Another Close Win For Game Two

It was another close game, but the Red Wings once again defeated the Nashville Predators with a late goal to take a 2-1 win and move the quarterfinal to Nashville with a 2-0 series lead.

The first period seemed to be a continuation of Game One, marked by strict calling of interference by the referees and a tight goaltending battle between Manny Legace and Tomas Vokoun. Vokoun had to be quick to stop an early power play shot from Robert Lang. Legace held the Predators off with three saves in quick succession against Martin Erat and Vladimir Orszagh.

Lang got the Red Wings on the scoreboard early in the second. Brendan Shanahan circled the puck behind the net and centered a pass. Lang was coming towards the net with Mark Eaton hounding him, but Lang pushed Eaton away just far enough that he could get his stick blade down to the ice to deflect Shanahan’s pass across Vokoun’s goal line.

Orzagh tied the game up with 7:19 left in the period. Chris Chelios was tripped at center ice, allowing Orszagh and Erat to get into Detroit’s zone on a two-on-one rush. Legace was sliding to his left to stop Orszagh, but Orszagh cut hard to his own left, slipped, and slid into the net with the puck. He bumped his head hard on the goalpost, but appeared to be uninjured afterwards.

Both teams came on hard in the third period. The Red Wings and Predators both did a good job of breaking up most attempts at scoring plays by their opponents. Finally, Detroit got their break when Scott Hartnell took a careless penalty for interference in the neutral zone.

Mathieu Schneider, playing the right point as he usually does on the power play, shot the puck hard towards the net. Vokoun was sliding to his left to tussle with Tomas Holmstrom, but managed to deflect the puck just enough to send it wide. Unfortunately for Vokoun, the puck bounced off the back boards, hit his skate, and slid just across the goal line.

Shots on net were even at 28 apiece. Detroit outclassed Nashville on faceoffs, winning 39 of the 60 draws. Game Three of the quarterfinal series will be Sunday afternoon in Nashville.

Observant fans got a bit nervous when they noticed that Nicklas Lidstrom was not on the bench for the final six minutes or so of the second period, but Lidstrom was back out to start the third period. He had been cut when his hand was hit by Orszagh’s skate and had to go for stitches…. Steve Yzerman led all Detroit forwards in ice time, playing 17:11. This, of course, is in spite of many professional hockey analysts’ continued questions about the strength of his knee. Can’t keep a good Captain down at playoff time.

Wings Win Game One: Third period goals lift Detroit over Nashville

The Detroit Red Wings scored three goals in the third period to bounce back from an early 1-0 deficit against the Nashville Predators Wednesday night, allowing Detroit to take a 1-0 series lead over Nashville and win Game One of a first round playoff series for the first time since 2001.

The Predators got on the board just 16 seconds into the game. Former Michigan State Spartan Adam Hall fired a shot from in the slot that was stopped by Detroit goaltender Manny Legace but Legace was unable to control the rebound. As Scott Hartnell crashed the net, the puck came loose to Legace’s right and Hall swept in to put it into the net.

Jus 1:15 later, the Predators got a glorious opportunity to take an early two-goal lead. Nashville’s Steve Sullivan broke across the Detroit blue line as Red Wings defender Chris Chelios laid a hook on him. Sullivan broke free of Chelios and got a good scoring chance on the play but was still awarded a penalty shot for the hook at the blue line. Sullivan broke in on Legace and fired a shot that missed the net, leaving the Predators with only a one-goal lead.

Nashville goaltender Tomas Vokoun preserved the lead through the first two periods and the Predators’ defensive play kept the Red Wings frustrated for 40 minutes of play.

The third period was a different story, however, as Detroit’s Kris Draper got the Red Wings; first goal of the game just 37 seconds in. Draper got a lead pass from Kirk Maltby at the Nashville blue line and split the Predators’ defense paring of Brad Bombardir and Mark Eaton. Draper skated in all alone on Vokoun and put a soft shot between his pads, evening the score and reigniting the Red Wings.

Tomas Holmstrom gave Detroit the lead 4:18 later. Trade deadline acquisition Robert Lang passed the puck from behind the net to defenseman Mathieu Schneider at the blue line, who fired a shot on net. Holmstrom reached out and tipped the puck in the slot, deflecting it between Vokoun’s pads and putting the Red Wings up by a goal.

