As easy as it is to compare this series win to Detroit’s 2002 victory over the Vancouver Canucks, I think there’s one important thing that makes it different.
It could be me looking back with rose-colored glasses but in 2002, the Canucks absolutely collapsed after Nicklas Lidstrom‘s goal from center ice. Collapsed to the point that Dan Cloutier was never the same again.
While it’s true that Lidstrom got another long goal today, the Predators still didn’t give up. Ellis recovered. Which is more than you can say about the guy who even wore the same number for Vancouver.
This takes nothing away from what Detroit did. Both times they took the opportunity they got. It just might show how luck isn’t enough anymore. In the “new NHL” teams keep fighting back and you have to take those opportunities when you get them.
The Detroit Red Wings rode a shutout by goalie Chris Osgood and a fluke goal by captain Nicklas Lidstrom to victory Sunday afternoon, claiming a 3-0 win over the Nashville Predators to close out their Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup its sixth game.
Osgood stopped all twenty shots he faced in his second start of the playoff season. He replaced Dominik Hasek in the Detroit crease midway through Game Four and allowed only one goal in 157 minutes played for the rest of the series.
Lidstrom’s goal on a bouncing long shot came with 6:16 left in the second period.
Just seven seconds into a Nashville power play, Lidstrom lobbed a shot in on Predators goaltender Dan Ellis from the Detroit side of center ice. The puck landed several feet in front of Ellis, bouncing over his shoulder and into the net for the game’s first goal.
The Red Wings kept the momentum from the goal to kill Nashville’s five-on-three that followed shortly after.
Jiri Hudler scored his second goal of the playoffs 3:52 into the third period, putting Detroit up by a pair. Rookie Darren Helm led the Red Wings into the Nashville zone and sent a pass across to Hudler for a one-timer into the back of the net.
Brian Rafalski added an empty-net goal in the game’s closing seconds to finish off the scoring.
Ellis stopped 40 of 42 shots he faced just two days after making 52 saves on 54 shots.
The Red Wings will have to wait to find out who their second round opponent will be. The San Jose Sharks and the Calgary Flames will meet in Game Seven of their series on Tuesday. Should the Flames complete the upset, they will move on to face Detroit. If San Jose wins, the Red Wings will move on to meet the Colorado Avalanche.
Open Game Thread
Detroit Red Wings at Nashville Predators
April 20, 2008 – 3:00 PM