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Red Wings stymied in Nashville 1-0

Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Looking to build momentum on back-to-back wins, the Detroit Red Wings rolled into Nashville looking to widen its gap from the teams chasing them in the wild card race. It just so happens that the Predators are playing some of their best hockey of the season.

It was a skirmish of defense between both teams. Goaltenders Juuse Saros and Alex Lyon each had solid performances but in a game of inches like this, it takes one small mistake to turn things rotten. That didn’t really happen for Detroit until late in the game, and at that point — it was too late.

1st Period

Holy Red Wings chants, Batman!!

Not a lot to hate from the Wings in the first 20 minutes. I thought they played defense well and didn’t let Nashville climb right down their throats. Special teams also looked good — though it did take some time for the PP to generate a big chance. Detroit’s PK succesully killed off the Predators’ lone PP.

Alex Lyon looked good! The defense definitely helped because it didn’t seem like he was getting overwhelmed by Nashville’s offense. You could say the same for Juuse Saros as well.

Not much to talk about from this period, and if you ask me — that’s a good thing.

0-0 after 20 minutes.

2nd Period

More of the same from the Red Wings in the second period. They continued to play responsible hockey (I’ll exclude Jeff Petry), and Alex Lyon had a handful of big saves. No scoring to talk about, despite a couple of PP chances for Detroit. I saw the PP do some good things, but I would give credit to Nashville for playing so stout on the PK. The problem for Detroit is that they’re only getting one good chance per power play.

The Wings seemed to do a good job at getting the puck on net, but Saros was right there with them every time. You saw quite a few rebounds from Saros, but he has good ability to not send the puck into a dangerous area. Frustrating to play against. He’s good.

Okay, so no scoring, but it was still a pretty fun period to watch. Mostly because Moritz Seider picked up his first career NHL fight against…. Wait for it… Filip Forsberg. The unlikely match-up was a doozy, with Seider landing a boatload of haymakers:

Not a fan of losing Seider for five minutes, but at least the trade-off was Nashville’s best scorer.

0-0 after 40 minutes.

3rd Period

The only highlight I care about in this period was Mickey Redmond calling Filip Forsberg “Peter.”

Overall another decent period for Detroit, but Nashville’s defense was essentially impervious. Late in the game, Detroit is clearly playing to get a point out of this game, which is fine — every point is precious this time of year. It all came unraveled around the five-minute mark. Detroit was caught in their own zone and things got real messy. The Wings escaped a a big chance created by Gustav Nyquist, amidst the miss is when Michael Rasmussen lost track of a blocked shot and took his eyes off the puck. Forsberg scooped the puck up and Jeff Petry wasn’t bothered to do anything to neutralize him. Bad choice against such a talented scorer:

(This highlight doesn’t show the missed scoring chance beforehand that started the whole mess)

Wings got some late chances with Lyon pulled, but nothing to show. They get shutout 1-0.

I thought Detroit played a good game, it just so happens they played it against one of the NHL’s hottest teams. Nashville’s defense and Juuse Saros had Detroit’s number.

It’s a gut-punch loss for the Wings, no doubt, but the way they played the game can be taken as a moral victory. Wouldn’t hang your head on this loss — Detroit gets a couple of days off before a game that will have even more ramifications to it. The Capitals are chasing them in the wild card race. It needs to be a three-point game, preferably Detroit comes out of it with two of them. That game is slated for Tuesday at 7PM.

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