The Predators, who had slipped into a defensive mode of play by the end of the second period, were unable to even the score.

Lang iced the game with 1:45 remaining in the third period. Lang broke around Nashville defenseman Dan Hamhuis to pick up a pass from Maltby in the Predators’ zone. Hamhuis draped himself across Lang’s back, but Lang threw him off before faking out Vokoun and sliding the puck into the net.

Both Legace and Vokoun were making their first NHL playoff starts. Legace made 23 saves on the 24 shots he faced in net for Detroit, while Vokoun stopped 26 of the 29 shots in faced in the Nashville crease.

Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup is Saturday afternoon in Detroit.

Wings Keep Preds Under Control

Hockey statisticians will often note that the Red Wings have more third period goals than any other team in the NHL. This game, however, it was the second period which was the most fruitful for Detroit. The Wings scored three goals within 5:16 early in the second to lead to a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators.

The game started out choppy, full of starts and stops, icings, and offside calls. With such a lack of flow to the game, it was hard for either team to get any offensive plays set up. Manny Legace was called upon to make some good saves against Scott Hartnell and Scott Walker, while at the other end of the ice, Tomas Vokoun held off Ray Whitney and Steve Yzerman.

Brett Hull opened the scoring 1:01 into the second. Kimmo Timonen attempted to clear the puck away from the front of his own net, but the puck landed right on Hull’s stick. It was a simple matter for Hull to flip the puck into the net.

Brendan Shanahan increased the lead a minute and a half later. Henrik Zetterberg looked as if he were going to carry the puck all the way around the net, thus luring Vokoun to his right side. At the last second, Zetterberg centered the puck for Shanahan, and Shanahan put it into the wide open net.
Kirk Maltby‘s hard wrist shot off a nifty drop pass from Kris Draper beat Vokoun low, and Vokoun’s night was over. Chris Mason came in to take his place.

Nashville got on the scoreboard late in the second with a shorthanded tally. Walker picked up a clearing pass and carried it into Detroit’s zone, trying to push his way between Whitney and Jason Woolley. All three skaters fell to the ice. Wyatt Smith was trailing the play, and he was able to get to the loose puck and put it high over Legace.

The Predators turned up the pressure after they got their first goal, but the Red Wings were able to hold on and shut them down for the rest of the game.

Pavel Datsyuk finished off the scoring with an empty net goal with 13.5 seconds left in the third.

Detroit outshot Nashville by a count of 26 to 24. Both teams were 0 for 3 on the power play.

The Red Wings’ next game will be their much-anticipated first meeting of the season against the Colorado Avalanche, Thursday night in Denver.

Shanahan’s goal was the 95th game-winning goal of his career”¦. The last time Nashville had pulled their goalie in a home game was March 20, 2003.

Saturday Stunner: Preds Rally to Win

The world of hockey is full of cliche trite phrases such as, “If we want to win, we have to play hard,” and, “The players all have to be accountable.” The phrases may be overused, but they are usually true, especially the one about, “If we want to win, we have to play a full sixty minutes.” The Red Wings relearned that one tonight, allowing a four goal rally late in the third period to lose 4-3 to the Nashville Predators.

Detroit got off to a good start, opening the scoring just 13 seconds into the game. Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun held the puck on a long shot in, leading to a faceoff deep in his zone. Pavel Datsyuk won the draw back to Nicklas Lidstrom, who sent the puck across to Ray Whitney at the left point. Whitney shot on net, and Tomas Holmstrom deflected it on its way through for his first even-strength goal of the season.

Martin Erat almost evened the score when he got a breakaway shortly thereafter, but Curtis Joseph made the big save without any trouble.

Kris Draper increased the lead at 7:24. Brendan Shanahan blocked a Nashville clearing attempt at the left point. He passed the puck up to Steve Yzerman, who sent it across to Draper. Draper fanned on his first shot attempt, but he had time for a second one. Vokoun had flopped down to block an expected low shot, so Draper had plenty of room to score.

Shanahan added a power play goal late in the second period. Jason Woolley passed the puck along the blue line, and Shanahan shot it hard. Vokoun was already sliding the wrong way and couldn’t get back in time to block the shot.

