Predators Struggle with Power Plays, Red Wings Tie Series 1-1

Shea Weber and Todd Bertuzzi throw a few elbows.

After the controversy of Shea Weber’s hit on Henrik Zetterberg, it was clear that the Red Wings would come out in Game 2 with revenge on their minds. The Predators should have anticipated Detroit’s fury, but a lack of consistency and puck control weighed Nashville down, allowing Detroit to take control of last night’s game. However, although Nashville clearly and painfully struggled last night, the Predators didn’t let Detroit run away with the game, taking nine more shots than the Red Wings overall. However, Jimmy Howard proved he was in the right state of mind, blocking 24 of Nashville’s 26 shots. Nashville may have lost, but there were plenty of highlights to go around in Game 2 on Friday the 13th:

KEY POINTS:

  • Hal Gill, Ryan Ellis, Craig Smith, Jordin Tootoo, Brian McGrattan, and Colin Wilson were the scratched list for the night, including recently called up goalie, Chet Pickard.  Game 1, although sealed by the Predators, eluded that Gill was highly missed, but Game 2 prove that he is, indeed, missed by the defense.
  • Todd Bertuzzi would step up for the Red Wings fans and Henrik Zetterberg by dropping the gloves with Captain Shea Weber at 1:36 of the first period. Here’s the video:
  • The Red Wings drew blood first, with a wrist shot at 8:25 by Ian White, his first goal of the playoffs.
  • Detroit would put themselves up 2-0 at 15:33 with a goal from Cory Emmerton, his first of the playoffs as well.
  • Andrei Kostitsyn would finally put Nashville on the board at 9:01 into the 2nd, knocking a wrist shot passed Jimmy Howard. Alexander Radulov (1st assist) and David Legwand (1st assist) picked up the assists on AK46’s first goal of the playoffs.
  • 56 seconds later, before Nashville could finish celebrating, Johan Franzen slipped a tip-in by Pekka Rinne, putting the Red Wings up 3-1.
  • Shea Weber would seal the only goal of the third period at 15:16 with a backhander. Paul Gaustad (1st assist) and Nick Spaling (2nd assist) would pick up the assists on Weber’s first goal of the playoffs.
  • Penalties plagued this game just like the first one, with ten penalties called overall (even though some pretty obvious ones slipped away unnoticed…). Unfortunately for Nashville, seven of those penalties were power play opportunities. Wait- how is that bad? Well, does anyone remember when the Predators were first in power play goals? After last night’s performance, that thought is nothing but dust in the wind. The Predators struggled with their power play opportunities, losing the puck more often than shooting it (or even passing it). Key passes were missed, accuracy was off, and shots directly into Howard’s glove kept the Predators from taking any sort of lead. Here are the three Preds who faced the penalty box:
  1. Shea Weber – 1:36 1st Period – Fighting
  2. Alexander Radulov – 12:04 1st Period – Cross Checking
  3. Matt Halischuk – 6:23 2nd Period – Tripping

With Detroit’s win in the Music City, the series is now tied at one and now both teams head to Detroit for a two-game run on Sunday and Tuesday. The Predators must address their lack power play accuracy, especially if the penalty count is going to continue going into the double digits in every game played. Nashville will have to channel the March 30th game and come into the Joe ready to throw down. We have a feeling Detroit fans aren’t going to be very welcoming…

The puck drops extra early tomorrow at 11AM.

Until then,
GO PREDS.

(Photo credit: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

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