The Detroit Red Wings held off a strong push by the Nashville Predators Saturday afternoon, allowing a two-goal comeback before scoring twice more themselves and earning a 4-2 win.
Detroit also benefitted from an early no-goal call against the Predators, when goalie Dominik Hasek was beaten as the goal was knocked off of its moorings in what replays showed could have been and allowed goal.
Shortly afterwards, the Red Wings got on the board.
Dallas Drake drove to the net and backhanded a shot that goalie Dan Ellis knocked aside. Charging through the slot, Darren McCarty got to the puck and banged it back past Ellis just 2:26 into the game.
Nicklas Lidstrom added a power play goal 39 seconds into the second period to put the Red Wings up by a pair, sending a pass from the right point through a screen by Tomas Holmstrom.
Just 1:40 later the Predators got on the board with a bounce off the boards. Martin Erat sent the puck around the boards into the Detroit zone. As Hasek went behind the net to play it, the puck bounced off the glass and back out in front for Alexander Radulov to put into the vacated net.
Only 11 seconds lated, Jordin Tootoo tied the game when a bobbled puck by Jiri Hudler and Andreas Lilja put him in alone on Hasek, beating him through the legs.
Kris Draper put Detroit back in front after a Red Wings time out, putting a shot off defenseman Greg Zanon’s skate and into the net at the 5:00 mark.
Midway through the third period, Holmstrom added a goal off the rebound of a Pavel Datsyuk chance, wrapping up the game’s scoring.
Hasek made 25 saves on 27 shots, 15 of them coming during Nashville’s spirited first-period effort. Ellis made 34 saves on Detroit’s 38 shots.
The two teams meet again on Monday when the series shifts to the Sommet Center in Nashville for Game Three.
Chris Chelios became the NHL leader for career playoff games played, stepping onto the ice for his 248th playoff game… The Predators replaced the injured Scott Nichol with Darcy Hordichuk.