Through the first and second periods, the Red Wings had done a very good job of stifling the Predators. They controlled the puck well, beat Nashville to loose pucks, and refrained from turning the puck over in bad situations. They continued the technique into the beginning of the third period. Nashville had come out with more intensity, but Joseph had covered up for his team’s small lapses.

That all changed once Vladimir Orszagh got the Predators on the scoreboard at 6:47. The goal was not a pretty one””Orzsagh beat Jiri Fischer to a loose puck in front of the net to bank it in””but it brought the Predators back to life.

Erat narrowed the gap five minutes later. The Predators had been pressuring in Detroit’s zone. Erat carried the puck towards the blue line, then wheeled and fired. Joseph was screened and had no chance to make the save.

Scott Hartnell tied the game with 3:34 left by crashing the net and whacking at the puck until it went in, then Scott Walker did the unthinkable.

Draper had been sent to the penalty box at 2:33 for goaltender interference, leaving Detroit shorthanded. Dan Hamhuis took a shot towards the net, where Joseph was screened yet again. Walker tipped the shot on its way through to move the Predators into the lead with just 57 seconds left to play.
The Red Wings pulled Joseph from the net for a sixth skater in the dying seconds of the game. Yzerman and Brett Hull both had scoring chances, but Vokoun held them off to keep the win.

The shots on net were tied at 31 apiece. Twenty of Nashville’s shots came in the third period. The Red Wings’ next game will be at home Monday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.

With Mathieu Dandenault and Jason Williams both tending to minor groin injuries, defenseman Jamie Rivers and forward Darryl Bootland made their way into the lineup…. Darren McCarty left the game with back spasms after sliding feet-first into the boards early in the first period. He is scheduled to have x-rays taken on Sunday.

Wings Win Fights, But Lose Game

Probably the most symbolic way to sum up Thursday night’s strange game against the Nashville Predators would be to point out two simple statistics. First, the Red Wings’ current goal-scoring leader is Steve Yzerman, with six goals. Second, the team’s current leader in penalty minutes is ALSO Steve Yzerman, and he got all 37 of those minutes in this emotional 5-3 loss to Nashville.

The first fight was underway almost before the game started. Darren McCarty got into a scrap with Jeremy Stevenson at center ice, 23 seconds in. Curtis Joseph got off to a strong start in his season debut, making a huge save on a two on one rush just as Jiri Fischer was being called for a high sticking penalty. Kimmo Timonen was sent out for hooking just seconds later, resulting in four on four play.

Henrik Zetterberg took advantage of the open ice to get the Red Wings on the scoreboard. Ray Whitney carried the puck into Nashville’s zone, then sent it across to Mathieu Schneider. Schneider sent the puck over to Zetterberg, whose shot rose high and went into the net over the shoulder of goalie Tomas Vokoun.

Scott Hartnell wanted to fight Fischer then, and Fischer, well aware that Hartnell was the one who knocked him down to cause his knee injury last season, was happy to oblige. Three good punches, and Hartnell was down.

Nicklas Lidstrom was given a weak penalty for holding with 1:00 left in the first. When Yzerman protested, he was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a ten-minute misconduct to go with it, leaving the Wings down two men for a full two minutes. Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper, and Chris Chelios did an excellent job of killing off the five on three at the end of the first and start of the second periods, and Joseph was always in perfect position to stop any shots the Predators got to the net.

The Predators got on the board after their power play was done. Jordin Tootoo hit Fischer in the corner, knocking the puck loose so Greg Johnson could shoot the puck just past Joseph’s far side.

Johnson tipped in a shot by Marek Zidlicky to give Nashville the lead with 9:27 left in the second, then Hartnell redirected a shot by Timonen to increase the lead with a power play goal. Tootoo and Mathieu Dandenault got into a fight after Hartnell’s goal, but that one was an even match and had to be broken up by the officials.

Yzerman gave the Wings a power play goal early in the third. He got the rebound from Lidstrom’s point shot and put it into the open net with such force that the puck was stuck in the goal netting. The goal gave the Red Wings a lot of momentum, until they were forced to deal with another five on three penalty. This time, Draper was sent out for holding. Yzerman had a few choice words for the referees, and he was given another two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, another ten minute major, and a game misconduct to go along with it.

