DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings had another six penalties in their 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators in Game 3 to grow their playoff total to 20 in three games. For a team that was the second least penalized team in the NHL during the regular season, it’s an alarming trend. Nashville finally took advantage on Sunday with its first power-play goal of the series when Shea Weber scored after Drew Miller was called for goalie interference.
“You’ve got to be more aware,” said Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom, one of the shrinking number of Red Wings who have managed to stay out of the penalty box in the playoffs. “You can’t use your stick. You can’t tug someone. You can’t interfere with someone. You’ve got to be a lot smarter and you’ve got to think about it too.”
Forward Johan Franzen led the way with a pair of slashing penalties and leads the Red Wings with eight penalty minutes. His four minor penalties lead the playoffs.
Franzen, however, nearly tied the game in the second when he got a puck past Pekka Rinne, but replays showed that it was a second too late.
“It was awfully close,” goalie Jimmy Howard said. “We felt like we shifted the momentum."
Lesson for Josi
Nashville defenseman Roman Josi is playing in his first postseason and learned a tough lesson on Sunday. He was stripped of the puck by Pavel Datsyuk, who then beat an unsuspecting Rinne who was anticipating Josi carrying the puck behind him. The goal cut Nashville’s lead in half and shifted the ice in Detroit’s direction for most of the game after that.
“You gotta know who you’re out there against,” Josi said. “I just have to get rid of it, you know [Datsyuk] is great with his stick. That can’t happen. You have to know who you’re playing against.”
It was a reminder of just how skilled Datsyuk is and a reminder of his ability to change entire games in an instant.
“I knew he was coming from behind. It happened so fast,” Josi said. “He lifted my stick and got it. I have to get rid of it. He always does that and you have to know that.”
Predators win faceoff battle
For the second time in three games, the Predators scored first -- jumping out to a 2-0 lead.
Nashville controlled play early, mostly because of its success in the faceoff circle.
“The team that wins the draw ends with the forecheck and gets on top of the other team,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “That’s something we’d like to do better.”
Nashville won eight of the first 10 faceoffs in the game with Paul Gaustad his usual dominant self overall. Gaustad won 12 of 19 faceoffs in the game, with the Predators finishing with a 55 percent faceoff edge.
“In the first 10 minutes, we didn’t win any faceoffs [and] kind of got on our heels a little bit in the game,” Babcock said.