Wings lose game 1 in Nashville
It may not come across as a complete surprise, but the Wings fell in a close match against the Nashville Predators, giving the Preds a 1-0 series lead for the first round of the playoffs.
Detroit got off to a slow start in the first, being dominated on the faceoffs while also being outshot 13-5. Nashville got an early lead just before the halfway point of the first with a goal from Paul Gaustad, which some would say happened based on good luck. The Wings also couldn't stay out of the penalty box in the first period, but there is no telling how this actually affected the game seeing as how the Wings were perfect on the penalty kill, all 6 of them, for the night.
The Wings lost Darren Helm in the first, and he would not return with what was being reported as an upper body injury. Reports now are saying that a player's skate cut his wrist. His status is unknown for the moment.
Detroit showed the fighting spirit in the second. They outshot the Preds 16-6 and began taking control on the faceoffs. Henrik Zetterberg also made the impossible happen by scoring a powerplay goal to tie the game. The Preds would counter off a luck deflection before the end of 40 minutes, so they held a one-goal advantage going into the third.
In the final period, the Wings still managed to outshoot Nashville, but Gabriel Bourque would score the third and eventually game winning goal to give the home team an early series lead. Tomas Holmstrom scored for Detroit, cutting the lead down to one, but it was not enough.
Things to take away from this game are the Wings improved poise on both the penalty kill and the man advantages. They were in no rush to score, and instead worked to set up the right plays.
Their efforts were not much of a match for Rinne, who had a .946 sv% on the night. Jimmy Howard played well himself, but just fell victim to some silly puck movements. Even though the team is down by a game, the Wings still showed an effort that reminded fans of the Stanley Cup contenders they are used to seeing.
Game 2 is on Friday in Nashville. Stay tuned to TCL-Red Wings for up to date coverage.