Chelios, Lidstrom, Maltby, and Joseph did the best they could on the five on three, but finally David Legwand managed to squeeze a rebound shot past Joseph. Adam Hall wanted to fight Chelios then, and Scott Walker went after Maltby. More fighting majors were handed out, along with game misconducts to Maltby and Walker.

Brett Hull added a power play goal to bring Detroit back within one with 5:25 left to play. The Wings pulled Joseph for a sixth skater with 1:33 remaining, but the Predators got the puck out of their zone and Rem Murray put it into the empty net.

The scoring was done, but the battles were not. Brendan Shanahan went after Hall with a fierce attack. Stevenson went after Dandenault. McCarty and Jamie Allison fought. Finally, just as the final buzzer sounded, Hartnell wanted a rematch against Fischer, but their teammates broke them up. The game had gone on long enough for everyone.

Detroit outshot Nashville by a final count of 27-24. The Red Wings will next face the Oilers in Edmonton on Saturday night. Their next game against the Predators will be the first home game after the road trip, on November 8. With such a short amount of time between games, it will be interesting to see how much resentment carries over from this game to that one.

Detroit and Nashville totaled 210 penalty minutes…. Dominik Hasek reportedly has a minor groin injury.

Legace, Cujo Lead Wings Over Predators

History seemed to repeat itself for Manny Legace. Last season, he was crashed into and injured in Nashville, in the middle of a well-played game, and the same thing happened to him tonight. Curtis Joseph came in for him and continued the excellent goaltending. At the other end of the ice, Tomas Vokoun and Jan Lasak split the netminding duties less skillfully, and the Red Wings took a 4-2 win over the Predators.

Kris Draper opened the scoring for Detroit 6:02 into the game. Brendan Shanahan took a shot from the left side which went wide and hit the back boards. The puck bounced right out to Draper on the right side of the net, and Draper took just a second to settle it before putting it high past Tomas Vokoun.

The Red Wings got a four minute power play to work with to try and open up their lead when Adam Hall was given a double minor for high-sticking, but Nashville’s penalty kill was efficient enough that the Wings never got a real chance to set up. In fact, Manny Legace had to be sharp to stop David Legwand on a breakaway shot.

The Predators had a great chance of their own when they wound up with just over a minute of five-on-three power play with both Tomas Holmstrom and Chris Chelios in the box. Draper, Kirk Maltby, and Nicklas Lidstrom were the three chosen to defend the net, and they did an excellent job, blocking most of the shots before they could get through. Legace was easily able to handle the ones that did get to him.

Boyd Devereaux increased Detroit’s lead early in the second. Maxim Kuznetsov forced a turnover at Detroit’s blue line and sent the puck ahead to Sean Avery, who carried in to Nashville’s zone. He dropped the puck off for Devereaux, who made a quick wrist shot which deflected off the rear of Kimmo Timonen and past Vokoun.

When Avery faked out both Bill Houlder and Vokoun to score Detroit’s third goal just a few minutes later, that signaled the end of the game for Vokoun. Nashville sent in backup goalie Jan Lasak instead, for his first game this season. Lasak was tested quickly by the Wings, but his teammates got the puck to the other end of the ice. Legwand was pushed off the puck in front of the net, but no one bothered to pick up the puck. Andreas Johansson managed to get in, fake a low, left shot, and then put the puck high to Legace’s right.

The Predators got another shorthanded scoring chance on another four minute penalty, but this one didn’t end so well as the last one. Scott Hartnell got out on a breakaway, but he forgot to stop at the other end and crashed into Legace, kneeing him in the helmet. Legace had to be helped off the ice for examination, and Curtis Joseph came in to take his place.

The Wings used the rest of that four minute power play to score. Lidstrom sent the puck towards the net from the blue line. Brett Hull took a shot at the puck and it deflected high above the net and players. As the puck came back down, Sergei Fedorov slapped it out of the air and into an empty corner of Lasak’s net.

Hartnell scored the Predators’ second goal midway through the third period, on a very similar play to the one he attempted against Legace. His teammates won a faceoff just outside the Detroit blue line, and got the puck back far enough to spring Hartnell. He crashed the net again, this time getting the puck in before he knocked the goalie down. Chelios took exception to Hartnell’s tendency to bulldoze goaltenders (once might be an accident, but twice in one game?), and both of them served time for roughing each other up twice before the end of the game. Both times, Chelios received double minors while Hartnell received only the single roughing calls.

