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Nashville Predators 6, Detroit Red Wings 1: Revenge of the Preds

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Help, help Hockeytown

NHL: Nashville Predators at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Monday night’s game in Hockeytown saw the return of big lines for both teams: the beloved JoFA line and the Bertuzzi-Larkin-Mantha line that crushed the Predators at home Oct. 5.

Though the big story leading into the game was the reunion of JoFA, the story of the game appeared to be revenge. — From a fight, to under-appreciated players tallying more points in their stats column, or the penalty kill thumbing its nose at all of its doubters, Monday night’s game was one to remember for the Preds and one the Wings will most likely try to forget.

Heading into the game, though Detroit was 1-9-1, the Red Wings had the upper hand winning 10 of their last 11 games against Nashville.

1st period takeaways

Regardless of both teams reuniting their top (expected) production lines, the first line to strike was the Red Wings 2nd line.

Andreas Athanasiou netted his first goal of the season off a great feed from Filip Hronek. Not to take away from Hronek’s pass, which was admittedly great, but Ellis got caught standing still. Defense was what led to the Preds’ downfall back in October.

Detroit kept the momentum through the first period, earning a power play when Arvidsson went to the box for slashing Dylan Larkin.

However, Nashville’s suddenly rejuvenated penalty kill showed up and shut down the Wings.

Apparently the Preds like their penalty kill so much they feel the sudden need to keep showing it off, because Craig Smith tripped Biega two minutes after killing of the first penalty.

Luckily, the Preds’ PK is on a revenge tour for everyone who ever spoke poorly of it (raising my hand here) because they killed off their second penalty of the first period, escaping a near goal by Dylan Larkin.

Larkin was visibly frustrated on the bench watching the replay of the goal he missed — a great pass by the Wings co-leader in points, Anthony Mantha, with a wide open net for Larkin that, luckily for Pekka Rinne and the Preds, went off the post.

2nd period takeaways

After two close saves by Jimmy Howard off shots from Matt Duchene and Calle Jarnkrok, Nick Bonino — who has been on fire lately — scores the first goal of the game for the Preds, evening the score.

Bonino now has five goals in three games.

If the first period belonged to the Red Wings, the second period was all Smashville.

Kyle Turris netted a beauty five minutes into the second period unassisted about a minute or so before Sissons joined his line mate Nick Bonino on the board as well.

The Sissons goal padded the Preds lead 3-1.

The Predators defense led to the loss back in October and not even halfway into the second period it appeared the Wings defense could do the same Monday night.

Duchene scored a surprise goal, also unassisted, to put the Preds up 4-1 and send Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard to the bench.

The Red Wings got their 3rd power play opportunity of the game off of a Josi hooking call, but the penalty kill came in clutch once again.

Nashville got their first power play of the game thanks to a fight between Dylan Larkin and Ryan Ellis that earned Larkin an extra two minutes for roughing.

Honestly, Ellis deserved an extra penalty too in addition to his five for fighting, but the fight overshadowed Ellis’ high hit on Larkin. Larkin got up and immediately asked Ellis to dance. Ellis, who hadn’t fought since 2016, kindly obliged. Larkin got in some great haymakers on Ellis.

Duchene cashed in on the power play with the Preds’ fifth goal of the game and period, which set a franchise record.

3rd period takeaways

A little more than three minutes into the third period, Frans Nielsen went to the ice to block a shot and appeared to twist his knee awkwardly. After writhing in pain for a moment, he was unable to put any weight on it leaving the ice. Nielsen was visibly in pain on the Wings’ bench but tried to shake off the apparent injury.

Nashville earned their second power play of the game on a tripping call against Brendan Perlini on Roman Josi.

The Preds made the most of their time on special teams with Filip Forsberg scoring his first goal since coming back from the IR.

Larkin, who couldn’t seem to keep his temper under control, took a four minute penalty for high sticking Yannick Weber, who stayed down on the ice until a member of the training staff could check him out. He left the ice on his own to head to be checked out further.

Weber returned to the bench about a minute later.

Nashville Hot (chicken) thoughts

  • The first month of the season could be named ‘Predators: Revenge of the Underappreciated.’ After being on the receiving end of harsh words and criticism, Kyle Turris, Nick Bonino, and the previously-dreaded penalty kill turned up the heat (can we get a Nashville Hot Chicken sponsor here?).
  • This section was originally called ‘other takeaways’ but I found inspiration in food, as I often do. It makes sense... to me, at least.
  • The Red Wings cheered as Jimmy Howard was pulled for Jonathan Bernier. Things are real bad in Hockeytown, y’all — like, real bad.
  • Red Wings young superstar and future captain Dylan Larkin has only fought four times in his career thus far. Two of them are against the Preds, the first at Joe Louis Arena against Yannick Weber and the second against Ryan Ellis Monday night at Little Caesars Arena.
  • Emotions ran high to begin the third period as well — Tyler Bertuzzi and Viktor Arvidsson exchanged pleasantries and whispered sweet nothings into each others’ ears before they decided it was best to part as a what-could-have-been. But seriously, that fight would have been good for neither team.
  • Not only is Detroit’s penalty kill suffering without Luke Glendening, but so is the team overall. You don’t quite realize what a more quiet player like Glendening provides to the team until he’s sidelined with an injury.
  • Forsberg’s sixth goal put him, with Arvidsson, two behind current goals leader Nick Bonino — a promising statistic considering he missed multiple games with an injury.
  • One of Chris Mason’s keys to the game was to ‘take their will’, but at this point I don’t know if the Red Wings or anyone in red in LCA had any to begin with. The Wings are bad right now.
  • Fighting Ryan Ellis did not quell Larkin’s anger. Detroit’s top player lost his temper again, this time high-sticking Weber. The replay didn’t necessarily appear vicious, but it did appear intentional — right in front of the Preds’ bench, and they let Larkin know they saw it.

Tweets of the game

OTF stars of the game

  • Nick Bonino — He solidified himself atop the Preds’ leading scorers with 8 for the season.
  • Pekka Rinne — 22 saves on 23 shots. Pekka Rinne is a brick wall. He was 0-7-2 in his last 9 starts against the Red Wings. He found redemption Monday night.
  • Matt Duchene — 2 goals Monday to pad the win.

What’s next?

The Preds head west to Denver to take on the Colorado Avalanche — potentially their biggest Central Division foe this season. The game is scheduled for Thursday at 8 p.m. Central.

The Red Wings pack up and head to Manhattan to face the New York Rangers in a game set for Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern. That game will be the featured ‘Wednesday Night Rivalry’ game of the week.

Game highlights