Goaltenders Manny Legace and Domink Hasek will share Detroit’s first shutout of the season, and Steve Duchesne got his first goal of the season, as the Red Wings won 1-0 against the Nashville Predators.
With Jiri Fischer back in the lineup, Scotty Bowman moved Mathieu Dandenault back from defense to right wing on the “3-D Line” with Pavel Datsyuk and Boyd Devereaux. While this line was not able to score in this game, they did an admirable job of controlling the puck and creating scoring chances against Nashville goalie Mike Dunham.
Tomas Holmstrom got the first penalty of the game, being sent off for holding with 13:09 left in the first period. Detroit’s penalty killing was effective against Nashville, never really letting them get off a quality shot. Just twenty-four seconds before the penalty was to end, Nashville’s Patrick Kjellberg was sent out for high-sticking, to give the Red Wings a four-on-four situation and then a shortened power play.
Detroit’s power play did a good job of controlling their passes and staying in the offensive zone, but were not able to beat Dunham for a goal.
Near the end of the period, the Predators’ Scott Hartnell was hit in the face by the stick of his own teammate, Rich Brennan. Hartnell was taken to the dressing room, where he was diagnosed as having a bruised left eye.
Steve Duchesne scored the game’s lone goal two and a half minutes into the second period. Fischer passed the puck behind the net to Sergei Fedorov, who tried to pass out front to Brendan Shanahan. Shanahan was too well-covered by Nashville’s defense to pick up the puck, but Duchesne was able to snag it and shoot along the ice from the right point, to slide under Dunham and into the net.
With just over five and a half minutes left in the period, Manny Legace had just made his fifteenth big save of the game when Nashville’s Kimmo Timonen was tripped up and fell on top of him. Legace hit his head hard on the ice, and was wheeled out immobilized on a stretcher to keep him from moving his neck. Legace was taken to a Nashville hospital for x-rays and tests, but further details were unavailable as of press time. Dominek Hasek came off the bench to take Legace’s place in goal.
In the third period, control of the puck went back and forth between the two teams. Neither was able to score, although Detroit had ten shots on Dunham, several of which were quality scoring chances. Detroit tightened up defensively and held the Predators to only two shots on Hasek in the third period.
Scotty Bowman showed great confidence in his young “3-D Line” by putting them on the ice to take a defensive zone faceoff with only two minutes left to play, and leading by only one goal. Devereaux, Datsyuk, and Dandenault did not betray their coach’s trust. They got the puck out to the Predator’s zone. Devereaux attempted to score against Dunham, but the shot was blocked. The Wings kept control of the puck for the remaining seconds of the game, keeping Dunham from edging out to the bench for the sixth skater.
Dunham stopped 32 of 33 shots, while Legace stopped all of the 15 he faced, and Hasek stopped all 4 shots the Predators managed to get on him. The Wings were 0 for 5 on the power play, and 4 for 4 on the penalty kill. Their next game will be in Carolina against the Hurricanes on Tuesday.