Predators take the Joe 3-1 despite being Out-Shot 41 to 17

Pekka Rinne blocks 40 of 41 shots on goal against Detroit.

The Nashville Predators had already claimed one victory in the Joe Louis Arena on Sunday, their first post-season win in Detroit in franchise history, meaning the Detroit Red Wings would come out swinging in the next round. However, Nashville had a relatively good season against the Red Wings in Detroit, so the pesky Predators weren’t just going hand the Wings the victory without a price. Here are the highlights from last night’s game in the Detroit/Nashville series:

KEY POINTS:

  • Jordin Tootoo, Hal Gill, Colin Wilson, Brian McGrattan, Jack Hillen, and Chet Pickard were the scratches for the night, giving Ryan Ellis another chance at playoff hockey. Along with Ellis returned Matt Halischuk, who was feared to have broken a few ribs against Detroit on Friday night.
  • Both the first and second periods proved goal-less, but that doesn’t mean neither team was given prime scoring chances. Thanks to a stellar performance from the Finnish phenom, Pekka blocked 11 shots during the first (Nashville only shot 7) and 17 in the second (Nashville only got 3 shots).
  • After David Legwand’s first goal was waved off due to an “intent to blow the whistle” call, Gabriel Bourque made sure his goal was seen around the arena at 1:55 into the third period. Bourque’s snap shot passed Jimmy Howard was his third of the playoffs and Alexander Radulov (3rd assist) picked up the lone assist on the goal.
  • Jiri Hudler would score a few minutes later on the power play at 3:14 with a tip-in passed Pekka Rinne, his first goal of the post season.
  • Kevin Klein would shine yet again against Detroit, sinking his 2nd post season goal at 6:25. Klein’s wrist shot was assisted by Martin Erat (2nd assist) and Mike Fisher (2nd assist). While the Detroit line followed Martin Erat, Kevin Klein was left wide open, cleaning tapping the puck into the net while Jimmy Howard and the rest of the team tried desperately to adjust.
  • Nashville would hold off Detroit until 19:21 when David Legwand made certain Detroit acknowledged his goal. Leggy was unassisted on his tip-in goal.
  • As stated in the headline, Nashville was out-shot 41 to 17 overall, but if you’ve followed the Predators at all this past season, you’ll agree this isn’t surprising that Nashville was able to pull out the win. During this series, Nashville has been out-shot all but once, and that was last Friday when they lost. It’s clear Nashville does much better when they aren’t constantly taking shot after shot, despite the fan base wishing they would.
  • The Predators were plaque with penalties, yet again, but only allowed one power play goal out of seven chances for the Red Wings. Nashville was only given three power play chances, with David Legwand capitalizing on the last one. Though the refs seemed to favor Detroit, it was clear the penalties called for both teams were over the top. Here are the seven penalty offenders:
  1. Roman Josi – 7:38 1st Period – Interference
  2. Alexander Radulov – 12:18 1st Period – Tripping
  3. Roman Josi – 14:27 1st Period – Cross Checking
  4. Francis Bouillon – 14:01 2nd Period – Hooking
  5. Andrei Kostitsyn – 2:44 3rd Period – Too Many Men/Ice
  6. Andrei Kostitsyn – 7:15 3rd Period – Interference
  7. Matt Halischuk – 13:41 3rd Period – Interference

If there is one thing Detroit needs to realize, it’s that Nashville does better both on the road and when out-shot. After last night’s game, we’re pretty sure the team has come to that realization. With this win in Detroit, Nashville has now pushed themselves up 3-1 on the series, meaning one more win and they clinch the series. The Predators returned home last night at 12:45AM to a sea of adoring fans, who stood out in the cold and rain to welcome their boys home. The Predators could end the series with a win on Friday in Nashville, so be prepared for both teams to come out with passion.

Until then,
GO PREDS.

(Photo courtesy of Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Nashville finds Strength in Detroit; Predators Win 3-2

Take that, Klein haters!

Game 3 of the Detroit/Nashville series started bright and early today with the puck dropping at 11AM; the first game scheduled for the day.

