Red Wings Get Even with Predators in 3-2 Win

The Detroit Red Wings evened things up with the Nashville Predators in more ways than one during a 3-2 win Friday night.

The Western Conference Quarterfinal series between the two teams now sits at 1-1 as it shifts to Detroit for Game Three on Sunday, with the Predators having taken Game One on Wednesday.

In addition to tying the series up, the Red Wings got back at Nashville captain Shea Weber. Weber ended the opening game of the series by slamming Detroit forward Henrik Zetterberg‘s head into the glass. In Game Two, Todd Bertuzzi fought Weber just 1:36 in.

Ian White gave Detroit its first lead of the series at 8:25 of the opening period. White walked the puck in from the right point to the top of the right faceoff circle and snapped a shot past Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne to make it 1-0.

With 4:27 left in the period, Cory Emmerton made it 2-0 for the Red Wings. Emmerton blocked a shot in the Detroit end and gathered up the puck for a two-on-one down the ice with Gustav Nyquist. After defenseman Roman Josi dropped to the ice to block the passing lane, Emmerton fired a shot from the left circle over Rinne’s shoulder.

The Predators pulled back to within a goal at 9:01 of the second, when Andrei Kostitsyn was left alone in the slot. He took a feed from Alexander Radulov and flung the puck past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard to make it 2-1.

Detroit regained the two-goal lead just 56 seconds later, when a Brad Stuart shot from the left circle tipped off Johan Franzen in front of the net and in behind Rinne to make it 3-1.

The Predators would pressure late but could only manage one more goal, with Weber backhanding a shot from the slot past Howard with 4:44 remaining.

Howard finished the night with 24 saves on 26 shots. Rinne made 14 saves on the 17 shots he faced.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. Detroit had two tries with the extra attacker while the Predators had six power plays, including 30 secons of five-on-three.

The teams will meet in Game Three in Detroit on Sunday.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Predators – Game 2 – 4/13

I wasn’t near a computer at all tonight but I saw the whole game, so I’ll be going from memory for my postgame notes since I didn’t write anything during the game.

I was proven wrong about a lot of things tonight. I was absolutely certain that the Red Wings wouldn’t physically respond to Shea Weber after he rammed Henrik Zetterberg‘s head into the glass to close out Game One on Wednesday. Instead, we had Todd Bertuzzi going toe-to-toe with him just 1:36 in.

I’ve been complaining about Brad Stuart and Johan Franzen and Cory Emmerton. Emmerton snipes one past Pekka Rinne to make it 2-0 and then it’s Stuart’s shot that deflects off Franzen to make it 3-1.

And how about that third Detroit goal? After the bounces went in Nashville’s favor in Game One, the Wings got them in Game Two. That’s something I was right about, that if you replayed Game One with the bounces going the other way, it’s a Detroit win.

The Wings made closer than they needed to. The second Nashville goal late in the third period didn’t need to happen, it was entirely because Detroit stopped trying to move the puck and started skating in circles. And I did call that Weber would get a third-period goal (though the full prediction was that it would be on a power play caused by a Tomas Holmstrom goalie interference call that negated a Detroit goal).

Much like Game One, the Red Wings played a very solid game. They started to slip in the final minutes but overall, they earned this one.

Jimmy Howard has been outstanding this series. He’s outplaying Rinne, which I’m not sure a lot of non-Wings partisans would have expected on Monday.

The win gives Detroit home ice in a five-game series. Huge for the team with the best home record in the NHL, but they can’t let up just because they’re coming home.