NASHVILLE, Tennessee -- The Detroit Red Wings were eliminated from the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday night with a 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators.
The loss in Game Five of the first-round matchup between the teams is the earliest exit for the Red Wings since 2003, when they were swept in the opening round by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
Nashville's game-winning goal came just 13 seconds into the third period. The Red Wings won the period's opening faceoff but Brad Stuart's attempted pass into the neutral zone became a turnover, with Alexander Radulov gaining the Detroit zone and working the puck to Gabriel Bourque. The Detroit defense collapsed on Bourque and blocked his attempted shot but the puck came right to the trailing David Legwand, who snapped a shot past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard to make it 2-1.
The Red Wings would be unable to even things up, barely sustaining any pressure in the Nashville zone for the remainder of the game.
The Predators had opened the game's scoring with 3:50 left in the first period. Legwand picked off Kyle Quincey's attempted pass to Jonathan Ericsson along the boards behind the Detroit net and sent the puck out to Radulov all alone in front of the goal for a shot past Howard.
Rinne finished the night with 21 saves on 22 shots against. Howard made 23 saves on 25 shots.
Neither team scored a power play goal. The Red Wings had two tries with the extra attacker and the Predators had three.
The series was the first of the season to end.
Credit: Clark Rasmussen