Entering the game, Detroit had won 10 of the last 11 contests with Nashville and when Andreas Athanasiou scored his first goal of the season at 2:35 of the first, it appeared the Wings' hex over the Predators may hold true.
But once the Preds tied the score on Nick Bonino's goal at 2:00 of the second period, the dam began to burst and by the time the period was over, the Red Wings trailed, 5-1.
It was an all too familiar scenario for the Wings. Once again, Detroit had too many passengers and not enough engaged players to compete against a very good Nashville team.
Bonino, Kyle Turris, Colton Sissons. Matt Duchene, (two goals, one power play) and Filip Forsberg (power play) scored for the Predators.
Jimmy Howard started in goal for the Red Wings and was pulled after Nashville scored its fourth goal. Jonathan Bernier replaced Howard in the Detroit net. Howard (2-7-0), faced 15 shots, making 11 saves for a .733 save percentage.
Pekka Rinne (8-0-2) got the nod in net for the Predators, stopping all but one of the 24 shots he faced for a .958 save percentage. Rinne's career record against the Wings is now 13-12-5.
With the loss, Detroit is 4-11-1 and 1-10-1 in its last 12 games.
Up next, the Wings hit the road to face the New York Rangers in a nationally televised (NBCSN) game from Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.
The Rangers will be in a foul mood after dropping a 6-2 decision to the Ottawa Senators at home on Monday night.
Nashville's next game will be Thursday night as the Predators (9-4-2) head west to take on the Colorado Avalanche in Denver at the Pepsi Center.
1. Dylan Larkin : No doubt hitting the left post on the power play late in the first period didn't help, but Larkin had every reason to be frustrated after what took place in the second period. The Wings gave up five unanswered goals and saw their goaltender, Howard, pulled for the second time in three games. So when Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis shoved his shoulder into Larkin's face at 16:54 of the second, Larkin had had it. He immediately dropped the gloves and started a fight, the Wings' first fight of the season. It did not last a tremendously long time. It is the fourth career fight of Larkin's career. He fought Nashville's Yannick Weber on Oct. 21, 2016; Tampa's Brayden Point on Jan. 7, 2018; and the New York Islanders' Josh Bailey on Dec. 8, 2018. To add insult to injury, the Predators had seven shots on their ensuing power play, finally scoring on Duchene's rebound at 18:30. In the third period, when Larkin finally got out of the box, his teammates all tapped their sticks in approval as he returned to the bench. Larkin finished with 17 shifts for a season low 16:26, had two shots, one hit, one giveaway, one blocked shot, was 11-for-19 in face-offs and was minus-1. He also had a season-high 11 penalty minutes, one minute shy of his career high.
Quotable: "It was tough that I got the extra two and they score quick on the power play. I'm not put in that position a lot. I got to know the game more there. I don't know what more I could do to at least even it up and now put my team down. I reacted to the play, it was at the end of a shift and you get tired, you get emotional and I reacted to that. I didn't want to put my team down, I wanted to try to lift us up. For me it's unfortunate looking at it, they got the power play and then they scored to make it 5-1." - Larkin
Quotable II: "I don't want Dylan to fight lots, no. Am I comfortable? There's nothing you can do. Every once in a while, he's a super competitive person and he was (ticked) off and he decided to take it into his own hands. My message to him is I appreciate the competitiveness but we don't want you to fight." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill
2. Andreas Athanasiou: It has definitely been an odd start to the season for Athanasiou. He missed the first two games of the season with an injury he suffered in the one preseason game he played and although he has had plenty of chances, including quite a few breakaways, the puck had not gone in for him. That all changed at 2:35 of the first period. From the point, Filip Hronek saw Athanasiou waiting in the left circle and passed it to him. Athanasiou quickly shot the puck past Rinne, his first goal in 18 games. Athanasiou's last goal came on March 29 against the New Jersey Devils.Valtteri Filppula got the second assist, the 500th point of his career. In six career contests against the Predators, Athanasioiu has four goals and one assist. Athanasiou finished with 19 shifts for 13:04, had three shots, was 0-for-1 in face-offs and was even.
