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#LGRW Final: Detroit battles but falls to Nashville in 3-2 shootout loss

DeKeyser and Erne score for the Red Wings, but two third-period goals help lift the Predators to their eighth win in nine games

by Josh Berenter @DetroitRedWings / DetroitRedWings.com

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings had a lead for 47 minutes against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday Night at Little Caesars Arena, but after going scoreless in the first two periods, the Predators earned two goals in the third period to erase two leads and buried both their attempts in the shootout to beat the Wings, 3-2.

Defenseman Danny DeKeyser and forward Adam Erne both scored for Detroit and goalie Thomas Greiss made 29 saves, but the Red Wings went scoreless in their first shootout of the season and Ryan Johansen and Roman Josi both converted for Nashville to skate away with the victory.

With the loss, the Red Wings fell to 13-22-6 this season while the Predators earned their eighth win in their last nine games to improve to 21-18-1 this season.

Video: Coca-Cola Post Game Comments | 4/6 NSH

"It was a good start for us," captain Dylan Larkin said after the game. "Good first period. We scored timely goals tonight. I thought Greisser played really good again. He was really good, we just took a penalty there with four minutes left and they scored right away."

The Wings opened the scoring with less than a minute to go in the first period after Nashville forward Rocco Grimaldi sent a pass in the defensive zone that bounced off a teammate's stick and found its way to DeKeyser at the point. DeKeyser's wrist shot deflected off Mattias Ekholm's leg and past Predators goalie Juuse Saros to give the Wings a 1-0 lead at 19:03 of the first.

Video: NSH@DET: DeKeyser nets opening goal on a deflection

The unassisted goal was DeKeyser's second of the season, breaking a 23-game goalless streak for the Detroit defenseman.

After a scoreless second period in which the Predators hit the post three times, their persistence finally paid off at 3:32 of the third when forward Luke Kunin took advantage of a bad Red Wings line change and took a pass from Matt Benning at the offensive blue line to go one-on-one with Greiss.

Kunin fired a wicked wrist shot that sailed over Greiss' shoulder and into the net to tie the game at 1-1.

The Red Wings re-took the lead at 12:02 of the third after a phenomenal save by Greiss that set up a Detroit rush. The Wings worked the puck around the offensive zone and after defenseman Jon Merrill fired a shot that Saros stopped, Erne cleaned up a point-blank rebound to make it a 2-1 game.

The goal, which was also assisted defenseman Christian Djoos, gave Erne his seventh tally in his last 15 games and extended his point streak to four consecutive games.

Video: NSH@DET: Erne cleans up rebound down low

But at 15:43 of the third, Red Wings defenseman Marc Staal was called for a controversial tripping penalty and the Predators took advantage.

Just 19 seconds into the power play, former Red Wings draft pick Calle Jarnkrok threw a shot on net, and after Greiss made the initial pad save, Mikael Granlund grabbed the rebound right on the doorstep and put the puck in the back of the net to tie the game once again, at 2-2, with 4:58 remaining in regulation.

The three-on-three overtime session ping-ponged back and forth with both teams creating several chances, but both goalies stood tall, sending the game into a shootout.

Larkin and Zadina both missed their opportunities in the shootout for the Red Wings and Nashville converted both of its attempts to earn the win.

Despite the loss, which made him 1-1-2 in his last four appearances in net, Greiss has played great for the Wings lately, earning a 1.86 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage in that stretch.

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Greiss has often been the best player on the ice for Detroit this season and has shown a lot of grit despite not earning the results he'd like throughout the year.

"He's been through lots in his pro career. He knows how to handle it," Blashill said about the 12-year NHL veteran. "That's part of the advantage of having a guy like that, who's been through it. Obviously, everybody's confidence can get shaken at times, but he's been able to stay with it and just work, and I think he's put himself in a better spot in terms of where his goaltending's at."

Video: NSH@DET: Greiss makes save on Davies

Larkin echoed Blashill's praise of Greiss and said the Red Wings need to use the frustration of another one-goal loss in their favor as the club wraps up the season series against the Predators on Thursday.

"We've gotten great goaltending this season," Larkin said. "We're in a game tonight though and we're up 2-1 and then we lose, we find a way to lose. At some point here, it's got to turn. (We've) got to start seeing results. We know we can beat this team on Thursday, and we've got to come out and do it."

The Red Wings face the Predators for the final time this season Thursday night at Little Caesars Arena, with puck drop set for 7:30 p.m.

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