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Western Conference Quarter Finals: Game 2 – Detroit @ Nashville


Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

The Red Wings and the Predators continue their rivalry and resume their battle in the first round of the playoffs tonight in front of a sellout crowd. Many Predators fans are breathing a sigh of relief that Weber was only fined $2500 and not suspended for at least this game. Red Wings fans are quite unhappy with this decision from former Red Wing Shanahan, but that’s what was handed down so now Detroit will get to work on the second game of the series despite the ruling. The second game of a series sometimes hold more weight than the first game and it’ll be another dogfight for positioning and puck control in the ever-evolving chess match between coaches Trotz and Babcock.

Puck drop is at 6:30 and best of luck finding a ticket. CNBC and SportSouth will have the T.V. feed commentated by Pete Weber and Terry Crisp. Tom Callahan and Stu Grimson will be manning the cans for 102.5 the Game on your F.M. dial.

Nashville got it’s scoring from unlikely places. Two of the goals were strange bounces that many over the last day have called really lucky. But anyone who follows sports will know that many times, teams create their own luck and those two goals were no exception. Also, it is fun to hear Terry Crisp say “I told ya so” when he says that putting a shot on net is not in any way a “BAD THING”. Bourque would claim two markers and Gaustad would draw first blood with his first of the year as a Predator.

Zetterberg and Holmstrom would make things interesting for Detroit with two power play goals, Zetterberg’s in the 2nd period and Holmstrom in the 3rd. The officiating was extremely tight and despite Nashville and Detroit being the least penalized teams during the regular season, that was not the case Wednesday night where the Predators were called for 10 minors and Detroit called for 7.

The Keys for Detroit: Plain and simple, keep drawing penalties from the Predators. Seven different power play chances went to Detroit, one of which was a significant amount of 5 on 3 PP time, and Detroit took full advantage and potted their only goals of the night. Detroit has the speed and ingenuity to frustrate a usually composed team like the Nashville Predators. The lashing out by Weber at the end of the game was inexcusable and a fine instead of suspension was (to this writer at least) surprising.

Howard was very good in net and aside from the first and second goal stoned Nashville on some point blank chances like Erat’s post and S. Kostitsyn’s breakaway. Howard will need to continue to be solid for the Red Wings to have a shot at tying up the series, especially with Pekka Rinne on a mission to steal every possible win for his squad.

The Keys for Nashville: Keep it coming. Nashville had some brilliant chances go wide or ring off the posts in Wednesday’s game. The Predators can’t let these plays dishearten them or their forward lines. Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexander Radulov maybe tried too hard to make plays happen and gave away the puck a little too often. Now that Detroit may have to account for the scoring by committee approach Nashville employs, the top two lines might get a few more looks, especially if given more opportunities on the power play.

Rinne is a game changer and proved it Wednesday night by shutting down any chance for Detroit to sneak back into the game. The power play goals were right on the doorstep, about 2 feet out both times and there’s not much Rinne can do to stop those. It was the other shots that the Predators defense blocked or Rinne flat out robbed that kept Nashville in the driver’s seat to a 1-0 series lead.


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