for this game

Datsyuk, Red Wings continue dominance of Predators

Mar 30, 2007 - 5:58 AM
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- If the Nashville Predators hope to get deep into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they had better learn to contain Pavel Datsyuk and the Detroit Red Wings.

Datsyuk scored a power-play goal 7 1/2 minutes into the second period, snapping a tie and lifting the Red Wings to a 2-1 victory over the Predators in a crucial battle between the divisional rivals.

Todd Bertuzzi added two assists and Datsyuk also set up a goal for Detroit (47-19-11), which pulled even in points with Nashville (49-22-7) atop both the Central Division and Western Conference. The clubs also are tied with the idle Buffalo Sabres (49-20-7) in the race for the Presidents' Trophy.

"It's good that we're tasting playoff hockey right now," Bertuzzi said. "We can get ourselves mentally ready for what is about to happen. In the playoffs, it's going to be 2-1 games. You're not going to see 6-5 games. These are games that we have to prepare ourselves to play in, and these are ones that we have to win."

"It was a huge two points that we lost today," Nashville's Peter Forsberg said. "We just have to keep playing our game and see where we end up."

Entering with a goal and 10 assists in the previous seven meetings between the teams, Datsyuk again proved to be a major problem for the Predators. With the Red Wings trailing, 1-0, Datsyuk set up Johan Franzen for the tying goal with a nifty lead pass with 5:52 remaining in the first period.

Just over a minute into Jason Arnott's hooking penalty in the middle session, Datsyuk grabbed a loose puck at the right goalpost and shoved it past netminder Tomas Vokoun at 7:30 for his 26th tally of the season and a 2-1 edge. The goal also was Datsyuk's fifth in his last six contests.

"I don't really care that much about my points, it's the team points that I like," Datsyuk said. "In games with Nashville, both teams try to play playoff-like games. It's a fun game to play with Nashville."

It proved to be enough as Chris Osgood stopped the final 22 shots he faced - including all eight in the third period - for the Red Wings, who won the final four meetings with the Predators and finished the season series with a 6-1-1 mark.

"I like playing against them and I like playing them here," said Osgood, who improved to 14-5-3 lifetime vs. Nashville. "It's one of those rinks that I have always liked playing in. Even when I was in St. Louis, we had a pretty big rivalry with them."

"When it was 1-0, we could have made it 2-0 or 3-0," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "Osgood was really good. He made some timely saves."

Detroit also improved to 31-1-2 when leading after two periods.

David Legwand netted the lone tally for Nashville, which fell to 1-1-0 on its five-game homestand.

"I was proud of the effort that we put in," Trotz said. "The effort was extremely high. The capitalized on their chances and we didn't capitalize on ours. That's the way the game is sometimes."

Entering with a modest two-game winning streak, the Predators drew first blood just over nine minutes into the first period. With one second remaining in Kirk Maltby's tripping penalty, Legwand took a back pass from the doorstep by J.P. Dumont and unleashed a high wrist shot from the right faceoff circle that sailed past Osgood at 9:10 for his 24th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.

The advantage lasted less than five minutes, however, as Franzen beat Osgood to the glove side with a shot from the low slot for his first tally in eight games. Bertuzzi recorded the secondary assist on the play for his first point in four contests with the Red Wings.

"Obviously, it's nice," Bertuzzi said. "You want to be a body out there that competes, but you also want to contribute. It was nice to help out."

"I thought Bert had a really good night," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "We need him to continue to be a big, physical presence taking the puck to the net. Tonight, you could see that he is gifted with his hands, so that's an important factor for us."

Vokoun finished with 28 saves for the Predators. But the Czech did not seem worried with his team's lack of success against the Red Wings this season.

"We're disappointed we lost, but it's not the end of the world," he said. "We still have four games left, and there is no need to panic. We didn't have a good year against them, but that could all be erased soon."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 1 1 0 2
    NASHVILLE 1 0 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - (PP) DAVID LEGWAND 24 (JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT, ALEXANDER
    RADULOV) 9:10
    DET - JOHAN FRANZEN 10 (PAVEL DATSYUK, TODD BERTUZZI) 14:08
    2ND PRD: DET - (PP) PAVEL DATSYUK 26 (TOMAS HOLMSTROM, TODD BERTUZZI)
    7:30
    3RD PRD:

    Mar 29 10:32 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 1 1 2
    NASHVILLE 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - (PP) DAVID LEGWAND 24 (JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT, ALEXANDER
    RADULOV) 9:10
    DET - JOHAN FRANZEN 10 (PAVEL DATSYUK, TODD BERTUZZI) 14:08
    2ND PRD: DET - (PP) PAVEL DATSYUK 26 (TOMAS HOLMSTROM, TODD BERTUZZI)


    Mar 29 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    DETROIT 2
    NASHVILLE 1
    2ND PRD: DET - (PP) PAVEL DATSYUK 26 (TOMAS HOLMSTROM, TODD BERTUZZI)
    7:30

    Red Wings vs. PredatorsMar 29 9:13 PM


  • ------------------------
    Detroit
    1 --1
    Nashville 1 --1
    ------------------------

    Shots on goal:
    -----------------------------
    Detroit 11 --11
    Nashville 11 --11
    -----------------------------

    Goalies : Detroit, Chris Osgood (11 shots, 10 saves). Nashville, Tomas
    Vokoun (11 shots, 10 saves). Referees: Dan O'Halloran, Mike Leggo.
    Linesmen: David Brisebois, Don

    Mar 29 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    DETROIT 1
    NASHVILLE 1
    1ST PRD: DET - JOHAN FRANZEN 10 (PAVEL DATSYUK, TODD BERTUZZI) 14:08

    Red Wings vs. PredatorsMar 29 8:29 PM


  • NHL
    DETROIT 0
    NASHVILLE 1
    1ST PRD: NAS - (PP) DAVID LEGWAND 24 (JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT, ALEXANDER
    RADULOV) 9:10

    Red Wings vs. PredatorsMar 29 8:24 PM