Nashville Predators’ goaltender Tomas Vokoun stopped all 41 shots the Detroit Red Wings fired at him Tuesday night as the Predators defeated the Red Wings, 3-0. The first round playoff matchup between the two teams is now tied at two games apiece.
Vokoun’s first career playoff shutout came with some help. A third period goal by Detroit’s Robert Lang was called off when Tomas Holmstrom was judged to have interefered outside of the crease with Vokoun.
The Red Wings put pressure on the Predators early but lost their momentum when a power play was negated by a Brendan Shanahan penalty for holding just before the period’s midway point.
While the teams skated four-on-four, Nashville got on the board with just their second shot of the game. Steve Sullivan took what may have been an offsides pass from Scott Walker and skated in all alone on Detroit goalie Manny Legace, beating him high with 9:16 left in the period.
The Red Wings attempted to come back in the second but could not gain any momentum as they were forced to kill off three-straight penalties starting just 5:32 into the period, when Tomas Holmstrom was cross-checked to the ice. Holmstrom slashed at Vokoun while on his knees and took a punch to the head from Vokoun but only the slash was called.
Shortly after Kris Draper was cut on the cheek by a Nashville stick in a play where no penalty was called, Darren McCarty was sent to the box for interference. He was accompanied by Derian Hatcher, who was given a roughing penalty along with Jeremy Stevenson.
Brendan Shanahan was sent to the box after the McCarty penalty was killed when he sticked a Nashville player in the face while the Predator was on his knees.
After the Shanahan penalty was killed but with a delayed penalty coming up after Steve Yzerman tripped up a diving Jordin Tootoo, Nashville scored their second goal. WIth 5:39 remaining in the second, Legace made a save and covered the puck with his right pad, but Vladimir Orszagh was allowed to pound away and knocked the puck into the net before the whistle was blown.
Greg Johnson scored 2:04 into to the third period to cap the game’s scoring. Legace was pulled in favor of Curtis Joseph, who played the rest of the game without allowing a goal.
Legace allowed three goals on 11 shots. Joseph stopped all of the nine shots he faced.
The series comes back to Hockeytown for Game Five Thursday night, when the Red Wings will look to regain the series lead. Gametime is 7:30.