Nyquist leads Red Wings past Predators, 5-3
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings appear to be gaining some momentum.
Gustav Nyquist had a goal and an assist to help Detroit beat the Nashville Predators 5-3 on Friday night. It was the Red Wings' third consecutive win after losing their first two games.
"I think this was our best game of the season," said Tomas Tatar, who broke a 2-2 tie early in the third period. "This happened to us before. When they scored we'd hold back. Now I think they scored the goal to make it 2-1 and we kept pushing. We tied it and then early on (in third) we scored another one."
Justin Abdelkader, Drew Miller, Tomas Tatar and Darren Helm also scored for the Red Wings, and Petr Mrazek stopped 30 shots.
"I'm just worried about one game at a time and I'm worried about getting better every day, and I thought we took a step in getting better today," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "I thought we did a real good job of spending time in their end, we did a real good job of winning puck battles."
P.K. Subban, Mike Ribeiro and Mike Fisher scored for Nashville, which has lost three straight. Pekka Rinne finished with 38 saves.
"I thought we played hard, especially with a short bench," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "We just shot ourselves in the foot too many times. You can't make that many mistakes when you are trying to come from behind."
Several Nashville players were ill, including Ryan Johansen and Craig Smith, who had to leave the game because of it.
Fisher's power-play goal with 4:46 pulled the Predators to 4-3 as he tipped in Roman Josi's shot from the point. It was Fisher's third goal, all on the power play.
"I always thought we were going to come back, even without those guys, but we just made too many mistakes at the end of the game," Fisher said. "The puck was bouncing all over the place, and both teams took advantage of it. They were forechecking all over the ice, and they are so fast that they pressured us into a lot of turnovers. We got chances too, but they moved the puck very well against us."
Helm had an empty-net power-play score with 22 seconds left for his fourth goal of the season to seal the win.
Tatar gave the Red Wings a 3-2 lead 1:10 into the third period with a wrist shot from high in the right circle for his first of the season.
Nyquist made it 4-2, with 8:33 left, with his first goal. He scored on a breakaway after a turnover by Nashville's Filip Forsberg in the Predators' zone.
Abdelkader's power-play goal gave Detroit a 1-0 lead, 5:17 into the second. The rebound of Ryan Sproul's shot from the point trickled in off of Abdelkader's backside.
Laviolette unsuccessfully challenged the goal, because it appeared Abdelkader may have interfered with Rinne.
The Predators then scored two power-play goals 18 seconds apart to take the lead.
With Tatar (interference) and Danny DeKeyser (delay of game) in the penalty box, Subban got his second goal of the season, which came on a one-time slap shot from the high slot with 5:47 left in the middle period.
That brought Tatar back but Ribeiro put in a rebound with 5:29 remaining in the period to give the Predators a 2-1 lead. It was Ribeiro's first goal.
Miller's tied it 2-2 with 40 seconds left in the second period as he beat Rinne with a one-timer from a bad angle deep in the left circle. It was Miller's second goal and second in two games.
NOTE: Detroit F Dylan Larkin moved from center, where he played the first four games of the season, to right wing, on a line centered by Frans Nielsen and Abdelkader on left wing. Larkin is a natural center but played the wing in his rookie season last year. ... The Predators were without D Anthony Bitetto (upper body) and RW Miikka Salomaki (upper body.
Predators: Host defending champion Pittsburgh on Saturday night.
Red Wings: Host San Jose on Saturday night.