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.
For more on the Red Wings, head over to Winging It In Motown. For more on the Predators, check out On The Forecheck. And for more 2012 NHL Playoffs coverage, be sure to check out SB Nation's NHL hub.