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Larkin preys on Preds: Wings win 4-3 in OT

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The hunter has become the hunted. But the Wings are also self destructive, so it’s twice the victory as we defeated both ourselves and the Preds.

Nashville Predators v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The big story going into tonight was the return of Anthony Mantha who is like “yeah, punching is something I would do again” so countdown to his next broken hand starts now.

Onto the recap...

First Period

We kick things off with Witkowski fighting Watson at 1:35 into the period. They both seemed to have fun and left laughing, and we know hockey is all about the friends you met along the way.

Wings moving the puck well and spending lots of time in the Preds end, we take a quick break for stick taps to Vanek for his 1,000th game and we’re off again.

Larkin has the best chance of the game so far with a no-look backhand pass to Cholowski who couldn’t bury it and Wings keep the pressure on as the Preds have no shots so far. Larkin has played approximately 30 minutes in the first 10 minutes of this game and Goose is going hard too.

Welcome back Mantha, he sets up a fantastic scoring chance with a pass across the crease but no dice. 13 minutes in and shots are 10-0 Wings. However, Preds suddenly wake up and start making trouble. Watson pulls a garbage move by taking a run at Abby who DIDN’T HAVE A HELMET ON, but he was able to avoid injury.

And we know a thing or two about Preds players smashing vulnerable faces into the glass.

AA dekes a Preds player back to the bronze age and gets a goalpost, then hustles back to our end to grab the puck and try making another run. The whole offense is really going after it, great to see.

TYPICAL. P.K. Subban scores to make it 1-0 with the Preds third shot of the game. A great top corner snipe by a player it’s hard to hate, but we can still be mad online about it.

A minute to go and Ericsson takes a penalty interfering with Arvidsson who trips Hronek on the way down. For some reason it’s 4v4 instead of only Ericsson’s penalty, but it be like that sometimes.

Mickey Redmond Moment: He argues with KD that only Ericsson should have been penalized, suddenly realizes what he’s doing, and is like “-but you know what? I’ll take 4 on 4! I like it. Let’s go. Friday night [indistinct mention of The Joe]”

Second Period

Wings start off somewhat discombobulated in typical second period fashion, and since the game is boring for a minute we hear all about how short Grimaldi is and somewhere Hicketts starts yelling Milhouse style about how being short is HIS thing.

Three minutes in and Craig Smith scores to make it 2-0 Preds. Jimmy made a valiant effort with a snappy kick-save but the rebound was picked up by Smith and sniped into the top corner.

GREECE LIGHTNING STRIKES and it’s 2-1 Wings! AA comes speeding in and it looks like the puck is too far ahead of him to catch up but nope he flips it backhand into the top corner and makes ‘em look silly. Hronek picks up an assist.

Naturally, we almost cough up a goal immediately but James Tiberius Howard is not letting someone come into his house and disrespect him like that.

8 minutes in and we’re going on the penalty kill. Helm, LGD, and Ericsson get a shorthanded rush and it goes about as well as you’d expect. Helm gives it another try and waits for de la Rose to catch up but no go. Great chances back and forth, but goalies standing strong.

Goose goes for a snazzy backhand and we almost have a patented Larkin wraparound goal from the rebound. Bert is there also trying to shovel it in because he’s a team player. Wings looking much better than they did at the start of the period.

Vanek scores in front of his family in his 1,000th game, great for him and great for us as we’re tied at 2 with six minutes to go. Here’s the bad news, we give up a goal immediately and Preds re-take the lead 3-2. Blash challenges for goaltender interference AND IT WORKS!! Game remains tied 2-2.

Wings finally get a powerplay of our own as Hamhuis is called for delay of game. Goose whiffs on a shot and old friend Jarnkrok almost makes him pay for it. I’m not sure how to describe that powerplay so I’ll just use the word “disgusting”. I take back everything I said earlier about the Wings looking better.

Vanek kills the powerplay by heading to the box himself with 2:20 to go. Penalty killed and Larkin is away with Vanek, but Vanek stopped for some reason so Larkin’s pass sailed into the ether.

Mickey Redmond Moment: “Our fans booed [Crosby], they just can’t give it up...from 08...09...when they won the cup on the Joe Louis ice”

WHY DO YOU HAVE TO HURT ME LIKE THAT?????

Third Period

Both teams start aggressively, and Abby puts a hit on Watson who probably deserved it just for being himself.

Larkin is the king of setting up amazing goal scoring opportunities and the other guy just not being in the right place - or he’s there and whiffs on the shot. This time it was Vanek, again. Then it was Nyquist.

A decent Let’s Go Red Wings cheer rings out for no reason in particular, but is still nice to hear.

AGONY. Mantha is in the clear all alone and instead of shooting he drops it back to Vanek who whiffs on it. Mantha HAD HIM and was like “no, I want LGD OT in 11 minutes”.

You can feel Jimmy getting annoyed but the Wings are spending a lot of time in the Preds end now but Rinne is staying strong. But then.

BUT THEN.

TYLER BERTUZZI!!!! His first goal in 15 games gives the Wings a 3-2 lead with 8 minutes to go. Basically off the same play Mantha tried with Vanek, except it was Goose who dropped it back instead of shooting and it worked.

Ericsson is called for a downy soft penalty and Preds go on the powerplay with 6 minutes to go. Blash rages, as he does. Penalty killed and all good.

2 minutes left and Helm leads the way with a 3 on 1 and yep they can’t do ANYTHING. Again. This game could be 10-3 Wings if we could do things.

90 seconds to go. Rinne -> bench.

PREDS. SCORE. Tie game. KEEP THE LGD OT DREAM ALIVE FRIENDS!

60 seconds to LGD OT.

Speaking of, LGD is tripped and no call with 30 seconds to go. Preds come back the other way and Jimmy makes a huge save. JENSEN IS TRIPPED INTO THE BOARDS AND NO CALL BUT OK COOL THAT’S FINE.

Overtime here we come.

Mickey Redmond Moment: “[Mantha] told me he would shoot it next time, he knows I got him in light the lamp too”

OVERTIME

I believe this is my 4th recap in a row that has gone to OT. I’m basically the Dylan Larkin of recap streaks.

Should I just quit?

Anyhoo, Preds had a wide open net but hesitated so Jimmy could slide over. Nyquist gets slashed at and they do decide to call this one a penalty. Red Wings go on the powerplay 51 seconds in.

The Wings are better 3v3 than 4v3, can we decline the rest of the powerplay and get the remainder on a gift card? We had no shots on the powerplay.

LARKIN SCOOORRRRESSSSSS OVERTIME GAME WINNER OUR ELITE FUTURE CAPTAIN!!!!!