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Nashville Predators 3, Detroit Red Wings 2: Saros Stops 34, Preds Streaking Again

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Juuse Saros looked good, the offense scored a few, and the defense held on late. Two points!

NHL: Nashville Predators at Detroit Red Wings Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Nashville Predators have a winning streak again!

Behind another solid effort from Juuse Saros, the Preds beat the Red Wings 3-2 in Detroit’s new pizza-dubbed arena. It wasn’t as complete an effort as Monday night, but it was a win nonetheless.

The first period got started off right as Scott Hartnell tipped home a Roman Josi shot to give the Preds a 1-0 lead just over four minutes into the game. Detroit attempted to challenge for goalie interference, but it wasn’t even close.

Then, a little over five minutes later, Kyle Turris collected a rebound in front of Jimmy Howard and pocketed it home to give the Preds a 2-0 lead. Josi was the one who wristed the initial shot on net, giving him his 2nd assist on the night.

The Preds owned the 1st period. Two goals on the scoreboard, 15 to 8 shot advantage, and a 26-14 shot attempt lead.

An early 2nd period power play went to waste, but the Preds kept some decent pressure on the Wings for most of the middle frame. That is until Andreas Athanasiou found himself on the breakaway and deked Juuse Saros for a goal to make it 2-1.

A few minutes later, a vision appeared:

And one minute later, it happened!

Alexei Emelin did a dumb thing, but luckily the Red Wings did not capitalize.

The 2nd period would end with no more scoring and Saros was a big reason why. He shut down several great shots by the Wings, then got some help as Athanasiou missed a wide open chance on the back door.

The Preds took their 2-1 lead into the 3rd, but had to rely on Saros to keep it that way for the first few minutes. Anthony Mantha had a couple of great chances, but Saros kept the Preds in the lead. Then Viktor Arvidsson broke through, picking up a loose puck behind Jonathan Ericsson and burying it by Howard to make it 3-1.

But the Red Wings would answer. A scrum in front of Saros that lasted for wayyy too long ends with the puck in the back of the net. Tomas Tatar would get credit for the goal, but the lack of a whistle played a part.

This led to a tense final 12 minutes. The Tatar-Athanasiou-Larkin line was skating all over the Nashville zone, forcing tough shots on Saros. Meanwhile at the other end, the Preds’ top two lines were forcing some turnovers by the Wings’ defense.

The teams battled back and forth valiantly until the Wings pulled Howard with about two minutes left. It got a little crazy. The Preds had some looks at an empty net, the Wings had some quality shots. At one point Arvidsson laid on the puck on the blue line. Then P.K. Subban was called for “interference” and about lost his damn mind on the ref.

The Preds were able to hold off the Wings for the final 30 seconds and preserve the 3-2 win, making it two in row. And on a back-to-back no less!

You can talk about how these two opponents—Ottawa and Detroit—aren’t very good, but I will take four out of four points in the NHL. It ain’t that easy, no matter who they are.

OTF Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Saros: Though the defense made him do more work than he should have, Saros played great. Very quick in net, gobbled up rebounds, and made some huge saves in the 3rd period with the lead down to one.
  2. Josi: two early assists. Him and Ellis were once again the best pairing for the Preds.
  3. Turris: Got on board with a nice goal, had 5 shots, plus was excellent in the faceoff dot. His line looked better tonight.

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