Petr Mrazek made 42 saves to halt the Nashville Predators and give the Detroit Red Wings a 1-0 win on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena. The result ends Nashville's home point streak at six games while keeping them at 58 points overall on the season.
Saturday marked one of those nights that happen over the course of a long season - chance after chance, yet nothing to show for it. Nashville's effort was there against the Wings, but Mrazek was solid all night long and the Preds were unable to solve the Detroit netminder.
"He stood on his head," Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne said. "He played a great game. We had some good looks and couldn't get one by him. I feel like he stole the game tonight. I have to say we played a really good game. I think we gave everything we had. At least we had enough chances to win the game."
In the dying minutes of a back-and-forth first period, Mike Green's shot through traffic found a way past Rinne to give the Red Wings a 1-0 lead after one. That was all Detroit needed, as Nashville registered 16 shots in the second and 17 more in the third as they tried to even the score, but to no avail.
"A lot of quality looks tonight and a lot of good chances for us," Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "We have to give their goalie some credit. He played well, we had a lot of looks and opportunities. I thought both of the goalies played well. Pekka played well, too."
Video: NSH Recap: Preds can't solve Mrazek in 1-0 loss
After missing nine games with an upper-body injury, defenseman Roman Josi returned to the Preds lineup, logging more than 20 minutes of ice time and sharing the team lead in shots with five on the night.
"It's good to come back," Josi said. "You want to come back slowly then hopefully get into it as soon as possible and work it up."
"Roman coming back in there, it's not easy sometimes when you miss [more than a few games]," Laviolette said. "You jump back into a game that's paced and tight checking like that, it's not easy, but I thought he looked good. We tried to control his minutes for him and situational play, I thought all the D were good, including Roman."
Nashville has one more to go on their current home stand when the Vancouver Canucks come to town on Tuesday night.
Preds Acquire Fiddler:
Prior to Saturday's game, the Predators made a trade, acquiring forward Vernon Fiddler from New Jersey in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Originally signed by Nashville in 2002 as an undrafted free agent, Fiddler spent six seasons with the Predators from 2002-09, totaling 93 points (45g-48a) in 305 games. He earned a career-high 32 points (11g-21a) with the Preds in 2007-08.
Pekka Rinne - who played with Fiddler briefly at the beginning of his career - and Captain Mike Fisher spoke on their new teammate after the game.
"Big-time faceoff guy, really reliable guy," Rinne said. "Great team player, one of those guys that is a good leader in the locker room. Obviously with his experience, he brings a lot of leadership and he has those qualities. I'm excited to have him back here."
"I think we're all excited to have him," Fisher said. "He's been here before, and he's a good hockey player and he can do a lot of things well. I think he's going to fit into our line up really, really well and we're happy to have him."