The final count of shots on net was 35-23 in favor of Nashville. The Red Wings will play their next game tomorrow night in Dallas against the Stars for their fourth meeting of the season. The previous three have all ended in ties.

Nick Lidstrom‘s assist on Sergei Fedorov’s goal was the 500th of his NHL career… Team doctors reported that Manny Legace was more dazed and shaken up than anything else after being run over by Scott Hartnell. They plan to run more tests, but they feel he should be fine.

Waking the Scoring Touch

The Nashville Predators were at the end of a seven game roadtrip, and they were weary. The Red Wings on the other hand, were in the middle of a five game homestand in which they had thus far tied with the Stars, been shutout by the Blackhawks, and finally squeaked out an overtime win over the Bruins. They were ready to play to win, so they did just that, and gained a 4-1 victory over Nashville.

The Red Wings definitely outplayed the Predators in the first period, outshooting them by a count of 16-6, but goalie Mike Dunham was sharp in his net. The Predators were able to open the scoring just before the period ended. Darren McCarty was in the penalty box for holding, and Nashville’s power play unit took advantage of their situation. Vladimir Orzagh pushed to the net with the puck. Martin Erat trailed close behind. When one of the Red Wings’ defensmen poked the puck away from Orzagh, Erat got it in the confusion and threw it back into the tangle of feet. The puck pinballed off the skate of Chris Chelios, past Curtis Joseph, and into the net.

Brendan Shanahan tied the game up for the Wings early in the second period. Sergei Fedorov‘s shot rebounded to the right side. Shanahan scooped it up and shot it from a tight angle. Dunham was still trapped at the other side of the net, and the puck went in high under the crossbar, ending Shanahan’s nine-game goal drought.

After that, the game belonged to Detroit. Fedorov scored a goal on a breakaway set up by Shanahan to give the Wings the lead before the period was over. He got in ahead of defenseman Bill Houlder, and his shot bounced off the goalpost, off Dunham’s skate, back off the goalpost, and finally into the net.

The Predators made a few attempts to get back into the game in the third period, even after the Wings went up by two goals. Nashville gave up the puck in their own end. McCarty got hold of it, spun around, and flung it at the net. Dunham was partially screened by Kirk Maltby, and the puck bounced off a skate to change direction on the way in. Dunham didn’t have much of a chance.

Nashville tried to make the most of a power play they were given when Jesse Wallin was penalized for delay of game, for covering up the puck with his body after a strange scramble left Joseph out of position. The Red Wings’ penalty killers took the play to them instead, giving them no chance to score against Joseph.

A slashing penalty on Scott Hartnell gave the Wings their opportunity to put the game out of reach for good. Pavel Datsyuk passed from behind the net to Fedorov on the right side. Fedorov’s shot was blocked by Dunham, but the rebound squirted straight to where Shanahan waited on the left side. Another quick one-timer from another tight angle, and the score was 4-1 to end the game.

The final tally of shots on net were 38-23 in favor of Detroit. The Red Wings will end their five game homestand on Friday night when they host the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

This was Curtis Joseph’s first ever victory against the Predators. He has a 1-2-1 lifetime record against them…. Sean Avery has been sent to the Grand Rapids Griffins to play in a few conditioning games…. Jiri Fischer left the game in the third period with a knee injury. An MRI has been scheduled.

Rallying Late

After a slow start and difficulty with penalties, a late-game rally by the Red Wings brought them from behind to tie the Nashville Predators at 3 goals apiece.

The rematch against the Predators did not get off to as good a start as the Wings would have hoped. Just before the midway point in the first period, Detroit had to kill off a minute and sixteen seconds of a five-on-three Nashville power play resulting from overlapping penalties to Jiri Slegr and Kris Draper. The Predators were able to capitalize when Andy Delmore passed along the blue line to Kimmo Timonen, who one-timed a shot which deflected off the skate of Kirk Maltby and into the net past Dominik Hasek.

The Predators followed up their lead by clogging up the center ice area and keeping the Red Wings from setting up quality scoring plays in the Nashville zone. Many of the shots Detroit sent against goaltender Tomas Vokoun were blocked by Nashville players before they could even get to the net.

