RECAP: Rocco Grimaldi’s four goals lead the Nashville Predators past Red Wings

By Field Level Media
Mar 25, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators right wing Eeli Tolvanen (28) scores on the power play during the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Rocco Grimaldi scored a career-high four goals and the host Nashville Predators overwhelmed the Detroit Red Wings 7-1 on Thursday.

Grimaldi, who had three goals this season entering the game, recorded his first career hat trick during the first nine minutes as the Predators won for the fifth time in six games.

It was the fastest hat trick by a Predators player in team history.

Juuse Saros, who notched a shutout against Detroit on Tuesday, made 20 saves.

Eeli Tolvanen, Mikael Granlund and Mathieu Olivier also scored for the Predators.

Bobby Ryan scored for Detroit, which had been shut out its previous two games. Starting goaltender Thomas Greiss was pulled after Nashville’s third goal in favor of Calvin Pickard.

The Predators led 4-1 after the first period.

Grimaldi’s first goal came at 5:34. Grimaldi got behind the defense, collected an Erik Haula pass and went top shelf with a backhander. Nick Cousins had the second assist.

With Anthony Mantha in the penalty box for tripping, Tolvanen scored less than two minutes later. He skated to the left circle and fired a shot over Greiss’ left shoulder. Roman Josi and Filip Forsberg were credited with assists.

Just 16 seconds later, Grimaldi struck again. He made a steal from Greiss behind Detroit’s net, skated just in front of the goal line and ripped a shot from a tough angle that got behind the goaltender.

He achieved his hat trick at 8:08 of the period after Pickard entered the contest. Haula found him skating toward the net unchecked and Pickard didn’t have enough time to recover.

With Olivier in the box, the Wings got on the board in the final minute when Ryan’s slapshot deflected off a defender’s stick and past Saros. Christian Djoos and Robby Fabbri notched the assists.

Granlund scored midway through the second period on a shot from the right side that deflected off the stick of Detroit’s Troy Stecher. Josi and Dante Fabbro collected the assists, which made it 5-1.

Pickard was screened when Olivier scored from the point early in the third period.

Grimaldi made a steal and scored on a breakaway with 2:31 remaining for his fourth goal.

–Field Level Media