Friday, February 17, 2012

Pavel Datsyuk leads Detroit to 2-1 win over the Predators in a thriller

Pavel Datsyuk scored the game winning goal with 5.8 seconds left in the contest as the Detroit Red  Wings extended their record home ice winning streak to 22 games on Friday night in Joe Louis Arena.

Datsyuk also made the key set up pass on the Wings' other goal by Johan Franzen in the opening period.

Nick Spaling had the Predators only goal and saw his streak end where the Preds have never lost in regulation when he scored. The odd streak had reached 15 games in the Predator victory on Tuesday against Chicago.

Joey MacDonald was the winner in net, stopping 20 of 21 Predator shots. Pekka Rinne was as good as he could be giving up two goals on 31 Red Wing shots.

The Predators fell ten points behind Detroit in the Central Division standings. The team will play in Dallas on Sunday night.

At The Puck Drop...

In Goal: Pekka Rinne (31-12-6, 2.41, .924) vs Joey MacDonald (4-1-1, 1.72, .930)

Scratches: Jack Hillen (healthy), Hal Gill (healthy), Patric Hornqvist (IR-upper body), Brian McGrattan (IR-upper body)

First Period...

Both teams started with a focus on defense with few shots in the first five minutes of play. The teams appeared to be feeling each other out like there could potentially be minimal scoring in the game.

The Predators had a great scoring chance at 8:19 when Gabriel Bourque had a breakaway on a give and go and MacDonald deflected the point blank shot.

The Wings got on the board at 12:44 when the Preds left Franzen was left wide open in the slot and Pavel Datsyuk fell and shuffled the puck to Todd Bertuzzi who found the open Franzen who was mano-a-mano with Rinne and put the puck in the net to give Detroit a 1-0 lead.

There was a mild scrum at 16:37 when the Wings got too close to Rinne and Ryan Ellis hooked Darren Helm, putting the Wings on the power play. The man advantage was cut short when Henrik Zetterberg was called for interference on Jerred Smithson at 17:26.

1st Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        0         9        12       1-2:00 12-10 55%
Red Wings           1        14        18       1-2:00 10-12 45%

Second Period...

As the period started, Niclas Lidstrom was called for tripping Mike Fisher at 1:19. The Preds did not get a shot but had one as the penalty expired which resulted in Brandon Yip in the middle of a small skirmish.

Defense was even more prominent in the middle stanza as the Preds were leading in shots 4-2 at the half-way mark.

The Predators caught the Wings by surprise when they stole the puck at the Wings blue line and Yip got off a shot at 11:19 that was surprisingly tricky. At 13:04, Suter got off a shot on a MacDonald clearing pass that was only saved by accident.

At 14:06, an even better scoring chance appeared when Sergei Kostitsyn fed Mary Erat who squared off with MacDonald but the goalie came up huge.

Spaling put his streak of the Preds never losing in regulation (14-0-1) on the line when he took a feed from Jordin Tootoo and put the puck in the net from the slot at 14:58 to tie the game 1-1.

2nd Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        1        8        16       0-0:00 9-12  43%
Red Wings          0        7        12       1-2:00 12-9  57%

Third Period...

There was a real sign of urgency by both teams as the final period started. The Preds has a multi-shot flurry in the first minute that the Wings withstood.

The Wings almost caught the Preds on a change at 3:57 when Ian White made a good shot on net that Rinne bobbled.

Colin Wilson had a break-away at 7:26 and missed. Rinne made the save of the game at 8:10 when Datsyuk had him faked out and Rinne recovered for the deflection and then stopped a second shot from Datsyuk seconds later.

As the clock ticked down, both teams picked up the pace and skated furiously and the game took on  more of a playoff feel.

Datsyuk got a breakaway in front of the Predators net and with 5.8 seconds left managed to get Ryan Suter turned around and found the net past Rinne to win the game.

3rd  Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        0        4        8       0-0:00 12-12 50%
Red Wings        1       10       15       0-0:00 12-12 50%


Final     Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        1        31        36       1-0:00 33-30 52%
Red Wings        2        21        45       2-4:00 30-33 48%

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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