Preds Deflate Winged Wheel, move on to 2nd Round…
The Nashville Predators defeated the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in front of a sold crowd at Bridgestone Arena to win the best of seven Western Conference Quarter Final Series 4 games to 1. The Preds came out strong & played a very solid & confident 1st period carrying the play & outshooting the Red Wings 10-8.
The line of David Legwand, Alex Radulov, & Gabriel Bourque had some scoring chances early & were able to convert when Legwand won a battle for the puck in the corner & made a great pass to Radulov who went top shelf for the 1-0 lead at 16:10. The Preds were able to keep up the pressure & limit Detroit to very few scoring chances to start the 2nd period, but that would not last.
Detroit was able to tie the game when Jiri Hudler cleaned up a loose puck to beat Nashville Goalie Pekka Rinne with 6:15 remaining in the 2nd period. The Red Wings would make a push over the rest of the period, but the score would remain tied at intermission.
Just 13 seconds into the 3rd period, Legwand received a pass from Radulov & fired a wrist shot through traffic set by Bourque for a 2-1 Preds lead. Over the rest of the 3rd period, Detroit would only fire 8 shots on net & have 1-2 decent scoring chances that were all handled easily by Rinne.
The Preds were not content to sit back on the one goal lead & continued to play strong physically & in the offensive zone generating some scoring chances. The last few minutes of this game were one of the best atmospheres I have ever been in & it was great to be there for the biggest psychological moment in franchise history.
The team will take a day off & then get back to practice while awaiting the end of the other Western Conference Quarter Final Series. It is great to win a series over a divisional rival in this way, but it is for nothing if the team doesn’t continue to play solid hockey with hopes of advancing to something special.
D Hal Gill missed the entire 1st round Vs Detroit & is listed as day to day after being hit in the foot with a shot before the end of the regular season. He has returned to practice.
The bottom line…
-The Nashville Predators have won the Western Conference Quarter Final Best of 7 Series Vs Detroit 4-1.
-In the Western Conference Playoffs #8 LA leads #1 Vancouver 3-1, #2 St Louis defeated #7 San Jose 4-1, #3 Phoenix leads #6 Chicago 3-2.
-The Predators schedule & opponent are still to be determined for Western Conference Semi Finals.
-D Shea Weber led all Preds in time on ice with 27:21 with 2 shots on goal, 5 hits, & 4 blocked shots.
-D Kevin Klein had another great game with 24:59.
-F Alexander Radulov had 1 Goal & 1 Assist Vs Detroit in Game 5 & finished the series with 5 points in last 4 games.
-F David Legwand had 1 Goal, 1 Assist, 5 shots on goal, 3 take aways, & won 75% of face-offs.
-F Gabriel Bourque had 1 Assist & was a +2 in 14:27 of ice time.
-G Pekka Rinne was solid in net again with 20 saves on 21 shots.