Special teams came through big time for the Preds tonight, accounting for two of Nashville’s three goals on the night. The power-play unit started things off with a goal 3:18 into the game … a blast from Shea Weber
at the top of the right wing faceoff circle. Playing with momentum created from the PP unit, Nashville created several other quality scoring chances in the first frame, but Joey MacDonald kept the Wings within one.
Then the Nashville penalty killers took over. The work by the penalty kill unit in the second frame sealed the win for the Preds. Just 0:44 into the middle period, Detroit drew a pair of penalties on Nashville for a full 2:00 of five-on-three power-play time. The PK unit held the Red Wings off the board – limiting the Wings to just three shots on goal in the process – and drew a thunderous ovation from the Bridgestone Arena crowd. Later in the frame, Nashville not only negated a Detroit power-play, but extended the lead to 2-0 with Sergei Kostitsyn
’s shorthanded goal – sprung with a pinpoint blueline-to-blueline lead pass from Ryan Suter
. (As a side note, Suter and Kostitsyn were excellent all night; Kostitsyn finished with two goals, but was dangerous on several other opportunities and Suter ended with two assists, but contributed in all phases of the Preds play tonight, including an extended one-on-one joust with Todd Bertuzzi midway through the third period)
The Preds killed off another Wings power-play early in the third, holding Detroit to an 0-for-5 showing on the night.
The win pushed Nashville’s cushion for a Western Conference playoff seed up to four points over ninth place, while at the same time cutting the deficit to Central Division leading Detroit down to five points (with a mid-week meeting looming in Detroit on Wednesday night).