The Red Wings had a few power play chances of their own, including a high-sticking double minor to Steve Dubinsky early in the second period for clipping Brendan Shanahan on the nose. Even so, the Red Wings were unable to score, and then they ran into more penalty trouble.

This time, they had to kill off fifty-six seconds of Nashville’s five-on-three because of penalties to Tomas Holmstrom and Nick Lidstrom. The three men out aggressively harrassed the Nashville players and kept them from getting comfortable enough to set up a scoring play, until the first penalty had just expired. Just as Holmstrom was stepping out of the box to head up to the play, Timonen sent a blue line pass to Delmore, who one-timed a wrist shot past Hasek.

Detroit finally got a five-on-three power play of their own early in the third period, on calls to Legwand and Cale Hulse. Lidstrom passed the puck along the blue line to Brett Hull at the left point, and Hull sent off a one-timer which bounced off of Vokoun and into the net.

Unfortunately, the Predators used an unusual bounce to score once more and regain their two-goal lead. After a turnover at the blue line, Legwand fired a shot from close to the net. The puck bounced off of Scott Hartnell, then off of Mathieu Dandenault and over Hasek’s shoulder.

Finally, with less than four minutes to play, Kris Draper brought his team a goal and the momentum which went along with it. Draper deflected Steve Duchesne‘s point shot, but Vokoun was able to block. Draper tapped his own rebound into the net as he was falling to bring the Wings back within one, scoring a career-high fourteenth goal of the season.

Shanahan tied up the game a minute and a half later. Hull was unable to hit the original shot hard enough to get it into the net, but Shanahan grabbed the puck before Vokoun could cover it and stop the play. Just as on Draper’s goal, it took two tries to put the puck past Vokoun, and Shanahan made the successful shot while being knocked to the ice.

Pavel Datsyuk had a chance to put the game away before the end of regulation time, with Vokoun caught behind the net, but his shot rang off the goalpost and away from the crease. Neither team was able to score in the overtime period.

Shots on net were forty to twenty-four in Detroit’s favor. Their next game will be Saturday night against the Atlanta Thrashers.

Steve Yzerman plans to begin skating and accompany the team on next week’s West Coast trip, hopefully to return to the ice against one of the California teams”¦.. Dominik Hasek needs three more victories to tie Terry Sawchuk’s franchise record for the highest number of victories in one season”¦.. Scotty Bowman needs four more victories to tie Jack Adams‘ franchise record for number of wins as the Red Wings’ head coach”¦”¦ Tonight’s tie, with Philadelphia’s loss to Carolina, has won the Red Wings the President’s Trophy and guaranteed them home ice advantage for every round of the playoffs.

Dunham Spoils the Fun

On most counts, the Red Wings outplayed the Nashville Predators on Monday night, but Nashville goalie Mike Dunham outdid himself against the Wings’ offense, and the two teams skated to a 3-3 tie.

Nashville played a flat game in the first period, and the Red Wings seemed to be still buoyed by the leftover momentum from Saturday’s defeat of the Avalanche. Detroit outshot the Predators fifteen to five in the first.

The Red Wings got their first goal of the night on their first power play of the night, during an interference penalty to Vladimir Orzog. Nick Lidstrom one-timed Brett Hull‘s pass from the blue line, and goaltender Mike Dunham let the rebound slip up center. Sergei Fedorov was able to get to it before any Nashville defenders could, and he slapped it into the net between Dunham’s legs.

The Predators came back from the first intermission playing like a different team. They managed to block up the neutral zone and keep the Red Wings from setting up many quality scoring chances. Nashville scored a power play goal of their own to even up the game during an interference call to Max Kuznetsov. Manny Legace blocked the original shot, and Jiri Fischer tried to clear the rebound away, but the puck bounced off of Denis Arkhipov and into the net.

The Red Wings kept on and on firing shots on net, but Dunham demonstrated why he was named to the US Olympic team, and the game remained tied at one.

Nashville scored again to take the lead with less than two minutes left in the period. Scott Hartnell sent a backhand pass across to Karlis Skrastins, who slid the puck beneath Legace and into the net.

Detroit didn’t have to go to the intermission trailing. Kris Draper, Tomas Holmstrom, and Jason Williams took off on a three-on-one. Draper gained the zone and passed to Holmstrom at the right wing side, who sent the puck to Williams at center. Williams waited just long enough for Dunham to drop down low before putting the puck into the top of the net.

