It was a somewhat uneventful start to the period. The only real notable moment from the first ten minutes was a point-blank stop from Juuse Saros on Darren Helm.
The Nashville Predators picked up a power play opportunity thanks to a rather unnecessary penalty on Adam Erne. Their returning captain would make them pay right off the bat. Mikael Granlund tipped in a Josi one-timer off a Tolvanen feed put Nashville up 1-0. And, although there were some quality chances moving forward, the teams would head to the locker room with one point separating them.
As best as I can describe it, the second period started with the two teams exchanging possession of the puck for several minutes without much excitement. Eventually, Viktor Arvidsson was called for tripping, putting the Predators on the penalty kill for the first time. The call was...uh, questionable.
Maybe if you're a mic'd up ref, you shouldn't express how you wanted to call a penalty against a team earlier in the game, changing how you ref the rest of the game.— Matt Best (@bestofmatt) March 24, 2021
"It wasn't much but I wanted to get a fuckin' penalty against Nashville early in the..."#Preds #LGRW pic.twitter.com/6fZImkdqLr
The team had a nice chance at a shorthanded goal, but a defender’s stick got in the way of the cross-ice feed. It did, however, manage to waste a lot of time and the penalty was killed off. And, my, how the turntables! Ryan Johansen drew a tripping penalty soon after and put his team on the power play once again. The power play, unfortunately, didn’t yield much. But it wasn’t long until the fourth line put a point up for the Predators as Mathieu Olivier slipped one past Thomas Greiss with an assist from Yakov Trenin to make it 2-0.
And then Mikael Granlund scored again—but it got challenged, then overturned for goaltender interference. There was much shouting.
In fairness to the refs, Calle Järnkrok did collide with Greiss’s head seconds before the goal, and Greiss did not have time to reset after the impact. This one might not be on long-time nemesis Tim Peel.
With about four and a half minutes left in the second. Mathieu Olivier was called for cross-checking and went to the penalty box for two minutes. Fortunately, his team killed the penalty and he was able to emerge. Despite a flurry of activity in front of the Red Wings’ net before the second period ended, the score remained 2-0 as the teams headed to the locker room.
The third period started with Detroit camped out in Nashville’s zone for about two minutes. This was followed by a very long, sustained period of whistle-free hockey. Things proceeded in a mostly uneventful fashion until Dylan Larkin clocked first Järnkrok, then Erik Haula in front of the Preds’ net. And, with Larkin called for roughing and Haula called for hooking, they both wound up in the box with 4:24 to go.
The Red Wings pulled the goalie in the ensuing 4-on-4. Nashville missed their first attempt at the empty net but was able to stop a scary situation in front of Saros soon after. The Red Wings called a time out and returned to the ice with their net empty. Dante Fabbro was called for delay of game as he sent the puck over the glass. This left Detroit with 6-on-4 for the remainder of the period. No one was able to find either net and the game ended with a Predators win, 2-0.
Three Stars of the Game
3. Roman Josi — played solidly in a very welcome return from injury. If you’re into Game Score, he led the team in that.
2. Mikael Granlund — continues to increase his value with good 200-foot play.
1. Juuse Saros — made some spectacular saves and got the shutout.
These two teams face off again this Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena. The puck drops at 7:00 PM CT.