Five goals in a single period usually does the trick.
Nashville’s offense exploded in the second stanza on Tuesday night in Detroit on their way to a 6-1 win over the Red Wings. The victory ends a two-game skid for the Predators, a perfect way to start their four-game road trip.
Two of those tallies came off the stick of Matt Duchene, and Nashville’s leading goal-scorer, Nick Bonino, started the onslaught in the second with his eighth of the season to give the Preds their first five-goal period since November of 2014.
“It was nice to get rewarded,” Duchene said. “This game is funny. It can be fickle at times, but has a funny way of coming back around if you stay with it, and I thought it was just a solid effort. Even in the first period, we only gave up [a few] shots, so I think top to bottom we played the way we need to play every night, and we’ve been doing that a lot lately.”
The Preds trailed 1-0 entering the middle frame, but it only took Bonino two minutes into the period to tip in a Dan Hamhuis shot to even the score. Then, the floodgates opened.
Kyle Turris gave the Predators their first lead of the night when he snapped a shot past Jimmy Howard for a 2-1 advantage, and just 62 seconds after that, Colton Sissons tallied his fifth of the season. Sixty-two more seconds after Sissons converted, Duchene’s first of the period caromed into the cage, spelling the end of Howard’s night in favor of Jonathan Bernier.
Duchene scored one more on the power play late in the second to tie a Nashville franchise record for goals in a single period on the road with five.
“There wasn’t a whole lot going on out there in the first period,” Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “We’re down 1-0, and 5-on-5 we only gave up a couple chances, and we only generated a few chances. It was just tight, and so in the second period we were able to find more pucks going to the net, people going to the net, able to cash in, score some goals.”
Filip Forsberg added his own power-play goal in the third period, and Pekka Rinne made 23 saves on the night to improve his record to 8-0-2 – a 10-game point streak – to start the season.
“It feels good, and beating Detroit, we haven’t beat Detroit in a long time, and especially here,” Preds Captain Roman Josi said. “Winning here, it was definitely a good start for us, and it’s huge to start the road trip like that.”
It’s ninth time the Preds have scored four or more goals in 15 games this season and seventh time they’ve tallied five or more. When the offense is converting at rates like this, it’s not easy for the opposition to stop.
And if the Predators can continue to replicate efforts like this away from home, they’ll be in good shape by the time they get back to Nashville next week.
“When you’re on the road, especially when it’s [a long trip like this], you want to try to be successful,” Laviolette said. “To get the first one and and get going, now we get a few days out in Colorado before we play, so that’s a good thing. We’ll get a positive practice in and then get ready to play the Avs.”
“Starts of a road trip are huge because it sets the tone, gives you a flavor,” Duchene said. “Even if you lose that second game, you still know you’re 1-1. If you’re .500 on the road, or a bit better, you put yourself in a really good spot to be where you want to be down the stretch and at the end of the season… This is just a great start for us, and we want to keep going.”
Pekka Rinne extend his own franchise record with a 10-game point streak to begin the season (8-0-2). He also collected an assist on Colton Sissons’s goal, his second helper of the season.
Yannick Weber re-entered the lineup on Monday night in favor of Matt Irwin. Miikka Salomaki was also scratched against the Red Wings.
Nashville’s four-game trip continues on Thursday night in Colorado (at 8 p.m. CT) when the Preds face the Avalanche for the first time this season. Then, it’s off to San Jose on Saturday and Vancouver on Tuesday before returning home next week.