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Red Wings Win First of Back-to-Back Games

Despite being outshot all night long, the Detroit Red Wings were able to defeat the Nashville Predators, who have the best record in the NHL, decisively by a score of 5-2.

The first minute had yet to expire when the Wings found the scoreboard on their first shot of the game. The play began when Tomas Tatar intercepted a Nashville pass in the defensive end. He then pushed the puck up the ice to Riley Sheahan, who deftly received it between his legs while managing to stay onside simultaneously. Sheahan then fed the puck to Gustav Nyquist, who one-timed it past young netminder Carter Hutton.

Hutton, the temporary starter for the Predators while Pekka Rinne is on injured reserve, was playing in the second of back-to-back games. It would not get any easier for the substitute goalie.

Petr Mrazek is in the same situation, with starting goalie Jimmy Howard out with a groin tear.

Just past the midway point of the period, Pavel Datsyuk would win a faceoff to the right of Hutton, passing the puck to defenseman Kyle Quincey. Quincey would quickly fire the puck on net and in.

1:10 later, Tatar would make it 3-0 on Detroit’s fourth shot. Nyquist and Niklas Kronwall would record the assists.

Detroit's Tomas Tatar celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal on January 17th, 2015. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
Detroit’s Tomas Tatar celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal on January 17th, 2015. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm would get his team on the board before the period concluded, but it would not generate any momentum going into the second.

Captain Henrik Zetterberg led off the scoring early in the second stanza, notching a power play marker, and Tatar would score his second goal, and third point of the game, in the period’s final minute. The goal was Tatar’s 20th of the season, which surpassed his goal total of 19 from last season.

Mike Fisher would score in the first minute of the third period on the power play, but that would be it for the scoring.

It was clear how much the Predators needed Rinne. Nashville was one of only two teams still with double-digit goals allowed, the other team being the Chicago Blackhawks.

Despite what may have appeared to be an easy win on the scoreboard, Sheahan said,

“They’re a tough team to play against. They don’t give you much room and they have a lot of big bodies, so when you mix that all together, it makes a good team. I think we just skated well today and played a good overall game.”

Detroit solidified the win by a score of 5-2. They are currently tied for second place in the Atlantic Division with the Montreal Canadiens and only three points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“I think we were just focusing on getting the puck to the net,” said Sheahan. “It’s the same with every goalie, getting in front of him and trying to pepper him with some shots right at the beginning. Fortunately for us, a few of them went in.”

The win marks Mrazek’s fifth in a row, improving his record to 8-3-1

The Wings have now won seven of their last ten games, and will play again tonight against the Buffalo Sabres, who have lost ten in a row.

Follow me on Twitter @KevinSporkaHOHM

Kevin Sporka

Kevin Sporka

Kevin Sporka is the Senior Media Analyst and Detroit Red Wings beat writer at HOHM. He is also the author of the Fantasy Hockey Fridays, In Retrospect, Milestone Monday, and Legends By the Number segments.
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