The banged up Nashville Predators did little to scare the Detroit Red Wings in a 5-2 loss at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday night.
It was business as usual for the Red Wings as they got two goals from Pavel Datsyuk, while Brad Stuart, Patrick Eaves and Tomas Holmstrom also chipped in with a goal. Nicklas Lidstrom and Ruslan Salei each had two assists on the night.
The Predators received goals from Joel Ward and Kevin Klein who were the only two players that had pluses in the plus/minus category for the evening.
It was a brutal effort for the Preds who were playing without key players and playing with a few more that were not at full speed. In addition to Ryan Suter, Marcel Goc and Matthew Lombardi — who have been out for a while — both Fancis Boullion and Jordin Tootoo did not dress against the Wings. Klein and Marty Erat have been banged up, but played in Saturday’s contest
The Preds played with five defensemen, with all logging more than 20 minutes of ice time. Wade Belak dressed as the sixth D-man but did not skate. The Preds were unable to recall anyone from Milwaukee when the issues arose because the team is in Abbotsford and travel would not allow a recall.
Linus Klasen played his first NHL game and saw little relevant action. He played eight shits logging 6:22 in ice time. He did play one shift on the power play and was a -1 as he was on the ice for the Eaves goal, late in the game.
Pekka Rinne did not have his best night in goal which was compounded by repeated defensive breakdowns around the net. He gave up five goals on 28 shots. On the other end of the ice, Chris Osgood won his 398 career game stopping 23 of 25 Predator shots. The game was somewhat unusual in that the Wings only had 28 shots on the Preds which is much lower than the historical average.
The Predators went 0-for-5 on the man advantage and gave up a goal on five penalty kills.
After leading the league in points earlier in the week, the injuries appear to be taking their toll on the Preds. With three days between games and only one game before nest weekend’s back to backs in Los Angeles, it is hopeful that the team will regroup and give a better showing in the days to come. The Predators returned to Nashville after the game and will begin to prepare for a west coast swing, which begins Wednesday night in Phoenix.