Rope a Dope Preds take 3-1 Series Lead…
The Nashville Predators defeated the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 to take a 3 games to 1 lead in the best of seven Western Conference Quarter Finals Series. This game was all about survival & Nashville net minder Pekka Rinne was up to the challenge making 40 saves on 41 shots.
The game started out fairly even, but would soon be dominated by Detroit for the next 40 minutes. The Preds were outshot 28-10 over the 1st 2 periods, but Rinne was able to stop them all. The 3rd period saw Nashville emerge from an offensive slumber & generate some quick chances. Preds F David Legwand was able to push in a loose puck, but the goal was waved off as the referee lost site of the play & blew the whistle.
On the next shift, the Preds would break through with a clean goal as Alex Radulov banked a puck off a skate & right onto the stick of Gabriel Bourque who fired it past Red Wings G Jimmy Howard for a 1-0 lead at 1:55. A too many men on the ice bench minor would give Detroit a power play & they wasted no time in scoring the tying goal as a Nik Kronwall shot was deflected over the shoulder of Rinne by Jiri Hudler to tie the game with 16:46 remaining. Soon after, Martin Erat would lead a strong rush for the Preds splitting the defense & getting 3 Red Wings to follow him into the corner where he made a great pass to Kevin Klein in the slot who converted into a near empty net to break the tie at 6:25.
The Preds penalty kill would be tested 2 more times down the stretch of the 3rd period & would answer the call. The PK Unit was able to kill off 6 out of 7 Detroit power plays over the course of the game. Detroit would continue to pressure Nashville piling up shots until the counter was over 40 again.
With 39 seconds left Preds F David Legwand sealed the deal by stealing the puck & putting it into the net for a 3-1 final score. The Preds managed to get mostly outplayed, but won both games in Detroit & now head home with a chance to eliminate the Red Wings on Friday night at Bridgestone Arena. This is the 1st time Nashville has ever had a 3-1 series lead.
D Hal Gill has missed all 4 games 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 is skating with the team but not in contact drills.
The bottom line…..
-The Nashville Predators lead the Western Conference Quarter Final Best of 7 Series Vs Detroit 3-1.
-In the Western Conference Playoffs #8 LA leads #1 Vancouver 3-0, #2 St Louis leads #7 San Jose 2-1, #3 Phoenix & #6 Chicago 1-1.
-The Predators return home for game 5 on Friday with faceoff set for 7 CT.
-D Shea Weber led all Preds in time on ice with 31:20, followed by Ryan Suter with 30:41.
-D Kevin Klein had another great game with 21:00 in time on ice, 1 Goal, 1 shots on goal, 3 hits, 2 blocked shots.
-F Gabriel Bourque had 1 Goal in game 4 & now has 3 for the series.
-F David Legwand had 1 Goal & was 60% in the face off dot.
-F Alex Radulov had 1 Assist & now has points in 3 straight games.
-G Pekka Rinne was outstanding in net again with 40 saves on 41 shots.