The Predators certainly worked hard enough to beat the Red Wings in five games. However, did Nashville end up taking away the one piece from Detroit at the deadline that would have made a difference in this series?
The Nashville Predators knocked off the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night, taking Detroit in just five games. Thanks to past success, the Red Wings always have a big target on their backs in the Western Conference. So over at SB Nation's Preds blog, On The Forecheck, Dirk Hoag thinks this is a big step for the Nashville franchise.
The Nashville Predators took a step forward as a franchise tonight, knocking off a Detroit Red Wings team which has, until now, always played King of the Hill against them. The tandem of David Legwand and Alexander Radulov led the way with a goal and an assist each, and Pekka Rinne made 21 saves, to finish the series with a sterling .943 save percentage. Now, the Preds can enjoy a few days of rest while waiting to see what the second round holds in store
SB Nation's Red Wings blog, Winging It In Motown, offered up no excuses for the Wings loss, noting they were beaten by a well-coached team and that Detroit failed to make the necessary adjustments.
The Wings lost this series because they could not consistently outperform the Predators, and they could not solve Pekka Rinne. They lost because the Predators seemed to play more of each game as a five-man unit rather than a few sets of players and other individuals. Now Detroit will have a long summer to figure out the adjustments they need to make as a team to be in a position to seriously compete for a Cup next season.
On Friday night, the Nashville Predators hosted the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 of their opening round series in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. The Predators entered the series as underdogs but won the best-of-seven series, four games to one, with a win on home ice on a final score of 2-1.
The Predators took an early lead in the first period, with a goal at 16:10 by Alexander Radulov. The Red Wings tied things up at 13:45 in the second period, when Jiri Hudler was able to put one past Pekka Rinne.
The Predators sunk the vital go-ahead goal just 13 seconds into the third period. David Legwand found the net on this play, with assists by Gabriel Bourque and Radulov.
The goal allowed the Predators to advance on home ice and give a spectacular gift to the city that allowed them to stay and thrive.
The Detroit Red Wings are desperately attempting to keep their Stanley Cup hopes alive. In the opening round of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Red Wings trail the Nashville Predators 3-1 in their best-of-seven series. On Friday night, the Red Wings are facing elimination at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Detroit fell behind early but have come back to tie the game. Entering the second intermission, the score is knotted at 1-1.
The Predators took a 1-0 lead in the first period and had plenty more chances to extend that lead in the second. The Red Wings used strong defense and a crucial penalty kill to keep the Predators from pulling away.
At 13:45 in the second period, Jiri Hudler scored to tie things up and keep the Red Wings in the game.
The home-ice Nashville Predators have a 1-0 lead after one period against the Detroit Red Wings Friday night in Game 5 the opening round of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. The Predators are up 3-1 in the best-of-seven series and have a chance to eliminate their opponents and advance while on home ice.
The Predators dominated the first half of the opening period, winning the majority of faceoffs and continuing to grab possession, but had few scoring opportunities. The Red Wings regrouped late in the period and the teams began to match one another step for step.
Finally, at 16:10, the Predators were able to break through. Alexander Radulov scored his first goal of the postseason, with an assist from David Legwand. You can see the crucial goal below.