NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Clicking on the ice is no problem for the reunited Kostitsyn brothers.
Sergei Kostitsyn found his brother Andrei twice on the power play, and the Nashville Predators edged the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 on Saturday night.
“Obviously, there’s that brotherhood connection,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “Andrei plays a real poised and polished game. He has a shot like a cannon.
“I thought Sergei really made some good plays. Andrei has played a different system in Montreal, and Sergei is helping him make his transition here.”
David Legwand had the second assist on both of Andrei’s goals and helped set up Patric Hornqvist’s game-opening tally. It was Legwand’s first three-assist game of the season, and his second multi-assist effort in the last six.
Drew Miller and Justin Abdelkader also had goals for Detroit. Both teams scored within a 13-second span of the first period.
Legwand was impressed by what he saw from the Kostitsyns on the power play.
“They are going to make things happen,” Legwand said. “It was huge for us. Andrei is an added plus. He is smart. He is big and strong. He has a great shot.”
It was the fifth game for Andrei with the Predators, but the first time he and his brother teamed up for a Nashville goal. It was the 11th time they combined for an NHL goal.
“I feel comfortable because I know Sergei likes to pass to me and is more of a passer than a shooter,” Andrei said. “It’s fun to play together.”
Both teams scored within a 13-second span in the first period.
Legwand skated on the left side, and Hornqvist on the right on a 2-on-1 break. Legwand passed to Hornqvist, who scored on a wrist shot on a backdoor play that caught goalie Joey MacDonald too far out of the net at 7:30. Hornqvist leads the Predators with 21 goals, but it was the first of his career against Detroit.
“I didn’t really think about it, but it feels good to score against those guys,” Hornqvist said. “So yeah, it was nice to get it out of the way.”
Miller answered at 7:43 when he won a battle behind the net for the puck and then bounced a shot from the right side in off of goalie Pekka Rinne.
Andrei Kostitsyn scored on the power play at 11:59 of the first to put the Predators back in front 2-1. Sergei Kostitsyn made a short pass to his brother who did a spin-around move to beat MacDonald on the left side.
At 4:34 of the third period the Kostitsyn brothers connected again on the power play. Andrei scored from low on the left side off a pass from Sergei. It was Andrei’s first multiple-goal game of the season.
“The first one was a redirect to Andrei, and Andrei made a really good, poised move right at the net and put it in,” Trotz said. “On the second one, we threw it down low and waited for their D to turn his head for one second. As soon as he turned his head, Andrei jumped backdoor, and Sergei fed him a great pass. “
With 5:25 remaining, Abdelkader fired a shot and then put the rebound over Rinne’s shoulder from low in the slot to pull the Red Wings within one goal.
“We controlled a lot of the game,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “We had a lot of opportunities. I thought we had some good looks. I thought Pekka Rinne made some good saves.”
The Red Wings, playing their second of back-to-back games, peppered Rinne with 18 shots in the final 20 minutes. Rinne stopped 35 shots.
“Detroit throws a lot of pucks at the net,” Trotz said. “They keep things alive. That was too many (in the third) with that game and the risk. We’ve got to be better than that.”
Rinne wasn’t surprised that the Red Wings put on the pressure.
“When the game is on the line they always seem to have their best still left in the tank,” Rinne said. “But I think we still managed the game pretty well.”
MacDonald made 17 saves.
“The Kostitsyns find seams and make it tough for a goalie,” MacDonald said. “They showed that on the third one.
“They have patience and they walk out and they find spots. It’s why they are such good players in the league.”
NOTES: MacDonald played in his 100th NHL game. … Andrei Kostitsyn has six points (three goals, three assists) with Nashville. … The game was played in front the Predators’ 20th home sellout of the season, tying the club mark set during the 1999-2000 season. … The Predators are 33-5-4 when they score at least three goals, and 32-2-1 when holding opponents to two goals or fewer.