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Post-Game Musings: at Detroit

Friday, 02.17.2012 / 9:36 PM CT / Features
By Doug Brumley  - Nashville Predators
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Post-Game Musings: at Detroit
Despite the heart-breaking ending for the Nashville Predators and their fans, Friday night's road game against the Detroit Red Wings was a thrilling, evenly matched barn-burner—until Pavel Datsyuk's individual effort beat Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne with 5.8 seconds left to give the home side a 2-1 regulation win.

The first-period was fast-paced with few whistles. Nashville held its own on enemy ice, creating breakaways for Gabriel Bourque and Ryan Suter in the first 12 minutes. But it was a diving play by Pavel Datsyuk that ultimately led to Johan Franzen's goal to put Detroit up 1-0 at 12:44.

Nashville responded with a rock-solid second period in which one felt it was just a matter of time before the Preds tied the game. Near the 13:00 mark of the period, Suter intercepted an outlet pass from Red Wings goaltender Joey MacDonald and put it right back on net, forcing MacDonald to answer with a huge save. A minute later, MacDonald stymied Martin Erat on a breakaway set up by Sergei Kostitsyn. But at 14:58, the building momentum crescendoed with a Nick Spaling goal that evened the game heading to the third.

The teams traded quality chances in the third. But as the clock wound down to the final minutes of regulation, Detroit seemed to gain momentum. Rinne came up with some huge saves, but another impressive individual effort by Datsyuk culminated in his wrist shot that beat Rinne high with 5.8 seconds remaining.

The Predators, now 33-19-6 on the season, next travel to Dallas for a game 6pm CT Sunday.


THREE MUSINGS
TIME OUT: In a testament to Nashville's play, Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock used his team's lone timeout at 6:12 of the second period. Nashville started the period with a good power play as Detroit's Niklas Lidstrom sat in the penalty box for tripping early in the second. Moments later, Martin Erat and Mike Fisher led a rush that ended with trailer Ryan Ellis firing a slapshot that was turned aside by goaltender Joey MacDonald. With Nashville outshooting the home side 3-0 early in the middle frame, Babcock didn't like what he was seeing. Despite his team's 1-0 lead, the coach called for the 30-second break to settle and redirect his troops.

LASSOED BY TOOTOO: Predators forward Jordin Tootoo has been known for delivering huge hits, but it was a more restrained bump and ensuing takeaway from defenseman Jakub Kindl deep in the Detroit zone that set up Nick Spaling for a second-period goal that tied Friday's game at 1-1. It was great to see Tootoo rewarded for his plays made behind the opposing net, as he's been setting up his linemates with prime chances in the slot over the past several games.

#SNAPTHESTREAK: The Detroit Red Wings entered Friday night's game on a well-publicized roll, having won an NHL single-season-record 21 consecutive games on home ice. While the streak looked like it could be in jeopardy Friday, Pavel Datsyuk's last second heroics extended the record one more game. At 22 games, the streak now ties the Boston Bruins who won a record 22 games over the course of two seasons in 1929-1931.


THREE QUOTES
Hal Gill (on his trade Friday from Montreal to Nashville; not dressed for the game): "I was waiting for it to happen but its always a surprise when it does happen. I'm excited and I think this is a good opportunity for me. Hopefully I can help the team out."

Associate Coach Peter Horachek: "We know that they're good in this building. It's a hard building to play in, but 1-1 going into the third period is one of the best situations you can be in. They're going to feel a little bit of the pressure. But I thought in the second period we were much better because we had much much better energy than we did in the first period and there were a lot of little things we did better."

Nick Spaling: "For the majority of the game we played a good game but, you know, it's frustrating to lose like that. When you're so close you've got to at least get some points."


THREE STARS
1. F, Pavel Datsyuk (DET) — 1 goal, 1 assist, +2, 5 shots, 5 takeaways, won 58% of face-offs
2. G, Joey MacDonald (DET) — stopped 20-of-21 shots for his seventh win
3. G, Pekka Rinne (NSH) — stopped 29-of-31 shots

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 55 35 16 4 153 127 74
2 DAL 52 33 14 5 169 137 71
3 STL 54 29 17 8 128 128 66
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 50 27 19 4 145 132 58
6 COL 54 27 23 4 146 148 58
7 ANA 50 25 18 7 111 115 57
8 NSH 52 24 20 8 130 137 56
9 MIN 51 23 19 9 126 122 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 51 20 19 12 119 138 52
12 CGY 50 22 25 3 130 147 47
13 WPG 51 22 26 3 132 148 47
14 EDM 52 21 26 5 130 151 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 52 10 27 -4 37
S. Weber 52 13 20 -6 33
J. Neal 52 18 13 16 31
M. Ribeiro 52 6 25 1 31
F. Forsberg 52 14 16 -9 30
M. Ekholm 52 6 16 1 22
R. Ellis 51 6 15 0 21
C. Smith 52 11 6 -1 17
C. Wilson 36 4 12 0 16
C. Jarnkrok 51 8 7 -3 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 19 17 7 .903 2.51
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36