On Saturday night, the Nashville Predators edged the Detroit Red Wings by a 3-2 score in front of a sold out Bridgestone Arena.
David Legwand assisted on all three Predators goals and now has 11 points in his last 12 games, including 2 goals and 9 assists.
Nashville opened the scoring when Legwand stole the puck from Detroit center Gustav Nyquist, creating a 2-on-1 with Patric Hornqvist. Legwand passed to Hornqvist who shot the puck passed Detroit netminder Joey MacDonald on the blocker side at the 7:30 mark of the first period. It was Hornqvist’s 21st goal of the season.
“It was just a poke-check. Hornqvist is going to get open and if you get him the puck he is probably going to bury it,” Legwand said.
Despite setting up all three Nashville goals, Legwand gives credit to the Kostitsyn brothers. “They have some chemistry from playing together in the past. They are fun to watch. Andrei and Sergei are both great players,” he said.
The brothers, however, have high praise for their power-play linemate.
“Legwand sees the ice really well. On the first goal, he just passed to me and I reacted, passing to Andrei and Andrei scored. On the second one it was the same thing. Like I said, Legwand sees the ice really well,” Sergei said.
Andrei agrees. “I started to play with Legwand when I got traded. I feel comfortable with Legwand because he feels the game and he’s good at passing the puck,” he said.
Both power play goals were scored by Andrei, who now has 15 tallies this season. It was his seventh multiple-point game of the campaign and third as a member of the Nashville Predators. The older Kostitsyn has six points, including 3 goals and 3 assists, in five games with the Predators.
Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz says Legwand has been a good fit for the Kostitsyns. “Legwand is a smart player who can play with high-skilled guys. That’s been really good for us,” he said.
Nashville’s first power play goal was scored at 11:59 into the first period. The goal gave the Predators a 2-1 lead. Detroit had tied the game earlier in the period just thirteen seconds after Hornqvist had given the Predators the initial 1-0 lead.
After a scoreless second period, the Predators added their second power play goal at 4:34 into the final frame for the 3-1 lead. Detroit made it a one-goal game when Justin Abdelkader picked up his 8th goal of the season with 5:25 remaining in regulation.
Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne held off a pressing Detroit team to give the Predators the 3-2 win.
Detroit had 18 shots on goal in the third period alone. Nashville only registered 20 shots on goal the entire game.
Nashville came away with the win, but that Detroit’s roster is currently depleted due to injury was not lost on Legwand. “They are missing four or five guys in their lineup but they still come and work hard. They are a solid hockey team,” he noted.
Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom, Todd Bertuzzi, Jimmy Howard, Jakub Kindl, and Jonathan Eriksson were all out of lineup for the Red Wings.
With the win, the Predators become the only team in the NHL to win at least 23 home games in seven consecutive seasons.
Nashville flies to Phoenix on Sunday afternoon for a week-long west coast swing that includes games against the Coyotes, San Jose, and back-to-back contests against Los Angeles and Anaheim.