A late goal by Henrik Zetterberg wasn’t enough for the Detroit Red Wings to get out of a hole they dug for themselves early, as they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Nashville Predators in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinal series between the two teams.
The Predators took a 2-1 lead in the series with the win, regaining the home-ice advantage that Detroit had taken with their Game Two win in Nashville.
Nashville opened the game’s scoring just 2:48 into the game, with Detroit forward Drew Miller off for goaltender interference. Andrei Kostitsyn knocked a shot in on Red Wings’ netminder Jimmy Howard from the low slot, then pushed defenseman Brad Stuart into the crease. Howard made the stop but couldn’t get in position to pick up the rebound chance by Shea Weber.
The Predators extended the lead at 3:50 of the second period. Kevin Klein broke through the Detroit defense and got in on Howard while being hooked by Stuart, snapping a shot over Howard’s glove to make it 2-0.
Pavel Datsyuk got the Red Wings on the board with 4:57 left in the middle period. Datsyuk stripped the puck from Roman Josi behind the Nashville net and snuck it in around goalie Pekka Rinne’s pad.
Nashville regained the two-goal lead with 3:30 left in the third period. After the Red Wings kept up pressure for most of the period, the Predators finally took advantage of a Niklas Kronwall pinch and got an odd-man rush that saw Sergei Kostitsyn snap a shot past Howard.
Zetterberg closed out the game’s scoring, snapping a shot from the right circle past Rinne with the Red Wings skating six-on-five.
The Zetterberg goal was Detroit’s lone power play marker, while Weber’s was the only one for Nashville. Each team had four tries with the extra attacker.
Rinne stopped 41 of 43 shots in the win. Howard made 19 saves on 22 shots.
The two teams will meet for Game Four in Detroit on Tuesday.
The Red Wings thought they had tied the game in the final second of the second period, when Johan Franzen knocked home a rebound chance from the slot but replay showed that time expired before the puck crossed the goal line.