Grimaldi scores 4 goals as Predators rout Red Wings 7-1

Nashville Predators right wing Rocco Grimaldi (23) scores his fourth goal of the night, this one against Detroit Red Wings goaltender Calvin Pickard (31) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. The Predators won 7-1. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Rocco Grimaldi had a career night, thanks in large part to Trudy.

Grimaldi scored four goals to tie a team record and lead the Nashville Predators over the Detroit Red Wings 7-1 on Thursday.

Eeli Tolvanen, Mikael Granlund and Mathieu Olivier also scored, and Juuse Saros made 20 saves as the surging Predators won for the fifth time in six games. Erik Haula and Roman Josi each had a pair of assists.

Grimaldi, who names his sticks, said he cut a fresh one before the game and dubbed it Trudy.

“Rocco was flying obviously in the first period,” Nashville coach John Hynes said. “It was nice to see him get the goals.”

Bobby Ryan scored for Detroit, which has lost three straight.

“I just thought we had too many no-shows tonight,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “Too many guys that didn’t bring their A or B or C game. So when you have that many no-shows, it’s hard.”

Grimaldi opened the scoring at 5:34 of a four-goal first period for the Predators. It was his first goal since Feb. 13.

“Sometimes you go 15 games in a row with nothing, and you have a night where you have four,” Grimaldi said. “It’s a strange game sometimes.”

Tolvanen doubled the Nashville lead with a power-play goal at 7:23 on a wrist shot from the left faceoff dot.

Grimaldi struck again with two goals 29 seconds apart, the second coming at 8:08. The hat trick was the first of his NHL career.

“It was an interesting first period, for sure,” Grimaldi said. “Obviously the game in general, but just the first period was a whirlwind. I thought my line was playing really well.”

Detroit starting goalie Thomas Greiss was lifted after Grimaldi’s goal at 7:39. He stopped just four of the seven shots he faced. Greiss was replaced by Calvin Pickard, who allowed Grimaldi’s third goal of the night on the first shot he saw.

“I’d say we were out of sync,” Detroit captain Dylan Larkin said. “We didn’t execute, we didn’t have a good start, we were right away behind the 8-ball and gave up three.”

Pickard finished with 19 saves.

Ryan’s power-play goal at 19:05 of the first ended a long drought for the Red Wings, who were shut out in their previous two games.

Granlund had the only goal of the second, scoring his seventh of the season at 12:19. Olivier’s goal at 4:29 of the third was his second in two games.

“Our second period was lights out and our third was pretty good as well,” Olivier said.

Grimaldi capped his career night by converting a breakaway at 17:29 of the third. The four goals equaled a Predators record set by Eric Nystrom.

FAST AND FURIOUS

The 2:34 stretch of the first in which Nashville scored four times, three off Grimaldi’s stick, set a couple of individual and franchise records.

The four goals broke Nashville’s record for fastest four goals, which was previously 3:04. Grimaldi’s three goals in 2:34 eclipsed Steve Sullivan’s franchise mark for fastest three goals by one player. Sullivan scored three times in 5:56 on Dec. 14, 2006.

“It’s always pretty cool when a teammate does something special like that, so we were all really happy for him,” Josi said.

Nashville’s three goals in 45 seconds shaved 30 seconds off the previous record of 1:15. That mark dated to Jan. 8, 2008.

CENTURY MARK

Predators defenseman Dante Fabbro skated in his 100th NHL game. With Ryan Ellis out of the lineup due to an upper-body injury, Fabbro has moved up to the team’s top defensive pairing, playing on Josi’s right side. Fabbro had one assist Thursday night.

OFFENSIVE STRUGGLES

The Red Wings have scored just once during their three-game slide. Prior to this stretch, Detroit scored 14 goals in the previous four games, winning three.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Red Wings return home to host Columbus on Saturday and Sunday.

The Predators visit Chicago for a back-to-back set Saturday and Sunday.