Red Wings Down Predators for Game One Win

The Detroit Red Wings rode two third-period goals by Henrik Zetterberg to a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night, giving them a 1-0 lead in their first-round playoff matchup.

A lucky bounce off of a linesman kept Nashville’s Shea Weber from clearing the puck early in the third period. Pavel Datsyuk recovered it and sent a cross-ice pass to Zetterberg for a one-timer past goalie Dan Ellis at 6:54.

Zetterberg would add an empty-net goal with 19 seconds remaining in the game, scoring on a shot from the neutral zone after a faceoff win by Kris Draper.

Johan Franzen scored the series-opening goal 5:58 into the game, grabbing the puck off of a missed clearing attempt by Radek Bonk and backhanding it over Ellis from the low slot.

Jordin Tootoo scored Nashville’s lone goal with 2:13 left in the second, tipping a Greg Zanon shot from the point through Dominik Hasek and into the net.

Hasek finished the night with 19 saves on 20 shots against while Ellis stopped 37 of 39 Detroit attempts.

Game Two of the series will be on Saturday afternoon from Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena.

Nashville’s Scott Nichol left the game with an injury early in the second period.

Pre-Playoff Hiatus Ends

The twelve of you that actually read this might have noticed I’ve been quiet for the past couple days. With the playoffs around the corner, the blogs and MSM have been buzzing with series previews and award predictions but I’ve been silent.

After the Wings finished off the ‘Hawks on Sunday, I decided to take a hiatus. Three days off to prepare for the playoffs. I pledged to myself to get other work done and spend some time relaxing, trying not to think much about hockey. And it worked. Almost down to the hour.

Last night I had a dream of Game One. Detroit (wearing awful-looking “alternate” jerseys that don’t actually exist) scored early and at some point Nashville tied it up. Chris Chelios scored from down low in the second period, with the Predators tying it again almost immediately, with the puck bouncing in a physics-denying manner (it was a dream, after all).

The Preds seemed to score again but it was while one of their players was slamming the Detroit goalie (who I think was supposed to be Osgood) to the ice in a move that belonged in the WWE more than the NHL. The good news is that the Nashville goon was ejected for it, hopefully a sign that the officiating won’t be completely useless.

I woke up at that point and looked at my alarm clock. 3:30. At least I’d made it to Thursday.

No Predictions, No Stress

No predictions from me this year. Why?

Over at A2Y, Bill’s got the Stress Train going. I’m going into these playoffs not stressing.

On paper, the top seed should win every series. We all know things don’t always work out the way they’re “supposed” to. So I don’t make predictions. Not worried about it.

One game at a time, one series at a time.

Of course, that’s probably all out the window when the Wings drop a game.

Wings – Preds Round One Schedule

The NHL has officially released the schedule for the Red Wings’ first-round series with the Predators…

April 10 – @ Detroit – 7:00 – Versus
April 12 – @ Detroit – 2:00 – NBC
April 14 – @ Nashville – TBD – Versus
April 18 – @ Nashville – TBD – Versus
April 20* – @ Detroit – 7:30 – Versus
April 22* – @ Nashville – 3:00 – NBC
April 24* – @ Detroit – TBD