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>>caption: BLUM (L) GOT THE GWG
ON A POWER PLAY REBOUND<<
@ NASHVILE, TN:
In a playoff type game the
playoff position scrambling
Predators beat the Red Wings
3-1 Saturday night.
Nashville won its fourth straight against Detroit to clinch the season
series 4-1 with one game remaining.
The two teams are possible first round playoff opponents. Detroit (with
10 regular season games remaining) has been outscored 13-4 in its four
game losing streak vs Nashville.
The contest wasn't decided until Grosse Pointe native David Legwand
scored (#13) into an empty net with 28.4-sec remaining.
The Red Wings played a man short when FWD Johan Franzen was a late
Most of the hard-hitting (23-16 hits advantage) was done by the Predators
to slow down the undermanned Detroiters. Even so, there were lots of chances
with goalies Pekka Rinne (39-SV) of the Preds and Jimmy Howard (36-SV) of the
Wings putting on a show.
Detroit had a Niklas Kronwall power play goal disallowed late in the 1st-Per
due to incidental contact by Detroit's Tomas Holmstrom on Rinne. Rinne initiated
the contact with a glovehand push of Holmer, but because the back tip of
Holmstrom's left skate drifted inches into crease after the puck passed him
on its way into the net, the score was voided.
However, on a follow-up power play that began just 30-sec after the first
one had expired, Detroit did score to take a 1-0 lead. Henrik Zetterberg went
deep on the left wing and sent a nifty pass through the crease underneath Rinne's
stick and Dan Cleary (#23) stuffed the puck into the right corner with 21.2-sec
remaining in the 1st-Per.
The Preds tied the game 1-all at 8:42/2. The NHL's first ever fourth generation
player Blake Geoffrion (who wears the same jersey #5 as his HoFame grandfather
Boom Boom) jammed the puck over Howard's extended right arm. Rookie Geoffrion
got his third NHL goal (first at home) in his 10th NHL game by converting a feed
from Patric Hornqvist, who threw the puck out of the right corner to the front
of the crease.
The Wings almost regained the lead before second intermission when Mike
Modano's shot beat Rinne, but clanged off the top of the crossbar and flew into
the netting above the end glass.
The Preds got the game winner at 8:12/3 while on the power play. Again Hornqvist
got the primary assist. Howard stopped Hornqvist's inside right circle drive, but
Jonathon Blum (#3) was at the doorstep to pot the rebound into an open left corner.
Before Legwand's ENG, Rinne prevented Detroit from tying when he smothered
a right wing shot by Todd Bertuzzi inside his blocker with 37.1-sec on the clock.
Nashville won its second straight and ended Detroit's four game winning streak.
The win moved the Predators into the 8th and final NHL Western Conference playoff
spot with the Red Wings still seeded second.
R-WINGS H-COACH MIKE BABCOCK: "I thought it was a good game...We had our
chances...They scored on their power play in the third period and we didn't...We
worked and we competed...They've got a good defensive group on the back end
and they played hard."
R-WINGS DEF/CAPT NICKLAS LIDSTROM: "We battled throughout the whole game
...They got their winning goal on the power play and we had our chance [on the
p-play] late...[Rinne] made some nice second saves on the rebounds...We had a lot
of help from our third and fourth lines [even] being shorthanded."
R-WINGS GOALIE JIMMY HOWARD: "There was a lotta contact out there...The refs,
they just let us battle out there...It was fun...Teams are always trying to measure
themselves against us...They're battling for playoff position [and] they played hard."
PREDS GOALIE PEKKA RINNE: "We seem to match up pretty well against them...
It's always an exciting game...I'm fortunate to play behind our great defense...
You just feel energized all the time [when you're in a playoff chase]."
Besides Franzen (undisclosed injury), Pavel Datsyuk (lower body injury), Jiri
Hudler (flu), Chris Osgood (groin) and Ruslan Salei (paternity leave) were also
The Wings almost lost another player in the 2nd-Per when FWD Patrick Eaves
had to be helped off the ice (while play continued) after a painful shot block with
his right ankle during a Predators power play. Eaves later returned.
The Predators are 8-3-3 against NHL division leaders this season.
Sergei Kostitsyn drew the second assist on Blum's game-winner to give him
3-G & 3-A in five games vs Detroit this season.
Nashville's Jordin Tootoo played his 400th regular season NHL game.
The Red Wings begin a 5-game homestand Monday night vs Pittsburgh.
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