Long-time nemesis deals Predators their quickest OT loss

Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 11:52pm
Detroit's Todd Bertuzzi beats Pekka Rinne with the game-winning goal 24 seconds into overtime Saturday night at the Sommet Center. / Mike Strasinger for The City Paper

The Nashville Predators saw the Ryan Jones they had waited almost all season to see. They also saw the Todd Bertuzzi they — and others — have seen all too often.

Bertuzzi scored a pair of goals for the Detroit Red Wings — the second one a mere 24 seconds into overtime — as the Predators lost 3-2 Saturday before 16,673 at the Sommet Center. It was the fastest overtime goal ever allowed by Nashville, which lost for just the third time in nine extended contests this season.

For the 34-year-old Bertuzzi, it raised his career total to 14 goals against the Predators in 34 career appearances. It also was his second two-goal game in as many nights. He had two on Friday – including the game-winner in overtime – against Anaheim.

“I’ve just been really concentrating on shooting and getting my feet moving,” Bertuzzi said. “Right now they seem to be finding their way into the net.”

Jones, who found himself in the minor leagues for a little more than a month earlier in the season, had a hand in both Predators’ scores. He scored on the power play to cut a two-goal deficit in half and had an assist when David Legwand tied it with 15:15 to play in regulation.

It was the first two points of the season for the 25-year-old, and his all-around play earned him a season-high 14:52 of ice time.

“I think I’ve kind of had this energy since I’ve been recalled,” Jones said. “It hasn’t shown up on the score sheet, but a couple games ago I had (six) hits. It’s just important to be all over the puck, keep it on your stick and not throw it away.”

That is exactly what the Predators did not do early.

Nine of the first 10 shots were registered by Detroit, and at the end of the first period the Red Wings’ advantage was 14-5 in that regard.

They didn’t score until Bertuzzi fended off defenseman Ryan Suter and beat goalie Pekka Rinne with a spinning backhand shot 1:21 into the second period. The lead grew to 2-0 when Drew Miller converted a rebound chance.

“(Bertuzzi) is a god player, a big guy,” Suter said. “I got kind of on the wrong side of him and he spun off (for the first goal). He made a good play. I think we all thought he was going to pass it.”

Jones’ goal, on a deflection of a Steve Sullivan shot, finally brought Nashville to life. The Predators eventually outshot the Red Wings 19-8 in the second period and 35-29 for the contest.

“I thought Jones was one of our best guys out there,” coach Barry Trotz said. “He was really on the puck. He was hard. He went to the net. He got a goal. … It was a real good game for him.

“We started off slowly, and he was one of the few guys who was going pretty well.”

Jones went to the net with just under six minutes to go and the score tied, and drew an interference penalty against Detroit forward Kirk Maltby. Nashville got two shots on the ensuing power play but failed to break the tie.

“We had the momentum,” Jones said. “It was going our way. I had a feeling we were going to put it in, but it just didn’t turn that way.”


• Forward Jordin Tootoo left in the first period after he took a Shea Weber shot off the inside of his right foot. He played just three shifts for a total of 1:19 of ice time and left the locker room on crutches.

“Right now, I can’t put any pressure on it,” he said.

An initial examination revealed no fracture, but he was scheduled for an MRI on Sunday and did not plan to travel with the team to Columbus, where it will play on Monday.

• The four fastest overtime goals ever scored against the Predators all had been on the road. Josef Stumpel of Los Angeles scored in 28 seconds on March 4, 2000; Teemu Selanne of Anaheim did it in 34 seconds on March 18, 2009, and Adam Foote (Columbus) and Sheldon Souray (Montreal) each did it in 35 seconds.

Tampa Bay’s Vaclav Prospal’s goal 58 seconds into the extra period on Feb. 7, 2008 was the fastest ever allowed by Nashville at home.

Bertuzzi surpassed them all.

• The loss snapped the Predators’ four-game win streak against the Red Wings, which dated back to a 6-2 defeat at Detroit on Feb. 18.

• Nashville failed to score in the first period for the first time in six games.


1 Comment on this post:

By: Alphadog7 on 12/13/09 at 4:33

A little concerned about the slow starts this year.

That aside, Jones and Hamhuis had an awesome game, as did Rinne. Keep up that energy! Will miss Franson, but I'm sure he will be back here soon.