Somehow, the Nashville Predators held off the charge. The Detroit Red Wings completely controlled the last 30 or so minutes of Game 2 while trailing 2-1, and in the third period, the Wings outshot Nashville 19 to four. 19 to four!
Yet Pekka Rinne stood tall, the Predators defense buckled down and when Sergei Kostitsyn made the lead 3-1 at the 16:30 mark of the period, the Detroit effort was all for naught.
Henrik Zetterberg scored on the power play with under two minutes to go in the third period, but they couldn't beat Rinne twice. Kostitsyn's insurance goal turned out to be a vital tally, and the Predators have suddenly regained complete control of the series. Game 4 is set for Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena.
Pavel Datsyuk showed up for the second period of Game 2. After a Kevin Klein goal put the Nashville Predators up 2-0 early in the second, it was Datsyuk with one of his gorgeous individual efforts that pulled Detroit back into relevancy.
Datsyuk is pretty good at this hockey thing. Don't feel bad, Roman Josi. There's not much you can do about that.
From that point on, Datsyuk almost had another goal, and the Red Wings really started to get their legs moving. In fact, it appeared they may have actually broken through for the tie late in the second period, but replay showed the period had ended before the puck beat Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne. See for yourself:
The puck definitely beat Rinne cleanly, but the shot just barely missed the final buzzer. Pretty clearly not a goal, however. The Red Wings are still pressing, though, and they seem to be slowly taking over the game after Nashvllle controlled the tempo early. It's a vital swing game here in Game 3, so this third period is absolutely crucial.
Shea Weber heard the boos in the first period of Game 3 at Joe Louis Arena, as expected. The Nashville Predators' star defenseman is playing his first game in front of the Detroit Red Wings faithful after he crushed Henrik Zetterberg's head into the glass at the end of Game 1, and, well, it's safe to say he rose to the occasion.
Weber snuck in behind the pile that had former around Jimmy Howard's crease, and when the puck popped out to his stick, nobody had any clue he was there to bury it in the back of the net. That's certainly one way to stop the boos.
Nashville controlled the first period despite taking just an 11-9 advantage in shots. They seemed to control the tempo of the game from the get-go, but Detroit did slowly find their way back into the flow of the game as the period progressed.