Red Wings, Preds hope for improved play
DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators are coming off wins, but neither team is particularly happy about the way it is playing.
Detroit hosts Nashville at Joe Louis Arena in a 7:30 game Friday.
The Red Wings (2-2-0) have won two in a row, but only defeated the New York Rangers 2-1 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night because of a spectacular performance in goal by backup goalie Jimmy Howard, who was making his first appearance of the season. Howard made 32 saves, including at least four breakaways.
"We can't play like this if we want to win," Detroit captain and left winger Henrik Zetterberg said after Wednesday night's game. "We're happy that we got the two points, but we've got a lot of work to do."
The Predators (1-2-0) lost 2-1, to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
Nashville has scored seven goals this season and only two have come at even strength. Five have come on the power play.
"... I'm always pretty honest. First game I thought was good, and in second game I liked the way we played," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said about his team's even-strength play. "I didn't like the result and tonight I hated the way we played."
Predators goalie Pekka Rinne was also spectacular Tuesday against Dallas, making 35 saves.
"He was outstanding. It could've been all over in the first. He was outstanding," Laviolette said.
The Red Wings have also been careless with the puck.
"The more correctable thing is turnovers," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "We got to learn to be a team that plays north for 60 minutes, that gets pucks in behind, that attacks, doesn't turn the puck over in the D-zone, doesn't turn the puck over in the neutral zone. We've probably turned the puck over in the neutral zone more this year than last. We've probably got out of our zone a little bit better, but we've turned the puck over in the neutral zone, too."
Left winger Drew Miller's goal 59 seconds into the third period Wednesday broke a 1-1 tie for Detroit.
"Sometimes it's not pretty on the road, but I think the message after the game is we weren't good enough," Miller said. "We have a lot of things that we could have done better, not giving them as much speed. They're a team that plays really fast and they've got some guys that can fly, but we've got to be better in slowing them down."
Defenseman Mike Green and left winger Thomas Vanek lead the Red Wings in goals and points with three goals and six points each.
Green got his first career hat trick in Monday night's 5-1 win against the Ottawa Senators in the home opener at Joe Louis Arena. Vanek, who signed a one-year $2.6 million free agent contract with the Red Wings on July 1, got his third goal Wednesday night.