Red Wings Force OT but Fall to Predators

Ryan Suter scored just 16 seconds into overtime on Saturday, giving the Nashville Predators a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings after Pavel Datsyuk had scored late for Detroit to force the extra period.

Two Detroit defenders moved to pressure Joel Ward after he led the Predators into the Wings’ zone. Ward sent the puck to Suter in the right faceoff circle, where he snapped a shot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard for the win.

Datsyuk had one-timed a pass from Tomas Holmstrom past Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne with 37 seconds left in regulation to tie the game, 3-3.

Detroit’s Brian Rafalski opened the game’s scoring with a power play goal with 1:45 left in the first period.

From the seat of his pants, Datsyuk passed the puck down to Holmstrom, who sent it from the side of the goal to Johan Franzen in the crease. Franzen moved it to Rafalski in the left circle and continued to the front of the net, with Rafalski snapping a shot past Rinne through Franzen’s screen.

The Predators responded early in the second with two goals to take the lead.

Shea Weber blasted a shot past Howard 1:36 into the period, taking advantage of the Red Wings’ failure to freeze the puck with two injured players on the ice.

Martin Erat evaded heavy defensive coverage to snap a shot past Howard 4:25 later.

Nicklas Lidstrom tied the game back up with 3:59 left in the second but J.P. Dumont put the Predators back in front with 43 seconds left in the period.

The Red Wings’ first goal was the lone power play tally of the game. Detroit had three chances with the extra attacker while Nashville at two.

Rinne stopped 28 of 31 Detroit shots. Howard made 20 saves on 24 Nashville chances.

The Red Wings are now two points behind the Predators in the Western Conference standings but have two games in hand. One of those games will be Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia.


Detroit was without Danny Cleary for the third consecutive game. Derek Meech filled in at forward in his absence.

Red Wings – Predators Postgame Notes

I’ve ripped into him in every shootout he’s been in this year so now I have to give him his due: Jimmy Howard played out of his mind in the shootout tonight. Whoever picked the three stars of the game got it wrong. You play 65 minutes of shutout hockey and then stop a ridiculous 91% of shooters in the shootout, you’re the first star.

On the offensive side, it took some amazing attempts to beat both Howard and Pekka Rinne.

Bertuzzi’s attempt… Does anyone have more confidence in the shootout than him? One second he’s damn near stopped at the blue line, the next he’s made 37 quick moves and is lifting a shot over Rinne, who’s sprawling out thinking “WTF? That puck was just here.”

Sullivan was fated to score. He’s been a Wing killer for long enough that it should just be expected. That said, his deke on Howard was so nice that I won’t blame Howard for falling for it, no matter how much I feel like I should.

Eleven rounds in – the longest the Wings have ever gone into the shootout – and Niklas Kronwall breaks the tie. Another confident move. Nothing fancy, just race on in and shove it down Rinne’s throat.

Of course that it went to a shootout at all hurts the Wings a bit in the playoff race. Nashville’s one point keeps Detroit from catching them but the gap is closer now, with the Red Wings one point back of the Predators with a game in hand.

As I write this, the Colorado Avalanche are down 5-2 to the Phoenix Coyotes. Should they go on to lose, the Avalanche will drop to eighth place in the conference, two points back of Detroit with a game in hand.

The Los Angeles Kings are up 1-0 after the first period of play against the Dallas Stars. A win or OT loss would put the Kings in sixth and the Wings in seventh, while the teams will be flipped if Dallas wins in regulation. Los Angeles also has a game in hand on Detroit.

Perhaps most importantly, the Calgary Flames dropped their second in a row earlier today, a 5-0 decision to the Boston Bruins. Combined with Detroit’s win, the ninth-place Flames now sit eight points back of the Red Wings with seven games remaining. This means that with three wins the Red Wings can clinch a playoff spot.

Bertuzzi the Hero Again as Red Wings Down Predators in OT

Detroit forward Todd Bertuzzi scored an overtime game-winning goal for the second time in as many nights on Saturday, beating Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne to give the Red Wings a 3-2 win.

On Friday night Bertuzzi scored on Anaheim’s Jean-Sebastien Giguere as the Wings won by the same score. In both games it was his second goal of the night.

Just 24 seconds into the extra period, Pavel Datsyuk broke up Nashville’s entry into the Detroit zone and sent Bertuzzi on a break. Bertuzzi stayed ahead of two Predators defenders and faked out Rinne, sliding the puck into an open net.

Bertuzzi had opened the game’s scoring 1:21 into the second period with a backhand spin-o-rama move in the left faceoff circle.

Drew Miller put the Red Wings up by a pair, knocking the rebound of a Datsyuk chance out of mid-air with 8:23 left in the second.

Ryan Jones deflected a Steve Sullivan shot past Detroit goalie Chris Osgood on a Nashville power play with 5:16 left in the period, getting the Predators on the board and ending the Wings’ streak of successful penalty kills at 27.

David Legwand tied the game 4:45 into the third period, snapping a shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle past Osgood on a broken play.

Each team had four tries with the power play. Detroit was held scoreless while Nashville had one goal.

Osgood made 33 saves on 35 shots to earn his first win in over five weeks. Rinne made 26 saves on 29 chances.

Red Wings Hold Off Predators for Fifth Win in a Row

The Detroit Red Wings fended off a late comeback attempt by the Nashville Predators Tuesday night en route to their fifth consecutive win after losing five-straight games.

Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Marian Hossa each scored to give the Red Wings an early 3-0 lead but the Predators battled back to 3-2 and 4-3 before Datsyuk added an empty-net goal to wrap up the game.

The Wings threw 27 shots at Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne in the first period, setting a new franchise record for the opening frame of a game. With a 51-shot total on the game, it was the fourth time in franchise history that the Red Wings have taken at least 50 shots on the Predators. No other team has done it once.

Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring 5:02 into the game, lifting the rebound of a Brian Rafalski shot over Rinne.

Datsyuk stretched the Wings’ lead to 2-0 with 9:43 left in the first, scoring on a snap-shot from the top of the left faceoff circle on a Detroit power play.

At 4:18 of the second, Hossa scored from the left circle on another Red Wings’ man-advantage.

Radek Bonk deflected a long Jason Arnott shot 1:12 later for a Nashville power play goal and Joel Ward scored on a rebound with 8:37 left in the middle frame to pull the Predators to within a goal.

Zetterberg added a second goal just 3:10 into the third, putting a backhander over Rinne’s shoulder after being sprung by a long pass by Rafalski.

Ward pulled the Predators back in it with 9:24 left, pushing past Rafalski and cutting across the crease to beat netminder Ty Conklin.

Datsyuk’s empty-net goal came with 12 seconds left in the game.

Conklin stopped 18 of 21 shots against. Rinne made 46 saves on 50 shots.