Predators beat Red Wings 3-2 in shootout after third-period rally

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit – This Red Wings didn’t look anything like the team that played Nashville last time.

But it still wasn't good enough against a red-hot Predators team.

Nashville defeated the Wings 3-2 in a shootout, the Wings' first this season, winning the shootout 2-0.

Ryan Johansen and Roman Josi scored against goaltender Thomas Greiss in the shootout.

"We've gotten great goaltending this season and we're in the game tonight, up 2-1, and then we find a way to lose," forward Dylan Larkin said. "At some point it has to turn and we start seeing results."

Greiss hasn’t received much goal support, and didn’t get much Tuesday, but made 29 saves to help get the Wings (13-22-6) a point.

Adam Erne continued his recent offensive explosion with his ninth goal, a career-high, backhanding a rebound at 12:02 of the third period, breaking a 1-1 tie.

For Erne, it was his eighth goal in the last 20 games, and extended a point streak to four games, while becoming an unexpected offensive threat.

Detroit Red Wings center Luke Glendening (41) and Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen (92) battle for positon in the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, April 6, 2021, in Detroit.

"He's right up there in goals for our team and he's earned every bit of ice he's gotten this year," said coach Jeff Blashill of Erne. "He certainly hasn't been given anything and he's done a good job of earning it."

But Nashville roared back, with Mikael Granlund scoring a power play goal at 16:02 — Marc Staal was in the box for a questionable tripping call — putting back a rebound in front of Greiss.

"The call is the call, I didn't think Stallsie (Staal) did much there but it is what it is," said Blashill, who felt the Wings had a pair of unfortunate plays that turned momentum to Nashville.

"Terrible line change (on Nashville's first goal), and we've talked about execution and discipline, and we had a too many men penalty, and then a terrible line change goal, those are inexcusable things.

"Those are totally avoidable things and we have to do a better job."

BOX SCORE: Predators 3, Red Wings 2 (SO)

Just before Erne's goal, Greiss made a pad save on Nashville's Jeremy Davies with the Predators pressuring, keeping the game tied 1-1.

But Greiss couldn't duplicate the save against Granlund, who was all alone and put back Calle Jarnkrok's shot.

Nashville's Luke Kunin tied the game early in the third period 1-1, while Danny DeKeyser scored his second goal of the season, ending a 23-game drought, with a deflected goal in the first period, giving the Wings a 1-0 lead.

Kunin tied it at 3:32, capitalizing on the bad line change. 

Josi saw the opening down the middle of the ice, fed Kunin skating through the slot, and Kunin beat Greiss for his fourth goal this season.

Detroit Red Wings left wing Adam Erne (73) celebrates his goal against the Nashville Predators in the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, April 6, 2021, in Detroit.

But Erne, cleaning up Jon Merrill's point shot, restored the Wings' lead.

That game in Nashville on March 25, a 7-1 Wings’ loss, was one of the poorer Wings’ efforts of the season.

Since then, the Wings have been a different-looking hockey team after a rugged practice and rededicating to the work ethic needed for them to win.

"It was pretty embarrassing the way we came out and fell flat," forward Darren Helm said after Tuesday's morning skate regarding the March 25 disaster. "We wanted to prove to ourselves that we could play a lot better, and we've put a couple good games together.

“We've been working pretty good as a group and we need that kind of effort. It's a proud group in there so we want to compete and work hard every night."

Detroit Red Wings left wing Adam Erne (73) celebrates his goal against the Nashville Predators in the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, April 6, 2021, in Detroit.

DeKeyser gave the Wings a 1-0 lead at 19:03 of the first period.

The puck drifted to DeKeyser in the high slot, and his shot deflected off Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm and past goaltender Juuse Saros, who was leaning in the other direction.

Saros, who has been among the NHL's best goaltenders in recent weeks, was stellar again.

Saros (24 saves) robbed Valtteri Filppula at the post midway in the third period, after Anthony Mantha fed Filppula through the slot.

The Wings were without injured goaltender Jonathan Bernier, and forwards Bobby Ryan, Sam Gagner, and Tyler Bertuzzi, along with defenseman Patrik Nemeth.

"When we've been healthy, we've been a pretty good team," Blashill said. "We've stubbed our toes a few times and there were some of them where we weren't good enough. We've been good defensively, and we don't create enough offense on a consistent basis but we're working on that - and we've been better in the last little bit creating chances."

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tkulfan