Friday, March 30, 2012

Nashville beats Detroit in playoff-style game

The Nashville Predators were able to defeat the Detroit Red Wings by a 4-1 score on Friday night at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. With the win, the Predators have once again overtaken the Red Wings for fourth in the Western Conference.

In the first period, both teams got a few chances in a back and forth period of hockey. Pekka Rinne and Jimmy Howard both played solid opening periods for their respective clubs in goal, and the game was scoreless after the first 20 minutes of play.

Nashville was opportunistic in the second period. The Predators took a 1-0 lead 13:05 of the second period when Gabriel Bourque fired a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle that beat Howard over the shoulder on the blocker side. Jordin Tootoo carried the puck in the zone and was able to deliver a pass to Bourque, who got the puck past Howard with a quick release.

With 3:01 remaining in the second period, Rinne made arguably the save of the year on Henrik Zetterberg from right on the doorstep. Zetterberg corralled the puck at the side of the net and had a seemingly wide open net to shoot. Rinne made a sprawling attempt to make the save, and was able to completely glove the puck without giving up a rebound. After that, the momentum was on Nashville's side.

Francis Bouillon gave the Predators a 2-0 lead when he was able to score on a mad scrum in front of the Detroit net. It was Bouillon's third goal in the past 10 games after not scoring a goal all season prior to that.

Alexander Radulov gave the Predators a commanding 3-0 lead just 2:40 into the third period off of a great feed from Andrei Kostitsyn. It was Radulov's second goal since making his return to the NHL. After that goal, the Red Wings started to make a push.

Jiri Hudler finally got Detroit on the scoreboard with 3:03 remaining in the third period. However, that would be as close as they would get. Shea Weber added an empty-net goal to ice the game away for the Predators.

Nashville played a terrific, playoff-style game to walk away with the win. They have no time to celebrate, however. The Predators will host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena.

Hockey Night in Nashville's 3 Stars of the game:
1. Pekka Rinne(NSH)
2. Alexander Radulov(NSH)
3. Gabriel Bourque(NSH)

Official 3 Stars:
1. Pekka Rinne(NSH)
2. Sergei Kostitsyn(NSH)
3. Henrik Zetterberg(DET)

Follow us on Twitter @hockeynightNSH

(Photo Credit: Leanne Charles)

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