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Predators 3, Red Wings 1: Pekka stands tall, Nashville takes 3-1 series lead


The Nashville Predators won on the road in Detroit once again, taking a 3-1 series lead with a 3-1 victory at Joe Louis Arena. Pekka Rinne was the standout once again, as the Red Wings out-shot the Preds 41-17, dominating the flow of play for long stretches of time. Also once again, it was the supporting cast which came up with key goals, as Gabriel Bourque and Kevin Klein lit the lamp, and David Legwand iced the game as Detroit was trying to make a push to tie it up late.

The Preds now have a chance to close out this series Friday night at Bridgestone Arena in Game 5 on Friday night (check here for tickets!).

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:

  • I missed a good chunk of the first period, as my car get #Webered on the way home from work. Kudos to the LaVergne police & fire crews for helping us out; fortunately everyone was OK, but I'm betting my car is totaled. Rain + winding roads = trouble, folks.
  • It's hard to know exactly what to make of Legwand's demotion to a lesser line. His glovework with the puck during a 2nd-period goal mouth scramble came dangerously close to rewarding Detroit with a penalty shot. In addition, Nick Spaling just doesn't seem like a great fit with the Brostitsyns.
  • Once again, you've got to love the rapid emotional roller coaster of playoff hockey. Early in the third, Leggy thought he had scored, only to have it called off because the ref intended to blow the whistle (it blew clearly after the puck crossed the line on replay). That's just the hockey gods rebalancing things after that Detroit shot Sunday that crossed a fraction of a second after the horn blew. It was a frustrating moment, followed up by...
  • Only seconds later, Gabriel Bourque stood all alone in front of the net, picking up a rebound and putting the Preds up 1-0, despite having been out-shot thoroughly. Rejoice!
  • Just 49 seconds after that, however, a Too Many Men penalty gave Detroit the chance to tie it up, which Kronwall did. The call was pretty clear, unfortunately. There was an extra guy that Terry Crisp couldn't see right away when he was counting Preds on the replay.
  • What followed a few minutes later was simply amazing. Marty Erat engaged in some mass hypnosis, drawing three Red Wings with him towards the corner, then tossing the puck back into the slot for a wide-open Kevin Klein to bang home. Just a bizarre sequence there, a mind-boggling breakdown by the Detroit defense.
  • There was a lot to love over those final few minutes. Mike Fisher battling one-on-one with Pavel Datsyuk... Brandon Yip with a nifty backhand loft clear under pressure... and that 3rd goal by Legwand was a clever bit of work.
  • If Hal Gill is able to go Friday night, that should certainly help the defense corps. Shea Weber & Ryan Suter both played over 30 minutes tonight, while Ryan Ellis played just 5:08.
  • I'm seeing lots of tweets saying that the team is arriving back at Signature Air terminal around 11:30, if you want to give the boys a proper welcome home!

Box Score - Game Summary - Event Summary - Corsi Numbers