The Detroit Red Wings (23-7-4) lost their first game since Dec. 15th in a 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators (17-14-3). Tonight's game marked Nashville's second sellout of the season.
To top that off, the Wings also lost captain Nicklas Lidstrom to an injury. Fortunately, we got news from head coach Mike Babcock after the game that the injury came to one of his feet when he blocked a shot during a penalty kill. As he told FS Detroit's John Keating, the injury prevented him from really being able to turn well so he left the ice after one shift in the second period. He got x-rays, which came back negative, so it really is a matter of when Lidstrom can comfortably return to play. Personally, I doubt we will see him tomorrow. We'll probably see him on the 30th, but I would definitely think by the Winter Classic game.
The first goal of the game didn't come until just about halfway through the first period when Nashville's Greg Zanon scored on a slapshot. Detroit would score almost five minutes later when Jiri Hudler made a heads up pass to Dan Cleary. Cleary deked left then took the puck to the right along the boards before bringing the puck to the forehand to take a shot.
Predators goaltender Dan Ellis made an impressive 38 saves in the contest to give Nashville the first win in this season series. His biggest save arguably came when the Predators turned the puck over near the Detroit blue line giving Pavel Datsyuk a clear shorthanded breakaway by center ice. He carried the puck in similar to what one would see in a shootout, but Ellis made a big save and helped swing the momentum in Nashville's favor.
Less than a minute later, the Predators would score. Nashville took a 3-1 lead by the second intermission with goals by Kevin Klein and Vern Fiddler.
Mikael Samuelsson scored Detroit's only other goal of the game on a slapshot from just outside the bottom of the left faceoff circle. He had received a saucer pass from defenseman Andreas Lilja up top. I know I gave Lilja a lot of grief last year, but I truly have been impressed with the improvement I've seen this year. He certainly seems to be playing with a lot more confidence.
Christy's Red Wing of the Game: Pavel Datsyuk
|2008 - Pavel Datsyuk||33||13||24||37||13||6||4||1||0||0||93||14.0|
Detroit will leave for Denver right after tonight's game and will face the Avs Saturday night.
In other news... The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-1. The Hawks now have 45 points in the standings to our 50 points. Plus, they have played two less games so the Central Division title could very well be on the line for the games on December 30th or January 1st.