Predators fail to bury chances in 3-2 loss to Detroit
The Detroit Red Wings evened the series against the Predators by edging Nashville 3-2 at Bridgestone Arena on Friday night.
The Predators outshot Detroit 26-17, but, again, went 0-for-6 on the power play. The chances were there for the Predators on the man advantage, but the team could not find the back of the net.
“It was a lot better than [Wednesday]. We had a lot of chances,” Nashville forward Alexander Radulov said. “Their goalie played well. They were lucky today. Their third goal was lucky. We were lucky in the first game. We just have to play the same way. We had a lot of chances we just didn’t bury them. I had a few [chances]. We have to score when we have those chances.”
The Predators best line of the night was Radulov along with linemates Andrei Kostitsyn and David Legwand. After Detroit got out to a 2-0 lead before the end of the first period, Andrei Kostitsyn got the Predators on the board at 9:01 of the middle frame. Detroit answered just 56 seconds after Nashville got on the board when the puck went in the net off of Johan Franzen’s skate.
The Kostitsyn goal was his 12th career postseason goal and his 20th postseason point.
“Our line played better today. We understand that the coaches and the guys in the locker room are waiting for us to step up. We didn’t have a good first game. Today, we played good as a group. We helped each other. We scored, but we could score more. That is the bottom line,” Radulov said.
“We just have to play our game the same way. We have a lot of talent in this room. It is 1-1 and it is up to four. We lost today, but we will have a good practice tomorrow and get ready for the next one.”
Radulov had four shots on goal as well as four blocked shots and two shots that missed the Detroit net. Kostitsyn and Legwand each added a shot on goal. Kostitsyn also hit a post during the third period. Overall, it was a better effort than in Game 1.
“They really supported the puck a lot better than in Game 1, where they weren’t in tune. Today, they did everything in unity. There was great unity on that line in terms of supporting the puck offensively,” Predators head coach Barry Trotz explained. “They were going to the net. Andrei Kostitsyn was an absolute bull, and I think he’s going to be a factor in this series, just as I think Radulov will be. They were separating people from pucks, they were keeping things alive, and they were putting a lot of heat on them – that’s what that line needs to do for us.”
Shea Weber scored for Nashville at 15:16 of the third period to cut the Red Wings lead to one goal, but the Predators were unable to find the equalizer.
The series now heads to Detroit where one issue of concern will be alleviated for at least one member of the Nashville Predators.
“I don’t want to look for excuses, but the ice could be better. I’m not saying I didn’t get the good shot because of the ice, but you could tell the puck was bouncing. I had a few chances,” Radulov said, adding, “There is good ice [in Detroit].”
The Predators have never taken a 2-0 series lead. Game 3 is on Sunday and has an 11 am CDT start time. The game will be shown on NBC.