The Nashville Predators were shutout once again for the second straight night as they fall 4-0 to the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.
Unable to convert on the many chances they had, the Predators couldn’t put a shot past Jimmy Howard, who recorded his first shutout of the season by stopping all 33 shots that came his way.
Not only did Nashville lose the game, but also lost veteran defenseman Hal Gill to another injury. This isn’t good for the club as what they need now is defensive support on the penalty kill.
Full recap after the jump including period-by-period recap.
It took only 5:11 for Detroit’s Drew Miller to score the first goal of the game. The Red Wings’ fourth line was able to put pressure on the Predators with the amount of time and space given to them. Miller picked up the rebound left by Pekka Rinne and scored to give his team an early 1-0 lead.
The Predators responded very well after the goal, putting shots on Jimmy Howard. Roman Josi and Matt Halischuk had the best chances as they went on breakaways they were unable to capitalize on.
“It was fast and back-and-forth,” said Nashville’s Craig Smith on the first period. “We had a lot of chances.”
In the second period, Nashville continued their pressure on Detroit, but was unable to capitalize on any of the chances. The Red Wings did however, by scoring two more goals during the period.
Tomas Tatar picked up a loose puck and was able to lift it over a stretching Rinne. Team mate Jonathan Blum impaired Rinne to slide over to the post where the puck was.
The third Red Wings goal came in at 15:33 of the second. Niklas Kronwall’s knuckler over a screened Rinne's shoulder went into the net to give his team a 3-0 lead.
It did get rough in the period with Richard Clune’s hit on Ian White in the corner. At 4:51 in, Clune hit White shoulder to shoulder while the Wings’ defender turned his back to him. The referee immediately raised his hand and sent the Nashville enforcer to the penalty box for boarding. Clune refused to let up and slow down while White was turning his back and made the call an easy one for the referee.
The third period became frustrating for the Preds because the Red Wings went into their safe 2-1-2 defensive play. Head coach Mike Babcock didn't want to be a victim of the unsafest lead in hockey. That frustration doubled after the Wings sealed the deal for the fans on the power play.
11:48 in, Kronwall’s shot from the point was deflected by Dan Cleary in front of Rinne. Cleary was taking the place of Johan Franzen throughout the night with the “mule” being injured. That gave Detroit a safe 4-0 lead they would keep.
Line Up Report
#35 Pekka Rinne
#35 Jimmy Howard
Predators Scratches: #18 W Brandon Yip, #23 W Brian McGrattan (conditioning assignment) and #28 C Paul Gasutad (upper body)
Red Wings Scratches: #27 D Kyle Quincey (sprained left ankle)
Inability to convert: After 33 shots on net, plenty of shots that missed the net high or wide, mishandling the puck and not shooting, the Predators returned to Nashville without a shot past Jimmy Howard.
It is two nights in a row for the Predators without a goal and not being able to convert on the chances given to them.
The Predators' last goal came in overtime against the Red Wings at home Tuesday night. Since then, there has been 120:00 of scoreless play by the boys in gold.
Yes, credit to Howard for playing an amazing game between the pipes, but some of the chances by Ryan Ellis, especially, and his team mates could have gone in if they released the puck or put the shot on net. Constantly the team had opportunities to pick up a loose puck or put a point blank shot in the net, but most kept missing the net.
Expect Barry Trotz to shift up the lines radically Monday night against the Dallas Stars so they can find a spark of scoring in the lineup.
Preds shutdown Datsyuk, Zetterberg: Even without scoring a goal and giving up four Saturday at Joe Louis Arena, the Predators have to look at the positive(s). The only real positive leaving Detroit was the ability to limit Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg’s chances.
“Just take time and space away from [Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg],” said Craig Smith. “Give them time and they will take advantage of you, especially Datsyuk. He can make you look foolish out there.”
That Datsyuk did Tuesday night in Nashville getting around four defenders to force the game into overtime. The Predators looked at film and relearned how to shut him down.
Datsyuk finished the night with two assists, but ineffective around Rinne, while Zetterberg went without a point.
Gill injured: Nashville Predators’ defenseman Hal Gill is injured once again. The “undisclosed” injury reported by the coaching staff a week and half ago could have been a lower body injury, which is what he suffered Saturday night.
Gill’s last shift came in at 2:58 in the second, after Tomas Tater’s goal that gave the Red Wings a 2-0 lead. Gill totaled 4:07 of ice time and finished the night with a -1 in the +/- category.
Goals and Assists
1-0 DET: Drew Miller – Kronwall and Eaves at 5:11 in the 1st
2-0 DET: Tomas Tatar – Andersson at 2:58 in the 2nd
3-0 DET: Niklas Kronwall – Datsyuk and Abdelkader at 15:33 in the 2nd
4-0 DET: PP Dan Cleary – Kronwall and Datsyuk at 11:48 in the 3rd
My Three Stars of the Game
1. Jimmy Howard: 33 Saves, Shutout
2. Niklas Kronwall: 2 Goals
3. Pavel Datsyuk: 2 Assists