Your Nashville Predators travelled to Detroit to take on the Red Wings last night for the first game of a two-game road trip. This was the first match-up between the teams this season, making it the first time they have played and not been division rivals.
Shea Weber opened the scoring for Nashville with 5 seconds left in the second period with his characteristic slap shot from the point on the power play. The goal is Weber’s 6th of the season and 5th on the power play. David Legwand assisted on the goal, pushing his team-leading total to 18 on the season and three in the last two games. Legwand has been the Preds best offensive player this season. He struggled on the recent road trip but seems to be moving back to form.
Gabriel Bourque added his third goal of the season off a shot from Viktor Stalberg that caromed off of the end boards. Legwand was also right around the net on this goal. Patric Hornqvist also had a good game for the Predators. He was strong in front of the net on the power play and created his own opportunities in open ice. For a guy who does not do a lot of skating with the puck, he displayed some good speed and nice open ice moves.
The Predators benefitted from an uncharacteristically undisciplined Red Wings team with six power play opportunities. While the Preds only scored on one of the six, the number of chances really slowed down the game for the Wings and stifled their offensive attack. The Wings were the better of the teams during 5 on 5 play, but could not put the puck in the net. The loss pushes the Red Wings’ winless streak to 7 games.
Marek Mazanec got his fourth consecutive start and earned his first NHL shutout. Mazanec made 27 saves, including 11 in the third period when Detroit started to get a little more pressure. Mazanec played a solid, confident game and was on top of his crease in traffic pushing for position. He made a couple of big saves and did a better job controlling his rebounds. He also eliminated the soft goals that plagued his previous outings. If we have to criticize anything about Mazanec’s game, it could be the number of shots off the posts tonight. As we all know, a quarter inch this way and it would have gone in. It looks like the Preds have decided Mazanec is going to be the guy while Pekka Rinne continues to recover from his infection.
Seth Jones played 22:23, most of which was spent on the 2nd pair with Kevin Klein. This allowed Trotz to keep him away from Pavel Datsyuk‘s line for the most part and placed Weber and Roman Josi against Detroit’s top line. Since Josi has returned to the lineup, Jones’ minutes have been reduced by anywhere from 5 to 10 a night. The reduction in minutes should really help Jones stay fresh over the course of the season and push some depth through the pairings.
- Stalberg has points in consecutive games for the first time this season.
- Three players (Weber, Josi and Mike Fisher) player more time on the power than Rich Clune did the entire game.
- Even with the six power plays, Stalberg only saw 10 second of power play ice time. Stalberg needs some more time on the man advantage if he is going to contribute as expected. Also, what does that say about Filip Forsberg‘s power play time once he gets back in the lineup.
The Preds are on the road for a couple of more days before playing in Toronto on Thursday. Be sure to check in with us for a preview of that game and other Preds’ news. Thanks for reading.