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Preds show anemic PP as Wings dominate in Detroit…

Now that their roster is healthy, they’re back to normal.

The Detroit Red Wings put their best foot forward on Friday night and dominated the Nashville Predators from the outset, winning 5-2. With the win, the Wings gained a big two points in their pursuit of seventh place Nashville in the Western Conference standings. The Preds are now only three points ahead as opposed to seven points, which they would’ve been with a road win tonight.

Detroit started the game with four unanswered goals. The Predators’ JP Dumont finally put Nashville on the board in the second period after a nice give-and-go with Steve Sullivan in the offensive zone.

Back-up goaltender Dan Ellis got the start in this second of back-to-back nights for the Preds. He didn’t get much help from his team in front of him on this night. Kevin Klein coughed up the puck to Pavel Datsyuk while coming around his own net, leading to the first Detroit goal. Francis Bouillon left his man in front of the net while on the penalty kill and Tomas Holmstrom made no mistake by banging it home for their second score. Then, after Darren Helm scored on just a great individual effort for the third Wings goal, Ryan Suter neglected to clear the puck after Helm broke in shorthanded. Helm corralled the rebound left by Ellis and put the home team up 4-0.

The Preds kept their hopes alive by making it 4-2 on Joel Ward’s rocket from the face-off circle early in the third period. But it was too little, too late as Nashville couldn’t get anything going on their power plays. They went 0-for-4 on the man advantage tonight with a mere two shots. Two shots on four power plays against any team, let alone Detroit, is absolutely unacceptable and the coaching staff should do whatever they can to send the message that that cannot happen again.

The Preds lost All-Star defenseman Shea Weber for the game after he was hit in the corner by Holmstrom during the first period.

Look for rookie defenseman Cody Franson to be recalled if Weber isn’t ready for action Sunday afternoon. While he’s obviously no Weber, Franson does have 16 points so far this year.

Nashville will look to get the two points back when Vancouver comes to Music City this weekend. Not only is the game a rare Sunday contest, but the start time is a special one as well, 2:00pm.

* Martin Erat led all Nashville skaters with four shots on goal.
* Captain Jason Arnott, who owned the face-off circle last night, got destroyed tonight. He finished the game 5-of-18 in the dot.
* The Preds, as a whole, were manhandled in the face-off circle tonight as they only won 29% of their draws.
* Rookie Colin Wilson had a team-low minus-3 rating tonight.