Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Predators overcome all obstacles to beat Detroit 3-1

On a night when every statistical category (and some questionable officiating) went against the Nashville Predators, they managed to beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 to take a franchise first 3-1 series lead.

Heading in to the final period, the game was scoreless and it appeared one goal could be the difference. The Preds struck first on a goal from Gabriel Bourque. The Wings quickly answered when Jiri Hudler tipped a puck into the net. Kevin Kline scored the game winner on a great feed from Marty Erat. With seconds ticking down, David Legwand put the icing on the cake with an unassisted goal.

The hero of the game, as it seems to be every night, was Pekka Rinne who stopped 40 of 41 Detroit shots. Jimmy Howard took the loss giving up three goals on the Predators 17 shots.

Detroit was fully in control of every aspect of the game but the Predator defense and goaltending gave Nashville a chance to steal the contest in the final period, as they deflected 73 of 74 Wings shots toward the net.

The Predators returned home after the game and will have a chance to close out the series on Friday at Bridgestone Arena with a 7 p.m. puck drop. A few tickets remain available.

Make the jump for more details from the game...

At The Puck Drop...

In Goal:  Pekka Rinne (2-1-0, 2.34, .928) versus Jimmy Howard (1-2-0, 2.71, .892).

Scratches: Detroit - Jakub Kindl, Riley Sheaman, Jan Mursak, Chris Conner, Darren Helm, and Joey MacDonald. Nashville - Jordin Tootoo, Brian McGrattan, Colin Wilson, Jack Hillen, Hal Gill, Jack MacLellan, and Chet Pickard.

First Period...

The Predators sent Jordin Tootoo to the press box and started Matt Halischuk while the Wings continued with the same line-up as game three.

The first period started just as the other three games have with plenty of hard play and the officials being quick to blow the whistle.

The parade of penalties started at 7:38 when Roman Josi was called for interference on Jiri Hudler. The Wings managed a shot on the man-advantage.

At 11:37, Todd Bertuzzi elbowed Nick Spaling. At 12:18, Alex Radulov ended the Preds' power play when he tripped Brad Stuart. The Preds got two shots on the man advantage. Detroit had one during the four on four and none on their power play.

Josi was called for cross-checking Bertuzzi at 14:27 and then at 15:08, Pavel Datsyuk tripped Spaling. Detriot had one power play shot and Nashville had one during four on four play.

The Preds only had ten pucks directed at the goal and play was marred by an abundance of stoppages, as indicated by 27 faceoffs.

1st Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        0         7         10       3-6:00 12-15 44%
Red Wings           0        11        24       2-4:00 15-12 56%

Second Period...

Uneven play continued as the period opened and in spite of keeping the puck in Detroit's zone better than the opening period, the Preds did not get their first shout until the 8:50 mark, when the Wings already had nine shots.

The first penalty of the period came at 14:01 when Frankie Bouillon was called for hooking Bertuzzi. The Wings picked up a shot on the power play.

The period ended with all the statistics heavily in favor of the Wings but the game remained scoreless. Rinne continued to be the sole savior for the Predators.

2nd Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        0         3        10       1-2:00 9-16  36%
Red Wings          0        17        25       0-0:00 16-9  64%

Third Period...

The Predators were denied a goal due to a quick whistle at 1:28 when David Legwand threw the puck at Howard and banked it into the net but the on ice official declared that the play was dead.

At 1:55, Bourque blazed a puck past Howard from the slot to give the Preds a 1-0 lead. The play started with Alexander Radulov throwing the puck toward the net from the corner and Justin Abdelkader tried to clear the puck and it went straight to Bourque.

The Predators went short-handed at 2:44 when the officials ruled too many men on the ice. Andrei Kostitsyn served the penalty. The Wings took advantage at 3:14 when Kronwall launched one from the blue line with Hudler tipping the puck into the net while blocking Rinne's view. Kyle Quincy also assisted.

The Preds took a 2-1 lead at when Marty Erat drove the length of the ice and was pushed wide by three Red Wings but he had the presence of mind to cent the puck to an oncoming Klein who blew the puck into the empty side of the net.

The Wings got a quick chance to come back at 7:15 when Andrei Kostitsyn was called for interference on Stuart. Nashville got two shots and Detroit had one on their man-advantage.

Klein and Abdelkader skirmished at 9:59 after Abdelkader was shoving Rinne but no penalties were accessed.

The Predators were given another penalty at 13:41 when Matt Haliscuk interfered with Henrik Zetterberg. Detroit had one shot but the Predator penalty kill held firm.

With 1:31 remaining, Detroit called a time out and pulled the goalie Howard. With 55.8 seconds left, Zetterberg high-sticked Shea Weber. On the Preds power play, with Howard back in net, Legwand sealed the win for the Predators with 38.9 seconds left when he skated from behind the net to put it past Howard.

3rd  Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        3         7         9       3-6:00 12-14  65%
Red Wings        1        13        25       1-2:00 14-12  35%


Final     Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        3        17        29       7-14:00 33-45  65%
Red Wings        1        41        74       3-6:00 45-33  35%

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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