Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kostitsyn brothers shine in Preds win over Detroit

The Nashville Predators defeated the Detroit Red Wings by a 3-2 score on Saturday night in front of the 20th sellout crowd of the season at Bridgestone Arena. The Kostitsyn brothers led the way for the Predators on the power play to guide them to the victory.

In the first period, Nashville got on the board on when Patric Hornqvist was able to convert on the 2-on-1 rush on a great feed from David Legwand. Detroit responded just 13 seconds later when Drew Miller put one past Pekka Rinne to kill the Nashville momentum.

Andrei Kostitsyn gave the Predators a 2-1 lead on the power play after a great feed from Sergei Kostitsyn. Legwand found Sergei in the slot to set up the prime scoring opportunity. Sergei fed Andrei from the slot, and Andrei was able to spin around and slide the puck past Joey MacDonald.

The two Central Division rivals battled back and forth in the second period, but were unable to convert on their chances. The score remained 2-1 heading into the third period.

In the third, the Kostitsyn brothers hooked up again on the power play 4:34 into the period. Legwand once again found Sergei down low, and Sergei was able to sneak a pass through traffic to Andrei for the back-door goal.

"(Legwand) sees the ice very well. On the first goal, I got open in the middle and he saw the ice very well, and just passed it to me. I redirected it to Andrei and Andrei scored. On the second one, it was the same thing. I was down low. Like I said, (Legwand) sees the ice well and just passed it to me down low. I fed Andrei back door," Sergei said.

Detroit made a furious push for the remainder of the third period to try and tie the game. Justin Abdelkader was finally able to sneak one past Rinne at 14:35 of the final frame to bring the Red Wings within one goal. Rinne would shut the door from there, however. The Predators were able to hold on for a key divisional win to bring them within four points of Detroit with a game in hand.

"We're chasing those guys, and we knew they were going to come hard and play their best game. They're missing some guys, but they played very good. We were six points behind them, so that was a huge win for us," Sergei said.

Nashville will now head on the road for another West Coast trip. They will take on the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night in Glendale. The Coyotes are in a fight for their playoff lives, and will be playing desperate hockey on Monday night. The Predators will have to match their intensity.

Hockey Night in Nashville's 3 Stars of the game:
1. Andrei Kostitsyn(NSH)
2. David Legwand(NSH)
3. Sergei Kostitsyn(NSH)

Official 3 Stars:
1. Andrei Kostitysn(NSH)
2. David Legwand(NSH)
3. Sergei Kostitsyn(NSH)

(Photo Credit: Leanne Charles)

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