You have yourself a team in the Nashville Predators who can flip a switch at any moment and erupt offensively. That’s what they did against Detroit.
It started off ugly and with a lack of energy for the Nashville Predators against an Eastern Conference team that’s struggling mightily. The Red Wings were 1-9-1 in their last 11 games coming into this one.
On paper the Predators should dominate this game and cruise to victory. That’s what ended up happening, but it started off similar to how the Predators played in their Saturday afternoon loss to the Rangers. There was no offensive flow and the Red Wings scored on their first shot of the game to make it 1-0.
The fun things about the Predators is you can never count them out. They are more than capable of scoring several goals in a period and changing the complexion of a game quickly. They’re deep and have offensive weapon up and down the lineup. Those pieces came together to get the easy win.
What changed after the 1st period?
So the Predators entered the first intermission down 1-0 and with little life. The team looked discombobulated and out-hustled. None of their shots were getting through to Jimmy Howard, and their passes weren’t connecting, either. But the Predators kept grinding away in the second period knowing that the talent would eventually take over.
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Nick Bonino got the scoring started for Nashville with a tip-in off a faceoff win by Dan Hamhuis. Hamhuis fired a crafty shot towards the net, and Bonino luckily got the tip-in by being in the right spot. When you’re struggling to find offense, sometimes you just have to throw pucks at the net and wait for that lucky bounce.
The game stayed tied for a little over three minutes before Kyle Turris finally found the score sheet again on a laser of a shot past Howard’s shoulder. It snaps a five-game point drought after scoring points in seven of the first nine games to open the season.
The Predators just pile it on after going up 2-1. The energy was suddenly there and they took over an inferior opponent who doesn’t have the pieces to match what the Predators have. Colton Sissons would make it 3-1 just a minute later, then Matt Duchene would make it 4-1 another minute after that.
Detroit would eventually make a goalie change from Howard to Jonathan Bernier, but it didn’t matter. The Predators were feasting on an easy win at this point. Duchene would score another goal to wrap up the second period, with the Predators totaling five goals in the period. Duchene would add one more in the third period to make it the 6-1 final score.
Other news and notes
How about Pekka Rinne remaining undefeated in regulation to start the season? He’s now 8-0-2, with really only one bad start out of his ten and that was the collapse against Calgary last week.
Rinne had 23 saves on 24 shots against in this one, bring his goals against average down to 2.07 and his save percentage up to .923. He looks as sharp as ever despite just turning age 37.
Filip Forsberg looks like he’s finally getting back up to 100 percent after missing a lengthy amount of time to injury. He found the back of the net again to bring his season goal total to six goals in just nine games. He added an assist in this one too.
The Nashville power play looked very solid going 2 for 4 and could’ve easily scored on the other two attempts. They blanked Detroit’s power play on their three attempts. Granted it was against a team that is one of the worst in both categories, it’s still nice to see the Predators take care of business in these two categories.
Finally, the Predators had to get this win. The schedule gets much tougher as they continue this road trip. The Avalanche are up next, a team the Predators will have to play their very best against. Then they travel to San Jose and Vancouver, two other formidable opponents.
The Predators needed to stop the bleeding here, and that’s what they did. They’re now 9-4-2 with 20 points and second place in the Central Division. Just one point behind St.Louis. This road trip is going to tell us a lot about how good this team really is.