Jimmy Howard made his debut against the Nashville Predators after being out for almost three weeks due to an injured MCL, sustained in the beginning of December. Although the starting goaltender was recently elected to represent the United States at the 2014 Winter Olympics, he was not able to pull it together to get two important points for the Red Wings on Monday.
Colin Wilson and Craig Smith of the Predators netted two past Howard in the first period after only receiving five shots. The lead was 2-1 going into the second period and 3-1 coming out of it the second after Nashville’s Nick Spaling put another one past Howard.
In the third period, the Red Wings could not salvage their first two periods of play. After Pavel Datsyuk scored 35 seconds into the period, Nashville was quick to respond.
After going back and forth between goals from Mike Fisher, Kyle Quincey, Colin Wilson and Patrick Eaves, the deal was sealed for good when Roman Josi slid one into the Wings’ empty net to put a final score of 6-4 up on the board.
“It wasn’t pretty. I felt like I was behind the play all night,” Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard said.
“I really didn’t get comfortable in there. Whenever you score four goals, you should win. The guys deserved better; they really battled hard. I didn’t do my job.”
Going into the Winter Classic on January 1 at 1 p.m. EST at the Big House in Ann Arbor, Mich., the team needs to be on top of their game so they do not lose in the national spotlight.
“Obviously, we’d like to go in on a positive note,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.
“We gave up too many (goals), but we’ll go home, get some rest and enjoy practice (Tuesday).”
The Red Wings’ coaching staff and players are looking forward to the battle that will take place on New Years Day against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
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Information from the Detroit Red Wings was used in this report.
For more information on the Detroit Red Wings and NHL hockey from analysts and journalists at Michigan State University – tune into Octopi Hockeytown podcasts and embrace the Spartan debate at www.impact89fm.org/sports
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NSH – 1:54 – C. Wilson (Wrist) (S. Jones, M. Fisher)
DET – 3:00 – J. Abdelkader (Backhand) (D. Miller)
NSH – 9:50 – C. Smith (Snap) (P. Gaustad)
NSH – 4:24 – N. Spaling (Snap) (C. Smith)
DET – 0:35 – P. Datsyuk (Slap) (N. Kronwall)
NSH – 5:50 – M. Fisher (Wrist) (C. Wilson, P. Hornqvist)
DET – 11:30 – K. Quincey (Snap) (D. Helm, H. Zetterberg)
NSH – 12:07 – C. Wilson (Backhand) (S. Jones, M. Fisher)
DET – 14:52 PPG – P. Eaves (Snap) (H. Zetterberg, N. Kronwall)
NSH – 19:41 PPG/EN – R. Josi (Snap) (M. Cullen)
First: Colin Wilson
(2G, 1A, +2, 6 shots, 1 hit, 13:53 TOI)
Second: Mike Fisher
(1G, 2A, +2, 2 shots, 2 hits, 7PIM, 17:40 TOI)
Third: Seth Jones
(2A, +3, 2 shots, 16:36 TOI)