The Preds lost 5-3 to the Detroit Red Wings, who played their first game of the 2019-2020 season tonight, in a largely back-and-forth game.
The first period was a disappointing one; the Preds allowed two Detroit goals by Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha within two minutes of each other and got one of their own stripped away due to goalie interference. They did outshoot the Red Wings 10-9, but the Preds' defense was clearly not ready for a hot start.
After the first intermission, once again, momentum shifted in the Predators' favor and they controlled the ice for most of those 20 minutes. A miracle in and of itself, Viktor Arvidsson snapped a quick one-timer into Jimmy Howard's net from point-blank range on a Predators' power play. Matt Duchene set Arvidsson up with a skillful backhand from the corner of the net. Ryan Johansen was credited with the secondary assist. The tying goal came from Filip Forsberg, who sliced a path through all five Red Wings and roped one right above the shoulders of Howard. Duchene and Mattias Ekholm recorded the assists.
The Preds couldn't stretch their momentum over two periods. Dylan Larkin lit the lamp about four minutes into the third period, with Mantha and Bertuzzi notching the assists. Ekholm responded less than a minute later, picking up Kyle Turris' rebound and backhanding it just past Howard's reach. Ekholm's timely response unfortunately did not spur any more offense for the Preds. Detroit's Luke Glendening gave the Wings the lead again, and when the Preds pulled Juuse Saros for the extra attacker, Bertuzzi netted his second of the night.
The Predators out shot the Red Wings 42-28 tonight, which signals a good offensive effort, but reflects poorly on the defense- and Saros' goaltending- with Detroit putting up five goals. The Preds simply need to be better in the first period. Establishing momentum early is key, and clearly Detroit came better prepared to do so.
As far as key stand outs, the Red Wings' Larkin recorded a +4 rating on the night, and Matt Duchene tied the league record for points scored in his first two games with a new team.