The Detroit Red Wings scared the Nashville Predators away with a 3-0 victory at Bridgestone Arena. Not only was this a big win for the team, but it was Jimmy Howard‘s second straight game against the Preds that he shut them out. In February, he shut them out at Joe Louis Arena with a score of 4-0. He registered 22 saves in the game, with too many of them a little too close for comfort. He, along with opposing goaltender Pekka Rinne, had many unbelievable saves throughout the game, but the Wings came out on top.
Henrik Zetterberg got the scoring started after a shot from Danny Dekeyser went wide of Rinne and rebounded right to Hank’s stick where he proceeded to bury the puck into the twine. Johan Franzen scored the second goal with about 3 minutes left in the game. With Rinne out of the net, the Preds made the mistake of letting Datsyuk acquire the puck. He sent a long pass to a wide open Justin Abdelkader who sealed the deal with the empty net goal point blank. As stated above, this was a much needed win.
The Red Wings needed this win because they dropped their last two games the exact same way. Against San Jose, they blew a 2-1 lead late in the third, only to lose it all in a shootout. The next day against the Chicago Blackhawks, they again held a 2-1 lead, when Jonathan Toewsdecided to be the hero of the game, scoring near the end of the game, then beating the Wings in the shootout. With these losses, Detroit fell out of the playoff picture and the Stars jumped in. At this moment, Detroit has 47 points and is in 8th place. They are tied in points with Minnesota, who sits in 7th. The problem they face is both the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Dallas Stars. They both
have 45 points. Dallas is on a five-game winning streak and Columbus is on a three-game winning streak. Thankfully for Detroit, Dallas has to faceoff against Chicago tonight, and hopefully Toews and the crew can smother them, keeping them down. Columbus has a chance to peek into the 8th spot with a much needed win over the struggling Avalanche tonight.
Players to watch out for on the Red Wings are Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Kronwall, and Valtteri Filppula. Also, I think Joakim Andersson is due for a burst of greatness, since he has been one of the hardest working this season and hasn’t registered as many points as he should be.