Wings Fight Back, Even Series…
The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Nashville Predators 3-2 at Bridgestone Arena to even the best of 7 Western Conference Quarterfinal Series at 1-1. The crowd which spent much of the pregame discussing how or if Detroit would retaliate for the Shea Weber hit on Henrik Zetterberg, didn’t have to wait very long. At 1:36 of the 1st period Todd Bertuzzi challenged Weber to a fight & the incident was put to rest. This was a real heavyweight tilt & gave the Red Wings some momentum. That momentum turned into a goal at 8:25 when Ian White fired home a wrist shot to give Detroit a 1-0 lead. Corey Emmerton added to the lead for the Wings at 15:33 by beating Preds Goalie Pekka Rinne with a wrist shot bringing the sold out arena to a quick hush.
The beginning of the 2nd period saw the Preds really taking control & forcing Detroit to take a couple of penalties in a row. 3 power plays including over 30 seconds with a 5 on 3 saw the Preds produce NOTHING & the home crowd began to get very uneasy. At 9:01 the Preds were able to break through an outstanding performance by Wings Goalie Jimmy Howard when Andrei Kostitsyn rifled home a wrist shot to cut the lead to 2-1. Then the dreaded shift after a goal syndrome happened with Detroit scoring just 56 seconds later on a Johan Franzen tip in to restore the lead to 2 goals.
The 2nd period would close out that way. In the 3rd period, the Preds earned another power play & again were unable to convert making the team 0-12 in the playoffs with the man advantage, which was ranked 1st in the NHL in the regular season. Nashville continued to work & gain scoring chances, but it would take until 15:16 of the period when Weber picked up a rebound a put a backhand into the net from the slot.
The Preds did get some chances over the last couple minutes of the game, but Detroit did a great job of disrupting & not allowing a sustained attack, even with Rinne pulled for the extra attacker. This series will be full of roller coaster moments & now becomes a best of 5 with the Red Wings holding home ice advantage. The series now moves on to Detroit with game 3 on Sunday at 11 AM CT & game 4 on Tuesday.
D Hal Gill missed game 1 &2 Vs Detroit & is listed as day to day after being hit in the foot with a shot before the end of the regular season.
The bottom line…
-The Nashville Predators are tied the Western Conference Quarter Final Best of 7 Series Vs Detroit 1-1.
-In the Western Conference Playoffs #8 LA leads #1 Vancouver 2-0, #2 St Louis leads #7 San Jose 1-0, #3 Phoenix leads #6 Chicago 1-0.
-The Predators head to Detroit for game 3 on Sunday Morning with faceoff set for 11 CT.
-F Alexander Radulov got his game going with 21:42 in time on ice, 1 Assist, 4 shots on goal, 2 hits, 1 blocked shot, & won a faceoff.
-F Paul Gaustad had 1 Assist & now has 2 points in playoffs.
-D Shea Weber scored a Goal & had 5 shots on goal, 1 hit, & a fighting major.
-F Mike Fisher led the team in hits with 3, 5 others tied with 2.
1 down, 15 to go,