After a week of crappy play, Laviolette knew something had to change, so he swapped out the bottom pairing of Emelin-Weber for Irwin-Bitetto. It bit them more quickly than expected.
The Preds started the game with a decent pace, with a few good shifts from the top line. Unfortunately on one of those shifts, the third pairing of Irwin-Weber got a little too involved and gave up a break to Luke Witkowski for his first career goal. 1-0 Red Wings.
Only slightly deterred, the Preds got back to work, drawing a slashing penalty by Danny DeKeyser after some pressure by the third line. It looked more effective than a lot of their recent powerplays, but no dice. Preds are 0 for 19 since February 3rd.
The Preds had significantly more zone time, but a quick scramble in the defensive zone led to a tip goal by Gustav Nyquist. Just a bad time all around. The Red Wings lead 2-0 and finally lead 5-4 in shots. P.K. Subban and Todd Bertuzzi tied up in the corner and both sit for some four on four hockey.
Forsberg drove the net, walking around three Red Wings, and drew a slashing penalty. Can they break through? Or at least get shots on net? Nope, and now they’re 0 for 20. They headed to the locker room down 2-0.
The second period started with a little more jump, but more disjointed play by the Predators continues to lead to chances against. Craig Smith and the rest of the second line had a very good shift, but it was followed up by the doomsday grouping of the fourth line and third pairing getting buried in the defensive zone. The Preds just cannot get out of their own way.
Predators get another powerplay opportunity with five minutes to go in the second period after Johansen got checked into the end boards. That could have been a lot worse than it was, but he seems no worse for wear. Their powerplay, on the other hand, is as bad as ever. 0 for 21.
The Predators get their first penalty kill with eleven seconds to go in the second period. Sissons for tripping on Larkin, but they go to the dressing room with the same score as the first intermission.
The third period opened with the Preds killing off the rest of Colton Sissons minor, including a great shorthanded chance by Calle Jarnkrok, but still no dice. The next fifteen minutes look like the graph of tan(x) until the Wings take a bench minor for too many men with six minutes left.
Finally, on shot number 30, poweplay number 22, the Preds break through! On a..breakaway? I’m not asking too many questions, but the Preds cut the Wings lead to one.
With just over two minutes to go, Kyle Turris takes a tripping penalty in the neutral zone. Some great, creative penalty killing leads Nick Bonino to draw a tripping call of his own, four on four hockey with 1:30 left. The Preds choose to go with an empty net and the Wings score off the draw, 3-1.
- Ah, the “Red Wings Suck!” chant.
- The Preds system only works when everyone is on the same page about their responsibilities. When someone is doing too much, you get that goal against.
- I don’t even know what was gong on for the 2-0 goal.
- I have so much ennui about this game.
- Josi has more shots than Craig Smith over the past 20 games but they’re both equivalently snakebitten.
- Arvidsson has so much jump in his skating that he should be sponsored by Jordans.
- Mason and Daunic are putting a little bit too much emphasis on puck luck. They’ve been mediocre.
- Kronwall has played 52 games against Nashville. Huh.
- What a second effort chance by Smith, bouncing it off the back boards!
- The Preds have not won a game against Detroit under Laviolette. Not very meaningful but very annoying.
- What a save by Saros on Witkowski.
- The Red Wings are blocking all of the shots. All of them.
- Salomaki with the third post of the night. Whee!
- Post the fourth.
- Just watching every shot from the point get blocked is starting to make me ill.
- The Preds are getting nothing going through the neutral zone.
- Can the crowd get a win? I’m about to give them a Winnipeg-esque star.
- Goalie point!
- I would be okay never going with the extra attacker ever again, I think.
Tweets of the Night
Gustav Nyquist just getting used to scoring at Bridgestone Arena? Has anyone made this joke already— J.R. Lind (@jrlind) February 18, 2018
A low speed pursuit has ended on the James Robertson Pkwy exit at I-24 after officers pursued a likely impaired motorist. A 71-year-old female was taken into custody, who was in possession of a baggy full of perscription pills and holding a parakeet-type bird.— Mt. Juliet Police (@MtJulietPolice) February 18, 2018
The #Preds haven’t looked in sync for one second tonight. We’re 26 minutes into this game.— Mark Harris (@TweetsByHarris) February 18, 2018
this game is so meh I’m having full conversations with the folks around me.— Rachel K (@_RKH80) February 18, 2018
Update: my D&D group is currently getting beat up by dragons in a blizzard, and it sounds like this is still going better than the sporting event.— Kate (@statswithkate) February 18, 2018
When Karlsson makes that pass that PK just made we hear about it for like three months— Ryan is mad online (@AngryPredsFan) February 18, 2018
OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Night
- Juuse Saros. He tried, bless him.
- Craig Smith. One goal and a lot of great shifts. He’s still an integral part of the Preds’ offense.
- Kevin Fiala. He had a ton of chances and is showing why the Predators drafted him eleventh overall.