Tonight's game had all the drama of a roller coaster for the Nashville Predators; lots of ups and downs, and unfortunately the excitement ended all too early, as Todd Bertuzzi scored his second goal of the night, the game winner, just 24 seconds into the overtime period in a 3-2 loss.
It wasn't all bad news, however, as the biggest crowd of the season (16,673) saw the home team fight back from a 2-0 deficit to force the OT. Follow after the jump for video highlights, the recap, and advanced even-strength statistics...
This was an odd game for a number of reasons. Sometimes, the officials called things by the book, while at other times they let a lot of back & forth stuff go. We had Dan Hamhuis swiping a puck off the goal line that got behind Pekka Rinne, and Jordin Tootoo limping off the ice after taking a Shea Weber shot off the foot.
You have to love the NHL's non-disclosure rules about injuries, by the way. In the post-game press conference, all Barry Trotz would say about Tootoo was "somewhere on the body, hopefully not broken." Way to narrow it down, coach!
Anyways, the story of the game was that the Red Wings, even though they played an overtime game the night before, came out blazing, outshooting the Preds 14-5 in the first period, but miraculously not scoring. Early in the second they took the lead on spinning backhander by Todd Bertuzzi, then followed it up later when Drew Miller batted in a puck that bounced off the crossbar, and made it 2-0.
From that point on, however, the Preds battled back. A power play goal by Ryan Jones (his first of the season, in what was by far his best game) got Nashville on the board a couple minutes later, and they ended up outshooting Detroit 19-8 in the second period. Early in the 3rd David Legwand tied it up by gathering in a loose puck as J.P. Dumont carried it through the slot and created havoc for the Red Wings defense.
That was good enough to get Nashville to overtime, but a bad turnover by Leggy just inside the Detroit blueline gave Bertuzzi a rush the other way, and Kevin Klein never could catch up well enough to stop his shot. Before folks even had time to settle in for the OT, it was all over, just 24 seconds in.
All in all, though, the Preds should consider themselves fortunate to get the single point in the standings for the OT loss. Over the course of the season, a team needs to eke out a few points on nights when they don't play their best, and tonight they just dug themselves too deep a hole in what was often an emotional game between bitter rivals.
Shea Weber, in particular, seemed especially charged up for Detroit, perhaps a bit too much so. He took 3 penalties on the night, which may not sound unusual for such a physical defenseman. Those were his first penalties, however, since October 22nd at Ottawa, a span of 20 games without sitting in the box. That's a remarkable achievement for a guy who consistently plays anywhere from 22 to 25 minutes a night against elite opponents. A hallmark of the Predators' success in recent weeks has been their ability to avoid needless penalties, and tip the special teams balance in their favor.
Despite taking the loss, Rinne was excellent in stopping 26 Detroit shots. The first Bertuzzi goal looked bad but the shot clearly caught both he and defenseman Ryan Suter off-guard, and he stopped several other dangerous chances for Detroit to make up for it.
Looking at the stats from tonight, Patric Hornqvist and Ryan Jones jumped out as having excellent nights. Not only did they create a number of good scoring chances, but their pure hustle created 3 of Nashville's 4 power plays as Jones drew two calls, and Hornqvist one. Dumont also had a good night helping to set teammates up for shots as he drew the attention of the Red Wing defense constantly.
The Preds' next game is in Columbus on Monday, before returning home to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.
|Even Strength||Individual Totals||Team Totals While Player Is On Ice|
|Player||Pos||EV TOI||Shots||Shts Blkd||Missed Shts||Blocks||SOG For||SOG Ag||SOG +/-||Tot SF||Tot SA||Corsi|
|J P Dumont||R||11:06||1||2||0||0||11||5||6||14||9||5|