AP NEWS

Wings’ hot streak vs. Predators finally ends

February 21, 2018

Detroit — The Red Wings’ domination of the Nashville Predators has come, probably not surprisingly, to an end. They saw a seven-game winning streak in the series end, as Nashville defeated Detroit, 3-2, on Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena.

One of the elite teams in the NHL, the Predators earned a piece of revenge after watching the Red Wings go into Nashville and win.

Two quick goals gave the Predators a lead they didn’t relinquish.

The Red Wings (24-26-9, 57 points) have lost three of four games overall, while the Predators (36-14-9, 81 points) have won four of six.

Tomas Tatar cut Nashville’s lead to 3-2 at 7:54 of the third period, just after a Red Wings power play expired. On a scramble around goalie Juuse Saros, the puck squirted from one side of the crease to the other, where Tatar was there slip the puck in for his 16th goal.

Tatar’s goal came shortly after Nashville had regained a two-goal lead.

BOX SCORE: Predators 3, Red Wings 2

Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson, who missed on a breakaway earlier in the game, didn’t miss on his second opportunity. Jonathan Ericsson couldn’t control a long clearing pass from Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban and the puck rolled to Arvidsson, who skated down the slot and beat goaltender Jimmy Howard for his 21st goal at 4:50.

With the trade of goaltender Petr Mrazek 24 hours earlier, and rumors of maybe several other Red Wings being moved soon, some are assuming the season is essentially over.

But the Red Wings were adamant after Tuesday’s morning skate they aren’t done yet.

“We have lots of fight in us,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “As somebody gets traded, you can think about who you lost but I tend to always think about who we have and we have lots of good players in here that give us a great chance to win on a nightly basis and we’ve proven that.

“When we lose tough games like we did the other night, when something like that happens, you have a trade like we did, it’s easy for lots of people to say we’re finished.

“We’re not finished.”

Howard, who will handle the bulk of the games now with Mrazek gone, talked about how players are united to keep winning.

“Just as a group, the guys that are in here, we’ll just keep pushing forward,” Howard said. “Night in and night out, and find ways to win.”

Andreas Athanasiou opened the Red Wings’ scoring, while Scott Hartnell and Kyle Turris had Predators goals. Athanasiou cut Nashville’s lead to 2-1 midway in the second period.

Howard started the sequence, though, by stopping Arvidsson on a breakaway, after Arvidsson had stripped Tatar of the puck at the blue line. The Red Wings gained control of the puck after Howard’s save, and Dylan Larkin threaded an outlet pass to Athanasiou, who had gotten behind the Nashville defense. Athanasiou went forehand-backhand and just squeezed the puck inside the goalpost and goalie Saros’ right leg at 10:12.

It was Athanasiou’s 11th goal, and ended a 13-game goal-scoring drought.

The Red Wings had a power play shortly after Athanasiou’s goal and had a glorious chance in the waning seconds, but Saros stopped Gustav Nyquist at the doorstep.

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/tkulfan