Quotable: "I didn't think it was a very good game in the first at all. I didn't think either team played very well. I think if you asked their staff, I don't think they'd be super impressed with their game. I wasn't impressed with our game. We scored. That doesn't make it a good start, personally. We had some looks on the power play for sure, so you'd like to score on one of those. We come out in the second, we get scored on. The puck was in the net, goes in the net, and that's not on anybody, it's just the reality of it. I thought we had too many guys not playing anywhere near their best hockey, up front especially. I thought our defensemen played fine but I thought up front wasn't even close." - Blashill
Quotable II: "It's gotta come within our group for sure. It feels like a broken record. Things have been tough but we gotta continue to go out. We got an opportunity Wednesday but we gotta come to work tomorrow. We'll obviously look at a lot of film. We gotta do things right. We can't cheat for offense.We can't make hope plays. When you're going through something like this, you gotta simplify and all play together, like I said, all be pulling on the rope together. We have been saying the same thing but until we got out and do it, we have to do it as a unit of 20 out there. Each guy that points a finger, we should be pointing those fingers at ourselves. We all gotta be a little better. We gotta go out and do it right each shift we're out there." - Justin Abdelkader
3. Second period woes: To say that the second period was a disaster for the Wings is an understatement. It took just two minutes for the Wings' 1-0 lead to disappear. From the left circle, Nick Bonino deflected Dan Hamhuis' shot past Howard. Then at 5:32, Kyle Turris shot the puck from the mid-slot and it went in glove-side. Just 1:02 after that, Colton Sissons scored from the right circle. Matt Duchene's shot from the left boards at 7:36 gave the Predators a 4-1 lead and three goals in a span of 2:04. Howard was pulled after that flurry. Then Duchene followed up with his power-play goal at 18:30 as the Predators ended the period with a 5-1 lead.
Quotable: "You've seen our record here in the last little bit, it's not great. It's frustrating. You look at us on the ice, one thing goes wrong and we melt. We can't do that. We need to turn this around. We need to gain some kind of confidence and some kind of togetherness here in this tough time and it's going to come from the 23 guys in this room. I keep saying it's the guys in the room, it's not any magic wand to get us magically out of this. We have to stick together, work for each other. When we go out there, you got to support the guy that has the puck. When you don't have it, you got to want it on your stick and make the right play and have confidence that you're going to go out and do that every night and every shift. We got to battle for each other more." - Larkin
Quotable II: "We have to go out and do it. It's been enough talk around here, from the media, from within ourselves. We have to just go out and do it. If we get scored on, so what? We gotta go out there and win the next shift. We gotta have that, and we've talked about it, too, having that next-shift mentality. They score on you, they score on the power play, hey we gotta go out there. That next shift is huge. We gotta continue to stay together here as a group. We gotta put our work in front of everything. We gotta go out and make sure we outwork the team. That's what we talked about from Day 1 in training camp, is outworking a team. That's gotta be where we can hang our hat on each and every day, our work ethic. We got a practice day tomorrow, so we gotta make sure that we're working hard and we're ready to win more battles." - Abdelkader
Quotable III: "We gotta find a way to keep pucks out of our net. That's where the snowballing starts and that's on our whole team and coaching staff, that's not on the goalies, that's not on the forwards, that's not on the PK, it's on everybody. That's where the snowballing starts. Is that a matter of being mentally tough enough? We gotta find a way to be mentally tougher. I would tell you when you get kicked, you get kicked, you get kicked, you gotta keep getting back up, you gotta keep getting back up, you gotta keep getting back up. So we gotta find a way to do it. We're in this spot. The other thing I'd say is tomorrow's a new day, we gotta learn from today. We'll do that in practice and we gotta go Wednesday and try to win a hockey game. We can't worry about what's happened." - Blashill