Familiar heroes do it again as Predators go up 3-1 on Red Wings

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 10:40pm
Staff reports

The heroes of the Nashville Predators’ first two 2012 postseason victories shared the spotlight Tuesday.

Gabriel Bourque and Kevin Klein each scored third-period goals as the Nashville Predators defeated the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 in Game 4 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.

The victory was the Predators’ second straight at Joe Louis Arena, where Detroit was a league-best 31-7-3 during the regular season, and gave them a 3-1 lead (a first for the franchise) in the best-of-seven series.

They will have their first opportunity to close out the series Friday at Bridgestone Arena (7 p.m., SportSouth).

After three straight one-goal affairs, David Legwand scored unassisted with 38.9 seconds to play in this one and provided a rare cushion at the finish. That one came 17 seconds after Detroit forward Henrik Zetterberg was called for high-sticking and was just the Predators’ second power play goal in 19 tries this postseason.

The game was scoreless until Bourque scored on a one-timer 1:55 into the third period. The rookie left wing had two goals in Nashville’s Game 1 victory.

Klein, a defenseman who had a goal and an assist in Game 3 on Sunday, got the decisive one this time with 13:35 to play. He now has more goals in the last two games than he had in 19 previous postseason appearances.

After that, the Predators held on despite the fact that they were outshot 41-17 and committed seven penalties that led to seven Detroit power plays, two of which came after Klein’s goal.

Jiri Hudler scored the Red Wings’ only goal 30 seconds into the first of three man-advantages of the third period. Nashville was called for too many men on the ice 49 seconds after Bourque scored, and Hudler tied the game when he redirected a Niklas Kronwall shot.

Goalie Pekka Rinne made 40 saves and improved to 11-11 all-time in playoff games. He has made 116 saves (an average of 38.7 per game) in Nashville’s three victories in this series.

Alexander Radulov had an assist for the third straight game. He, Bourque and Klein currently share the team lead with three points apiece in the series.

4 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 4/18/12 at 6:11

When the stars are aligned just right things go well for about everybody. Last night the Red Wings played Nashville off its skates and got help from really poor officiating. Nevertheless the stars were aligned in favor of Nashville's ice hockey team.

20 years from now all people will remember is that the Nashville Predators won this game.

Friday night should be a big big night for the citizens of Williamson County.

By: MusicCity615 on 4/18/12 at 6:38

What this article fails to mention is David Legwand scored a clear, clear goal but the ref said he didn't see it, which is not reviewable. The Predators responded with Borque's goal.


By: sharko20 on 4/18/12 at 8:52

Great win and the next game will be even harder. Would like to see less shots on Pekka even though I know he likes it. Awesome strip of the puck by Legwand to get the late goal a la Datsyuk style.

This is very exciting for Preds fans. Don't want to go back to Detroit. Lets shake hands on Friday. GO PREDS!!!

By: JeffF on 4/18/12 at 9:26

You would think the "lost sight of the puck" stoppage rule would have some sort of out when the ref finds it in the back of the net. I was like the Preds, didn't get too upset because I sensed a goal was very, very close. If the same think had happened to the Rust Trash team they would still be whining and banging sticks.