A defensive lapse by the Red Wings early in the third gave Nashville the lead again. Nashville had six skaters in Detroit’s end, due to a delayed penalty call, and Hartnell managed to get to the front of the net with no one to cover him. Jukka Hentinen sent the pass across, and Hartnell flipped it into the net.

With a one-goal lead, the Predators shut down and played defensively for the rest of the game. They lined up across their zone and sent only one forechecker up on the attack, causing Detroit to have to dump the puck into the zone and chase after it, rather than carry it in as they prefer to do. Dunham continued to make the necessary saves.

Legace made some strong saves to keep his team within one, and the Red Wings finally tied up the game with just under two minutes to go. Brendan Shanahan fired hard from the left wing side, with Luc Robitaille going to the net. Robitaille partially blocked Dunham’s view, and Shanahan’s shot flew into the net just above Dunham’s right shoulder.

Neither team was able to score in the overtime period. The best chance came to Mathieu Dandenault, who put a shot towards an empty net while being dragged down to the ice. The puck rang off the far goalpost, and the game ended in a tie.

Legace stopped seventeen shots of the twenty he faced during the game. Dunham stopped thirty-five of the thirty-eight the Red Wings put on net. The Red Wings will play the Predators again on Thursday night at home.

Costly Victory?

Goaltenders Manny Legace and Domink Hasek will share Detroit’s first shutout of the season, and Steve Duchesne got his first goal of the season, as the Red Wings won 1-0 against the Nashville Predators.

With Jiri Fischer back in the lineup, Scotty Bowman moved Mathieu Dandenault back from defense to right wing on the “3-D Line” with Pavel Datsyuk and Boyd Devereaux. While this line was not able to score in this game, they did an admirable job of controlling the puck and creating scoring chances against Nashville goalie Mike Dunham.

Tomas Holmstrom got the first penalty of the game, being sent off for holding with 13:09 left in the first period. Detroit’s penalty killing was effective against Nashville, never really letting them get off a quality shot. Just twenty-four seconds before the penalty was to end, Nashville’s Patrick Kjellberg was sent out for high-sticking, to give the Red Wings a four-on-four situation and then a shortened power play.

Detroit’s power play did a good job of controlling their passes and staying in the offensive zone, but were not able to beat Dunham for a goal.

Near the end of the period, the Predators’ Scott Hartnell was hit in the face by the stick of his own teammate, Rich Brennan. Hartnell was taken to the dressing room, where he was diagnosed as having a bruised left eye.

Steve Duchesne scored the game’s lone goal two and a half minutes into the second period. Fischer passed the puck behind the net to Sergei Fedorov, who tried to pass out front to Brendan Shanahan. Shanahan was too well-covered by Nashville’s defense to pick up the puck, but Duchesne was able to snag it and shoot along the ice from the right point, to slide under Dunham and into the net.

With just over five and a half minutes left in the period, Manny Legace had just made his fifteenth big save of the game when Nashville’s Kimmo Timonen was tripped up and fell on top of him. Legace hit his head hard on the ice, and was wheeled out immobilized on a stretcher to keep him from moving his neck. Legace was taken to a Nashville hospital for x-rays and tests, but further details were unavailable as of press time. Dominek Hasek came off the bench to take Legace’s place in goal.

In the third period, control of the puck went back and forth between the two teams. Neither was able to score, although Detroit had ten shots on Dunham, several of which were quality scoring chances. Detroit tightened up defensively and held the Predators to only two shots on Hasek in the third period.

Scotty Bowman showed great confidence in his young “3-D Line” by putting them on the ice to take a defensive zone faceoff with only two minutes left to play, and leading by only one goal. Devereaux, Datsyuk, and Dandenault did not betray their coach’s trust. They got the puck out to the Predator’s zone. Devereaux attempted to score against Dunham, but the shot was blocked. The Wings kept control of the puck for the remaining seconds of the game, keeping Dunham from edging out to the bench for the sixth skater.

Dunham stopped 32 of 33 shots, while Legace stopped all of the 15 he faced, and Hasek stopped all 4 shots the Predators managed to get on him. The Wings were 0 for 5 on the power play, and 4 for 4 on the penalty kill. Their next game will be in Carolina against the Hurricanes on Tuesday.