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>>caption: DATSYUK (L) SKATED PAST
@ JOE LOUIS ARENA:
The Red Wings and Predators had to
play extra time for a second consecutive
It only took over Ryan Suter 16-sec of
overtime to give Nashville a 4-3 win.
The Wings missed their chance to leap-
frog the Preds into 5th place in the NHL
Western Conference standings. Instead of
trailing the Predators by a single point, Detroit is now two back, although the Red
Wings have two games in hand on their Central Division rivals.
With the win the Predators clinched a playoff spot.
Nashville frustrated Detroit much of the afternoon by clogging both the skating
and the passing lanes to end the Wing's season's-best seven game win streak.
Brian Rafalski (#8) gave the Wings a 1-0 lead on a power play goal with just 1:45
to play in the 1st-Per. Although he didn't get an assist, Pavel Datsyuk kept the play
alive when he lost an edge on his skate and fell to the ice, yet made a pass from near
the right wall while lying on his back. Two quick passes later Rafalski had pinched low
left and wristered into the net from a wide angle when the puck deflected underneath
Preds goalie Pekka Rinne off Rinne's left skate blade.
Nashville went ahead with two early 2nd-Per goals, both on deflections off Red Wings
players. After a Preds power play expired, N'ville kept up the pressure and Shea Weber
(#15) scored on a right point slapshot through traffic and off of Detroit's Tomas
Holmstrom at 1:36/2. Martin Erat (#21) got a turnaround right circle wrister at 5:01/2
which changed direction off Henrik Zetterberg's skate.
Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom (#9) burried the 2-2 tying slapshot from the left side at
A scramble in the Detroit zone gave Nashville the lead again 3-2 on J.P. Dumont's
(#17) top inside left circle wrist shot with 42.5-sec left in the middle period.
Lidstrom fell down, N'ville's Dustin Boyd skated in and sent a shot off the
right goalpost which Wings netminder Jimmy Howard froze in the crease with
2:14 remaining in regulation.
Detroit then pulled Howard with just over a minute to play and Datsyuk
scored (#26) with 36.4-sec showing on a rare slapshot from the top of the
left circle for a 3-all tie.
In the overtime, Joel Ward sent a cross-ice pass to Suter, who stepped
up from his right defensive spot with all the Red Wings trapped on the left side.
Suter (#4) wristed from the right circle over Howard's the pad & under the blocker
for the GWG.
R-WINGS H-COACH MIKE BABCOCK: "All in all, there’s nothing wrong with today’s game,
but it’s a good message. Sometimes, being on a big-time roll isn’t what you need -- you
need to get messages. Fact is, you got to give everything you have on every shift to win
at playoff time. We just got to continue to get better. I was pleased with our guys."
R-WINGS DEF/CAPT NICKLAS LIDSTROM: "We battled hard and got a point. On the
other hand, it’s disappointing losing in the first shift in overtime."
R-WINGS GOALIE JIMMY HOWARD: "It was unfortunate, they got a lucky bounce. [Suter]
walked in from the top of the circle and made a nice shot over my glove, blocker-side,
tucked it inside the post.”
PREDS Rt-WING J.P. DUMONT: "They scored a big goal, but we came back and scored a
bigger one...We do feel good about [clinching a playoff spot]. But we want to make sure
we get as good a position as possible."
Holmstrom assisted on all three Red Wings goals.
Predators coach Barry Trotz coached his 900th regular season game, just the sixth
coach in NHL history to reach that plateau while bossing only one team. He also tied
Scotty Bowman (Red Wings) with 410 wins with one club, sixth most all-time.
Retiring referee Kerry Fraser made his last visit to Joe Louis Arena as he reffed his 1900th
Predators CEN/CAPT Jason Arnott missed his eighth consecutive game while recovering
from a concussion.
Dan Cleary, who has played just twice since MAR 19TH, sat out again with a groin injury.
Cleary may play when Detroit visits Philadelphia Sunday afternoon.
After 25 straight Howard starts in goal, Chris Osgood will get off the bench to start
Sunday in Philly.
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