DETROIT - The Red Wings and Nashville Predators used to be Central division rivals when the Wings were in the Western Conference.
You'd have thought they still were based on the intensity that the two teams showed Friday night at Joe Louis Arena.
The Wings peppered Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne with 42 shots, earning a 5-3 victory, their third in a row after starting the season 0-2.
1. Dylan Larkin : Larkin did not get a point but he did create quite the furor when he dropped the gloves at 2:31 of the third period with Predators defenseman Yannick Weber. Larkin said it was his first fight at any level of hockey. Joe Louis Arena erupted as Larkin took down Weber and then was sent to the box. It also marks the Wings' fifth fight in their first five games, not what they're known for and not what Larkin is known for.
Quotable: "We got tangled up. High stick. Reacted to it. He cross-checked me and it just happened. It's part of the game, I guess. It's something I don't really want to do. My first ever fight. Guys liked it, I guess. I saw She (Riley Sheahan) laughing on the bench when I was in the box. I was laughing, too. Hope it got the guys going a little bit. Show them that I was ready to battle." - Larkin
2. Ryan Sproul: Sproul has been patiently practicing and waiting for his turn to get in the lineup. His chance finally came Friday night and Sproul made it count. Wings coach Jeff Blashill put Sproul on the second power-play unit and Sproul's shot from the high slot at 5:17 was deflected by Justin Abdelkader for the Wings' first goal of the game. Less than two minutes later, Sproul used his 6-foot-4 frame by extending his leg back to block a shot by Kevin Fiala.
Quotable: "I just kind of kicked it out. I thought I pulled my hammy but it's all good. That's just a desperation play. I think they had two guys in front. Just put the foot out and was probably lucky there." - Sproul
3. Drew Miller: Last year Miller was limited to just 28 games due to a broken jaw and then a torn meniscus that required surgery. Miller scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden and then followed that up with a game-tying goal at 19:20 of the second period. It was a pivotal goal as the Predators had snatched momentum with two power-play goals to take the lead. Miller has nine goals in 27 career games against the Predators, the most against any team.
Quotable: "Yeah, I know that. I get stat sheets. I guess everyone has a team. I haven't scored against them in a while but I guess it's one of the teams for me." - Miller