It was hardly pretty, but the Nashville Predators took back home ice advantage with a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings this afternoon at Joe Louis Arena. Pekka Rinne withstood a barrage of pucks, making 41 saves as the Preds were out-shot 19-4 in the third period. This gives Nashville a 2-1 series lead, with Game Four coming up Tuesday evening in Detroit.
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:
- That's one way to answer the boo birds, eh? Shea Weber heard it loud & early from the crowd at Joe Louis Arena, but burst the power play bubble with that first-period goal.
- The Preds really seemed to move the puck well and skated with the Red Wings throughout the first period, but during the second half of the game, it looked like classic "hang on and hope" hockey from Nashville.
- I can't imagine Tootoo did himself any favors with that penalty he took early in the second. A classic loss of composure there as Zetterberg held his stick in the first. Not to be outdone, David Legwand grabbed Johan Franzen from the bench late in the 2nd, leading to a 4-on-4 situation and the Datsyuk goal. Either Weber or Trotz needs to smack both those guys in the head and remind them that this is the playoffs.
- In retaliation for Legwand's hold, Franzen speared Leggy on the bench. It was more venting than any intent to injure, I'd be surprised if Franzen got anything more than a fine or warning for it from the league.
- If a team is going to go deep in the playoffs, it takes more than just goals from the big stars, and Kevin Klein's dandy was awfully special. He's got some genuine offensive skill, but keeps his game very very simple generally. After the game, Mike Milbury and Keith Jones were singing his praises on NBC, not least because of his hair.
- I had a nice long bullet point here ripping SK74 for being invisible so far (outside of his dumb penalty), but THANK GOODNESS for him taking the shot on that 3rd goal. I guess that makes up for his stick foul on Cleary late in the second period, but he needs to assert himself more consistently as a Top 6 forward.
- Paul Gaustad's getting his job done... 12-for-19 on the faceoff dot and 4:33 of shorthanded work.
- Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis, though? Boy, they look like rookies in their own end. Get well soon, Hal.
- Francis Bouillon gave a standout effort this afternoon, though. I was very impressed with his effort and physical play.
- Game Four comes up at 6:30 p.m. Central on Sport South locally, NBC Sports nationally.