 later.

With 5:07 remaining in the final period, Mikael Samuelsson deflected a shot by Mathieu Schneider for a Detroit power play goal.

Detroit finished the game’s scoring with 2:10 remaining when a Jason Williams shot deflected off a Nashville defenseman and past goalie Chris Mason for another power play goal.

Both teams finished the night two-for-seven on the power play.

Osgood stopped 24 of the 30 shots he faced in net for Detroit while Mason made 30 saves on 33 shots for Nashville.

The Red Wings will return to the ice on Friday night when they host the Edmonton Oilers in the first game of the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Legace Notches Second-straight Shutout as Red Wings Defeat Predators

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Manny Legace stopped all 20 shots he faced Wednesday night, leading his team to a 6-0 win over the visiting Nashville Predators. It marked the second game in a row that Legace did not allow a goal.

Detroit’s offense was productive from the start, with defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom scoring just 1:23 into the game. His slap shot from the point deflected off of Yanic Perrault and over Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun‘s arm to give the Red Wings the early lead.

At 7:14 of the second period, Brendan Shanahan scored his 25th of the season as the teams skated four aside. On a two-on-one rush with Pavel Datsyuk after a Nashville turnover, Shanahan wristed a shot from the right circle over Vokoun’s glove and into the far corner of the net.

Just 1:22 later, Mathieu Schneider extended the Wings’ lead. Henrik Zetterberg carried the puck into the Nashville zone backwards, barely staying onsides, before feeding Schneider for a blast from the left circle that went past Vokoun.

Zetterberg scored a goal of his own on Detroit’s lone power play opportunity with 5:09 remaining in the middle frame. After a faceoff win by Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom fired a one-timer from the left circle on net. Vokoun made the stop but at the far side of the goal crease, Zetterberg gloved down the rebound and lifted it into an open net.

Chris Mason replaced Vokoun in the Predators’ net to start the third period but Nashville couldn’t stage a comeback.

With 5:21 remaining in the game, Mikael Samuelsson added a backhand goal that deflected off the stick of defenseman Kimmo Timonen.

Datsyuk finished the game’s scoring with 1:08 remaining, scoring on a wrister from the right circle while on a two-on-one with Steve Yzerman.

Vokoun’s night ended after he made 24 saves on 28 shots. Mason stopped six of the eight shots he faced.

The Detroit power play converted on their only opportunity while Nashville was held scoreless on two chances with the man-advantage.

The two teams will meet again on Thursday night from Nashville, closing out their home-and-home series.

Wings Keep Preds Under Control

Hockey statisticians will often note that the Red Wings have more third period goals than any other team in the NHL. This game, however, it was the second period which was the most fruitful for Detroit. The Wings scored three goals within 5:16 early in the second to lead to a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators.

The game started out choppy, full of starts and stops, icings, and offside calls. With such a lack of flow to the game, it was hard for either team to get any offensive plays set up. Manny Legace was called upon to make some good saves against Scott Hartnell and Scott Walker, while at the other end of the ice, Tomas Vokoun held off Ray Whitney and Steve Yzerman.

Brett Hull opened the scoring 1:01 into the second. Kimmo Timonen attempted to clear the puck away from the front of his own net, but the puck landed right on Hull’s stick. It was a simple matter for Hull to flip the puck into the net.

Brendan Shanahan increased the lead a minute and a half later. Henrik Zetterberg looked as if he were going to carry the puck all the way around the net, thus luring Vokoun to his right side. At the last second, Zetterberg centered the puck for Shanahan, and Shanahan put it into the wide open net.
Kirk Maltby‘s hard wrist shot off a nifty drop pass from Kris Draper beat Vokoun low, and Vokoun’s night was over. Chris Mason came in to take his place.

Nashville got on the scoreboard late in the second with a shorthanded tally. Walker picked up a clearing pass and carried it into Detroit’s zone, trying to push his way between Whitney and Jason Woolley. All three skaters fell to the ice. Wyatt Smith was trailing the play, and he was able to get to the loose puck and put it high over Legace.

The Predators turned up the pressure after they got their first goal, but the Red Wings were able to hold on and shut them down for the rest of the game.

Pavel Datsyuk finished off the scoring with an empty net goal with 13.5 seconds left in the third.

Detroit outshot Nashville by a count of 26 to 24. Both teams were 0 for 3 on the power play.

The Red Wings’ next game will be their much-anticipated first meeting of the season against the Colorado Avalanche, Thursday night in Denver.

Shanahan’s goal was the 95th game-winning goal of his career”¦. The last time Nashville had pulled their goalie in a home game was March 20, 2003.

Putting the Preds in Their Place: Wings Stomp Nashville 6-0

It was only a matter of time.

The Red Wings had suffered three rather embarrassing losses at the hands of the Nashville Predators so far this season, and it was time for that to change. Jason Woolley and Kris Draper both had a pair of goals to add to Detroit’s 6-0 rout of Nashville.

The Red Wings knew it would be important to get off to an early lead so as to prevent the Predators from closing down into their defensive trap. Draper obliged with 7:34 gone in the first period, grabbing the rebound of a shot by Steve Yzerman, dragging the puck to the right of goalie Tomas Vokoun, and slamming it into the net.

Woolley increased the lead to 2-0 near the end of the period. Vokoun had been out of the net to tussle with Ray Whitney in the corner, and Whitney flipped the puck out to Woolley before Vokoun could get back and set. Woolley faked a shot, then wristed the puck high into the top corner of the net.

The Predators tried to come on strong for the second period, but tonight they were no match for Curtis Joseph, who acrobatically stopped Rem Murray on a point-blank shot early in the frame. Nashville outshot Detroit 11 to 6 in the second, but Detroit came away with the only goal of the period. When Kimmo Timonen was sent to the penalty box for charging, Nicklas Lidstrom responded by blasting a shot from the right point for the power play goal.

Woolley’s second goal of the night, early in the third period, looked much like his first, only this time Vokoun was screened by Draper and Jason York instead of scurrying back to his goal crease. Chris Mason came off the bench to relieve Vokoun at that point.

Mathieu Dandenault made an excellent play to set up Draper’s second goal of the night. He carried the puck into the zone up the left wing side, danced around a Nashville defender, and made a sharp pass across the goal crease. Draper had the blade of his stick down on the ice, waiting to tap the puck past Mason.
Whitney finished off the game with 3:32 remaining, getting the rebound from a shot by Woolley.

Joseph made 26 saves for his second shutout of the season. Vokoun made 13 saves on 17 shots before being pulled, and Mason stopped 8 of the 10 shots he faced.

The Red Wings next game will be the first of a home and home against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday night at the Joe.

This was Draper’s 700th NHL game…. It was also Woolley’s first two-goal game since April 2, 2001…. Pavel Datsyuk was named the NHL’s offensive player of the month for December.

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