The Nashville Predators entered Motor City on the heels of a comeback victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Now, Nashville looked to win consecutive games for the first time since January 27th. Pekka Rinne got the start in goal, and Ryan Johansen returned to play as the Predators defeated the Red Wings, 2-0.
Some of the momentum Nashville garnered in Columbus managed to carry over through the first period of play. The Predators were getting consistent looks at Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier, despite not putting any pucks in the net. Jon Merrill was sent to the box for an interference call on Luke Kunin, and while Nashville failed to convert, the power play was not as abhorrent as it usually is. Detroit found its footing later on and brought the period to a stalemate. After one period, the game was still scoreless.
Nashville does, however, have a shot quality of 8% at 5 on 5!— On The Forecheck (@OnTheForecheck) February 24, 2021
The second period continued the same type of play that the first period established; there was plenty of skating up and down the ice, and not a whole lot of high-quality shooting. Nashville eventually managed a solid offensive-zone possession, and they earned a power play opportunity moments later. As Adam Erne skated to the sin bin for tripping, Nashville looked to break the goalless tie that had plagued the game up to that point.
They did no such thing. In fact, Predators captain Roman Josi was given a two-minute minor for interference with a handful of seconds left in Nashville’s skater advantage to send Detroit on a power play of their own. In an on-brand move based on how this game has gone, the Wings opted to not score with their own advantage, either.
Later in the period, Detroit was given a four-on-two fast break. They did not convert. On the other end, Nashville got a two-on-one on a fast break. They converted...for a moment. Filip Forsberg put the puck in the net, but the goal was called back for goaltender interference. With this overturn, the scoreboard was back to being empty, and it would stay that way the rest of the period. After two, we still had no goals.
Dylan Larkin had a great chance at a wrap-around goal in the opening minutes of the third period, but Mark Borowiecki arrived at the last moment to prevent the opening goal. Rocco Grimaldi gave Nashville a pivotal power-play opportunity soon after, and the Predators (finally) lit the lamp. Forsberg sent the puck into the front of the net, and it bounced off a Detroit skater and into the net past Bernier.
Later, Nashville was given yet another power play opportunity. Once again, the unit of Johansen-Tolvanen-Forsberg-Granlund-Josi converted. Forsberg set up Eeli Tolvanen up, and the young Finn capitalized to put the Predators up two with ten to go. Detroit emptied their net late in the game, and had a solid two minutes of pressure, but Rinne stood tall and the Predators left the ice with two points.
- The amount of red in this arena is a bit much. The cardboard Caesars of “Little Caesars” fame make the colors a tad more palatable, though.
- Neither of these teams are very good. This game isn’t super fun to watch. Bear with us, folks. Better times are ahead.
OTFs Three Stars of the Game
- Filip Forsberg—He scored the game-winning goal, and he finds new ways to make this team worth watching every night.
- Eeli Tolvanen—He scored on the power play, and he makes the future of this franchise brighter.
- Pekka Rinne—He didn’t have a super busy night, but he held the fort down and kept the sheet clean.