Well that was a lot better, huh?
Detroit came out with high energy from the first drop of the puck and pressured Nashville all night long. That pressure resulted in the first goal of the game as Pavel Datsyuk created one of his trademark offensive zone takeaways as he picked Kevin Klein's pocket as Klein circled behind the net. Datsyuk stickhandled a bit and got Dan Ellis to commit before Datsuyk backhanded it up over for a 1-0 lead at 7:44.
Datsyuk started the second goal of the game while the Wings were on the power play. Datsyuk drew several Nashville defenders before making a cross-ice pass to Nick Lidstrom. Lidstrom's shot bounced right to the tape of Tomas Holmstrom who had it easy in scoring his 17th of the year.
Darren Helm added to the reasons why Red Wings fans love him by adding a pair of goals in the second period. The first was off a shot from the slot that beat Ellis top corner, 3-0 Detroit. The second goal was the more beautiful of the two as an outlet pass from Niklas Kronwall during a Nashville power play was collected by a Predator to Ellis' right. Helm took the puck off the defender and put a quick shot on Ellis. As the rebound kicked out to the left, Helm stuck with it and slammed home his 10th goal of the season.
J.P. Dumont added a goal for Nashville in the second period after a Detroit turnover lead to a great passing play from the Predators and Dumont put a shot into a wide open net. Joel Ward scored his 13th of the year early in the third period but it wasn't enough. A late empty net goal by Henrik Zetterberg (18th) solidified the win for Detroit.
The Red Wings played much better in front of Jimmy Howard tonight, allowing only 22 shots on net. They did much better in the face-off circle too, winning 32 of 45. Lidstrom's assist on Holmstrom's goal was his 800th career assist.
Shocking stat of the night:
Datsyuk had an exceptional game in the dot, winning 12 of 15 faceoffs (80%) and Filppula won 6 of 8 (75%).
Player of the game:
Hands down Darren Helm. Hustled all night long (as usual) earned himself two goals, including his 3rd shorty of the year. Helm was a solid 5 of 7 in the face-off circle and also played 4 of his 12 minutes on the night as a penalty killer.
#43 / Center / Detroit Red Wings
Jan 21, 1987