Nashville Predators seals the NHL playoffs ticket after eliminate Detroit Red Wings. Red Wings has to forget their dream to win the Stanley cup after being eliminated by Predators. Red Wings vs Predators 1-2!!!!!
Nashville 2, Detroit Red Wings 1: Playoff run ends with first round exit
The Red Wings’ season ended tonight, halted by a challenger short on hockey history but high on potential and goaltending.
The Wings had hoped to grind out a game and avoid elimination, but they couldn’t solve Pekka Rinne and were left staring at a 2-1 loss to the Predators at Bridgestone Arena, and an very long off-season. The Wings haven’t exited the playoffs in the first round since 2006, and haven’t exited in mid-April since 2003.
Grosse Pointe Woods native David Legwand and Alexander Radulov each had a goal and an assist as the Predators put forth their best performance of the series in order to end it in five games and on home ice. Jiri Hudler had Detroit’s goal.
The end comes just two weeks after a regular season that saw the Wings celebrate several highlights: winning an NHL-record 23 straight games at home, seeing Jimmy Howard named to his first All-Star Game, seeing Valtteri Filppula break through with 66 points. But the Red Wings’ success is measured in the playoffs, and this year, they won one game, left after one round.
Changes will be made, some by default. Brad Stuart almost certainly has played his last game as a Wing, as he wants to play close to his family in San Jose, Calif. The Wings will need to know whether Nicklas Lidstrom wants to play another season by the end of June. Tomas Holmstrom may have played his last game. Hudler may be gone.
All of those decisions were ones management hoped not to even have to consider for quite a while longer, but those plans petered out against the Predators, who pushed the Wings to the brink of elimination on the strength of outstanding performances in Games 3 and 4 by Rinne.
The Wings had emphasized the need to grind it out before the game, knowing this series has been defined by defensive breakdowns that have led to opportunistic goals. But a turnover by Kyle Quincey allowed the Predators to score the first goal, and the trend of the first to score winning held up.
The start that had been under so much scrutiny before the game went about as expected, with both teams were careful about giving up scoring chances. Danny Cleary took an interference penalty 15 seconds into the game, but Mike Fisher nullified Nashville’s power play 16 seconds later and after that, play went evenly.
Filppula had a good opportunity for the Wings when he drove to Nashville’s net draped with two defenders, but Rinne was there for the save. Howard made a couple of stops during a second Nashville power play. The Predators used the momentum to take the play to the Wings, and got a lead out of it at 16:10.
Quincey went into the right corner to pick up the point, but played it ahead straight onto the stick of Legwand, who quickly sent the puck out front, where Radulov snapped it behind Howard. The Wings got a man advantage late in the period, but Rinne denied their best chance, on a wrist shot from Pavel Datsyuk.
Their power play spanned into the second period, but it was all Predators as play began. They buzzed around Detroit’s net, keeping the Wings pinned in their own zone. A Nashville power play around the 8-minute mark kept the Wings from getting any offense going of their own, and they had just two shots on Rinne in the first 10 minutes of the second period. They didn’t start rolling four lines until the second half, and finally got rewarded with a goal at 13:45. Henrik Zetterberg drew a defender to him as he strode up the right flank and angled the puck on net, where both Filppula and Hudler were arriving. Filppula got a piece of the puck before it squirted through the crease for Hudler to find with his backhand.
The Wings had none of the relentlessness around Rinne that marked their previous two games, but the Predators also played a much better game as a team. They retook the lead 13 seconds into the third period when Radulov jumped on the puck inside the blue line after the opening face-off. He threw the puck ahead, and Gabriel Bourque tipped it ahead to Legwand, who got a clear shot off from the slot. (Helene St. James – Detroit Free Press)