The Nashville Predators closed out their Central Division rivalry with the Detroit Red Wings by dropping a 5-2 decision tonight at Joe Louis Arena, as Pavel Datsyuk enjoyed a three point night (one goal, two assists). Along the way, Matt Halischuk left in the second period, favoring his right shoulder as he came off the ice early in the second period.
On the bright side, Mike Fisher scored in his return to the lineup, and Craig Smith potted a goal for the first time since February 27 at Anaheim. Joonas Rask got his first taste of NHL action, and...
Well, that was about it, unfortunately.
Once the Red Wings took a lead early in the second period, they carried most of the play, cruising to a victory which greatly increases their chances to return to the playoffs for the 22nd consecutive season. Columbus must win tonight at Dallas and beat the Predators on Saturday to have any chance of passing the Red Wings for 8th place in the West.
- Considering Chris Mason's uncertain future, I was hoping the guys would D up better in what might be his last NHL start. It's a shame that his return to Smashville didn't work out this season.
- You want a highlight? Hal Gill's mustache was pretty spectacular.
- Tonight's loss drops Nashville's all-time record against Detroit to 32 wins, 41 losses, 4 ties, and 8 overtime/shootout losses.
- In the race to the bottom of the NHL standings (and to the top of the draft board), Carolina fell in overtime, moving them a point ahead of the Predators, who are currently on track for the 4th pick. Tampa Bay lost at Boston in regulation.
Roll the video highlights...