The Nashville Predators took on the Detroit Red Wings tonight in a battle of futures. Kevin Gravel re-entered the Preds’ lineup as Ryan McDonagh sat out with an injury.
The Red Wings got an early power play when Matt Duchene took a tripping penalty, but the Preds were able to counterattack on the penalty kill, forcing Moritz Seider to take a hold. The Preds got some good chances both on the 4v4 and the 5v4, but the teams returned to full strength without a score.
Kiefer Sherwood then gave the Red Wings an unabbreviated power play by taking a slashing penalty, but once again the Preds were able to kill it off, then get back on the attack. They drew another penalty of their own as Dylan Larkin took a tripping penalty, but Detroit, too, seemed invigorated by a successful penalty kill. The horn sounded to end the period just in time, as the Red Wings closed in on Saros.
Nashville got out to a less-bad start to the second, earning two more power plays—a too-many-men and a holding call against Robert Hagg—and killing off a penalty taken by Roman Josi in between. With the teams finally back to 5v5, Sherwood collected a great pass from Phil Tomasino right in front of the net and put it past Ville Husso to get the Preds on the board at 10:58.
Detroit responded with another strong attack, trapping the Preds in their zone as they made Juuse Saros work for every save. This time the Preds were able to stem the tide a little before the buzzer sounded, though not to push back substantially.
The third period began with some actual hockey from the Predators, culminating in a Tommy Novak goal at 2:22. Once again, the Preds weren’t able to keep up any kind of offense, and the Red Wings set up shop in the Nashville zone again. Jake Wallman took a tripping penalty, earning Saros a brief reprieve, but even there Detroit managed a good shorthanded chance.
With around three minutes remaining, the Wings pulled Husso, and with 2:40 remaining Dante Fabbro took a penalty. Detroit took a timeout before commencing its 6v4 power play, and they were rewarded when Alex Chiasson fought through the penalty killers and banked a shot off of Cal Foote past Saros at 17:44. The goal was reviewed for a distinct kicking motion, but the conclusion seemed to be that Chiasson had been losing his balance, not playing soccer, as it was ruled a good goal.
The Red Wings continued to attack, with Husso still out. Nashville was able to withstand the onslaught, however, and Saros escaped with the steal.