Friday, April 13, 2012

Red Wings stonewall Predators to even series 1-1

In a dramatic game of solid team defense and excellent goaltending by Jimmy Howard, the Detroit Red Wings evened their first round series with the Nashville Predators in a solid 3-2 win at Bridgestone Arena.

Howard was the story of the game, stopping 24 of 26 Nashville shots and allowing minimal second chances as he played a career game in shutting down the Predators, including holding the Predators' league best power play to no goals on six opportunities.

Detroit's goals came from Ian White, Cory Emmerton, and Johan Franzen.

The Predators' goals came from Andrei Kostitsyn and Shea Weber, who's goal with less than five minutes to play gave the Predators a chance to win in the closing minutes.

Pekka Rinne was not sharp early but was tough down the stretch, stopping 14 of 17 Detroit shots in the loss.

The series is all even and will move to Detroit on Sunday where game three will be on NBC in a national broadcast at 11 a.m. CDT.

Make the jump for more details...

At The Puck Drop...

In Goal: Jimmy Howard (0-1-0, 3.06, .885) versus Pekka Rinne  (1-0-0, 2.00,.946).

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

First Period...

Things got off to a hostile start quickly when Johan Franzen cross-checked Mike Fisher as a retaliation for a hit that Fisher had put on him earlier on the shift. On the delayed penalty. Marty Erat hit the crossbar on a great scoring chance.

Todd Bertuzzi and Shea Weber hooked up in a fight, most likely sparked by Weber hitting Henrik Zetterberg at the end of game one.

The Preds had several scoring chances on the man advantage but were officially credited with only one shot.

The Wings got on the board first at 8:25 on a shot by White who managed to score through several Preds when no one went to front him as he walked the puck toward the net. Jiri Hudler and Drew Miller assisted on the play.

After a couple of Wings' scoring chances Detroit seemed to pick up momentum and at 12:04 Alex Radulov cross-checked Hudler trying to keep him away from Rinne. The Preds held the Wings shotless on their man advantage.

The Preds were on offense and Kevin Klein had a shot blocked by Emmerton who grabbed the puck and skated back to the Preds' zone and drove the puck past Rinne to make it 2-0 Wings at 15:33.

The Predators did not have a bad opening period and had plenty of scoring chances but could not convert. They they did manage to give up a few key chances that the Wings were able to convert.

1st Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Red Wings          0        10        15       2-7:00 10-9  53%
Predators          2          8        15       2-7:00 9-10  47%

Second Period...

The Preds had a great scoring chance off the opening face off once again but failed. They went on the power play 26 seconds into the period when he Hudler interfered with Rinne. The Predators got three shots on the man-advantage.

As soon as the teams went back to even-strength at 2:34, Ericsson tripped Gabriel Bourque to put the Preds on the power play. With 30 seconds left, Niclas Kronwall was called for delay of game to put the Preds on a five on three advantage. Through the whole sequence, the Preds managed only a pair of shots.

Detroit went on the man advantage at 6:23 when Matt Halischuk tripped Justin Abdelkader. The Wings got a shot but no score.

After a scoring chance by Radulov, he managed to get the puck to Andrei Kostitsyn who sent it through traffic to cut the Wings' lead to 2-1 at 9:01.

Fifty-six seconds later, Brad Stuart threw a weak shot toward the Preds net and Franzen tipped it passed Rinne to give Detroit a 3-1 lead.

Kile Quincy put Nashville back on the man-advantage when hit hit Bourque in the mouth with his staick. The Preds kept plenty of pressure on the Wings but only had one shot officially.

Halischuk was shaken up and left the ice at 15:47 with an upper body injury.

As the period ended, Nashville continued to be frustrated by a stubborn Howard in goal and a Wings' defense that was clearing all the Preds' second chances around the net.

2nd Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Red Wings          1         5        14       4-8:00 10-10 50%
Predators          1        10        21       1-2:00 10-10 50%

Third Period...

The Predators had a timely opportunity for a power play at 6:12 when Valtteri Filppula hooked Mike Fisher. The Wings' penalty kill remained perfect, not allowing the Preds a single shot.

After plenty of persistence, the Predators closed the gap to a one goal game when Weber scored at 15:16 off of a pass to the slot from Paul Gaustad to make it 3-2 Wings. The secondary assist went to Nick Spaling.

The Predators's faithful were as loud as they had ever been during the TV timeout with 3:15 remaining. The team responded well and kept pressure on the Wings down to the final horn but could never even the score.

3rd  Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Red Wings          0         4        14       1-2:00 9-7  56%
Predators           1        11        21       0-0:00 7-9  44%


Final     Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Red Wings          3        17        36      7-17:00 28-27 51%
Predators           2        26        56      3-9:00 27-28 49%

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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