Saturday, February 23, 2013

Wings Humble the Predators 4-0

The Nashville Predators visited the Joe Louis Arena to face the Detroit Red Wings and were attempting to notch their second win over the Wings this season.

The Predators opened with Pekka Rinne in net while Jimmy Howard was between the pipes for Detroit.

The first period was a fast paced affair with the Red Wings getting the only goal off a rebound put back by Drew Miller under the pad of Rinne at 5:11.

The Predators had some good scoring chances, including a breakaway by Matt Halischuk, but much like their game the night before, could not finish their chances. This is a trend that has to change quickly for the Predators if they were going to win this game.

The Predators out shot the Wings 12-9 in the period.

Tomas Tatar made it 2-0 for the Wings at 2:58 of the second period as the puck was bouncing around just outside of the crease. Tatar roofed the puck from a sharp angle to stretch the Wings lead.

Once again, the Predators inability to finish scoring chances haunted them, as they were creating scoring opportunities but not solving Howard.

By contrast, the Wings made the most of their opportunities. Niklas Kronwall made it 3-0 as he buried a shot past a screened Rinne at 15:33.

The Predators once again out shot the Wings 12-9 in the period, but the difference was that the Wings finished their scoring chances while the Predators did not.

The Predators offense could not get anything going, but the Wings made the most of their chances and they capitalized on a power play as Niklas Kronwall took a shot that was deflected by Dan Cleary past Rinne to make it 4-0 at 11:48

The game ended with the 4-0 margin for the Wings. The Predators out shot the Wings 33-27 but Jimmy Howard was equal to the task of stopping the Predators offensive threat.

Some observations:

  • The Predators lost Hal Gill to a lower body injury in the second period. The extent of the injury is unknown.

  • Rich Clune and Craig Smith were the most dynamic forwards on the ice for the Predators. Both drove hard to the net and created some chances. Truthfully, I did not see how Clune fit in with this team early in the season, but I have changed my opinion and believe that he is a good add for this team.

  • It goes without saying that the Predators have to finish their chances. Tonight, they had some quality scoring chances and could not bury them. Part of that is the play of Howard, and part of this is the inability to put the puck in the net. This trend has to change quickly.
The effort was there, but the finish was not. This is two straight games that has happened to the Predators.

A negative trend that has to change.

My three stars:

1. Jimmy Howard

2. Niklas Kronwall

3. Tomas Tatar

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