Pekka Rinne made 35 saves, some of which were absolutely spectacular, as the Nashville Predators took a 3-2 victory in Game One of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series against Detroit. Gabriel Bourque scored twice in his playoff debut, with Paul Gaustad getting the opening goal and five other players notching an assist each.
The officials put a fork in the old "nothing gets called in the playoffs" line by whistling all sorts of penalties, handing out seven calls to Detroit and ten to Nashville. Despite all those calls, the Preds' power play came up fruitless in six opportunities, including 1:14 of 5-on-3 time.
Follow after the jump for the video highlights and reaction...
Cue the video (might take 30-45 minutes post-game to work):
Your random observations:
- Throw the puck at the net and good things happen, right Mr. Gaustad? That sounds like the essence of Corsi-style thinking to me. He also did his job, winning 12 of 20 faceoffs.
- Get Well Soon, Hal Gill.
- The power play looked pretty terrible on most of the many, many opportunities they had. Give a good deal of credit there to some very speedy and aggressive PK work by the Red Wings.
- A bad break for Darren Helm, as it looks like a collision with Radulov led to him getting whacked with a skate on the wrist. Stay tuned for updates on his availability for Game 2.
- One of my hockey pet peeves is the old "hook/trip & diving" coincidental minors handed out by referees. Just make up your mind and call one or the other, guys. Unfortunately, it's VERY rare to see a diving call handed out all by itself.
- Attention, Ryan Suter - when your team is up 3-1 in the late stages of the 3rd period and you're killing a penalty, you have no business pressuring the puck down near the Detroit net. That slashing penalty was HORRIBLE.
- And Hornqvist... throwing the puck at an empty net from your own blueline? That's a major no-no, giving Detroit an icing call with 1:11 left and a 3-2 score.
- The one thing I did like at the end? The way Shea Weber roughed up Henrik Zetterberg as the clock ticked down to zero. Nothing worthy of supplemental discipline (he did get two minutes for Roughing at the 20:00 mark), but it sends a message. Too often in years past it's been the Preds getting pushed around at playoff time.
- In the end, a win like this is pure gold at the start of the series. The Predators certainly didn't play their best hockey but got the W.