Nashville struggled Friday night on home ice, losing to Detroit 3-2 in regulation and tying the series 1-1. With two games down in Nashville, it was time for the Predators to head north to the Motor City to throw-down in the Joe. However, the Predators last visit in Detroit bounced in their favor, wiping out the Red Wings 4-1. Needless to say, the Predators aren’t afraid of Detroit and its fans, but would it be enough to erase the power play issues from Friday? Here are the highlights from today’s game in Detroit:

KEY POINTS:

  • Colin Wilson, Craig Smith, Jack Hillen, Chet Pickard, Brian McGrattan, and Hal Gill rounded up the scratched list for Game 3, but one surprise was the scratch of Matt Halischuk. In replace of Hali, Jordin Tootoo hit the ice, along with rookie Ryan Ellis.
  • Good thing Shea Weber feeds positively off of negativity, for he sealed the first goal of the game at 2:48 on the power play for his 2nd goal of the playoffs. Every time Weber’s stick would touch the puck, a cascade of “boos” would float amongst the crowd, but Weber quickly silenced them. Andrei Kostitsyn (1st assist) and Alexander Radulov (2nd assist) picked up the assists on Weber’s silencer.
  • Kevin Klein would pick up a goal of his own at 3:50 in the 2nd Period, his first of the playoffs after scoring only four during the season. Martin Erat picked up his first assist of the playoffs, also the first point acquired by the top line of SK74-Marty-Fisher.
  • Pavel Datsyuk would finally get Detroit’s ball rolling at 15:03 with a wrap-around goal passed Pekka Rinne. This was Datsyuk’s first goal of the playoffs.
  • Johan Franzen stopped the hearts of millions watching when he was able to slip the puck by Pekka Rinne, essentially tying the game with under a second left in the 2nd Period. The goal was reviewed and it was clear the clock had run out just milliseconds before passing Pekka, rendering it no good. Whew!
  • Sergei Kostitsyn would sink the third goal for the Predators at 16:30 with a clean snap shot passed Jimmy Howard. Mike Fisher picked up his first assist and point of the playoffs along with Kevin Klein (1st assist) on SK74’s first goal of the playoffs.
  • Henrik Zetterberg would leave fans biting their nails at 19:06 when he was able to put the Red Wings within one of tying the game with Nashville on the power play, but the Predators defense would prove impenetrable, holding the Wings at bay until the final horn sounded to end the game.
  • Call this the Series of the Penalties! Twelve penalties in all, with six penalties for each team, giving both Detroit and Nashville equal power play opportunities. Unlike Friday, Nashville was finally able to snag a power play goal, but Detroit was able to snag one as well. Pointless penalty of the day came from Jordin Tootoo, who was called for roughing after pushing on Henrik Zetterberg. If you’re going to take a penalty, at least get a few swings in first! Here are the other Predators who took some time to reflect in the box:
  1.  David Legwand – 12:53 1st Period – Tripping
  2. Jordin Tootoo – 1:21 2nd Period – Roughing
  3. David Legwand (served by Patric Hornqvist) – 14:33 2nd Period – Interference
  4. Mike Fisher – 17:46 2nd Period – Roughing
  5. Sergei Kostitsyn – 19:49 2nd Period – Hi-Sticking
  6. David Legwand – 18:23 3rd Period – Holding
  • Pekka Rinne blew Detroit away in usual fashion, blocking 41 of 43 shots on goal. Nashville lacked on the shots on net, only attempting 22, but the accuracy was much better and Howard just wasn’t expecting to be taken out on his own ice.
  • Kevin Klein stepped up today, gaining an assist and a goal, only his 2nd playoff goal of his career. Both Kostitsyn brothers picked up points, with Andrei gaining an assist and Sergei collecting a goal. The top line all finally found a groove, with Fisher and Erat both gaining assists and, again, SK74 with a goal. 
The Predators came out swinging in the first period, but the second and third periods left us biting our nails down to the quick. However, a win’s a win and we will take it, especially when it is up in Motown. This win was actually Nashville’s first post-season win in Detroit in franchise history. As “Not Paul Gaustad” said on Twitter:

Follow @PaulsStick on Twitter

The Predators stay in Detroit until Tuesday, taking on the sea of Red at 6:30PM. Although the defense has been doing pretty well thus far, if Hal Gill can return by Tuesday, we believe there’s no stopping Nashville from taking this series.

Until then,
GO PREDS.

(Photo credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)