After decades of dominance that afforded them a primrose path through the postseason, the Detroit Red Wings found out how exceedingly difficult it is to open a playoff series away from home on Wednesday and fell to the Nashville Predators 3-2 in a tight game.
The night marked the return of Red Wings forward Darren Helm, who was expected to provide a major boost to both Detroit's power play and penalty killing units after missing time with a knee injury. But a freak injury that saw an errant skate slash Helm's wrist ended his evening after just 3:08 on the ice, and he was immediately transported to a nearby medical center for tests. He might miss a significant amount of time.
A Tomas Holmstrom goal with 2:07 remaining in the final period gave the Red Wings plenty of hope by making it a one-goal game, but Detroit could not beat a top-form Pekka Rinne despite having the puck in the zone with a man advantage for essentially the entire final minute.
The two least penalized teams in the NHL during the regular season combined to commit a whopping 15 penalties throughout this game and routinely allowed their opponent a man advantage.
The series will pick back up again on Friday at Bridgestone Arena for Game 2, a game that Detroit will desperately need to win to avoid falling into a 0-2 hole.