for this game

Radulov, Dumont help Predators even quarterfinals

Apr 14, 2007 - 5:44 AM
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- With high-profile players such as Peter Forsberg and Paul Kariya in the lineup, it was a rookie and an underrated forward who helped the Nashville Predators end their playoff losing streak.

Alexander Radulov had a goal and an assist and J.P. Dumont scored twice for the second straight game as the Predators evened their Western Conference quarterfinal series with the San Jose Sharks at one game apiece with a 5-2 victory.

Forsberg also netted two goals for the Predators, who travel to San Jose for Game Three on Monday.

"We are back to square one," Dumont said. "It's now a best-of-five series. We have to make sure we come out strong out there in San Jose. They are going to come out strong and they are gonig to have their fans behind them."

"We have to come back strong," Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan said. "We came in here and we stole one game on their home ice. That is kind of what you plan going ahead. We stole the first one, we definitely wanted to come out strong during the second game, but we didn't do that."

With two Stanley Cup championships and three Finals appearances between them, Forsberg and Kariya figured to be the offensive catalysts for Nashville in its rematch of last year's quarterfinals. Instead, the 20-year-old Radulov and often-overlooked Dumont have taken control, combining to score seven of the team's nine goals in this series.

After recording a two-goal effort in his postseason debut on Wednesday, Radulov erased a 1-0 deficit in the first period of this one, scoring his third playoff goal at 6:54 before helping set up Forsberg's go-ahead tally nine minutes later.

However, the Russian did not finish the game, delivering a hit from behind on San Jose's Steve Bernier at 4:44 of the second session that earned him a five-minute major and game misconduct.

"I think it is a penalty, but I don't know if it is a game misconduct," Radulov said. "I don't think that I hit him from behind, I hit him for his shoulder. His head was in the glass, I think that is why he hit his head. ... I didn't want to hurt him."

"Rad is not a dirty player," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "He has 26 minutes in penalties (this season). They were targeting him all night. Rad is probably the least dirty player we have. He just tried to finish a check and create a loose puck."

Bernier was helped to the locker room and taken to a local hospital for precautionary X-rays on his head and neck.

A five-time 20-goal scorer, Dumont capped the scoring for Nashville with a pair of goals in the second. It was the second straight multi-goal performance for the 1996 third overall pick of the New York Islanders, giving him 15 career postseason tallies.

Defenseman Marek Zidlicky registered two assists, Forsberg added an empty-netter and Tomas Vokoun made 22 saves for the Predators, who were outshot, 12-5, in the first but ended the period with a 2-1 lead.

"We felt we deserved a better fate than we got in Game One," Trotz said. "You want to leave here at least even, and we did. That was an important game for us, no question."

Blue-liner Craig Rivet and rookie Ryane Clowe tallied for San Jose. Jonathan Cheechoo, who left the series opener in the second period with a right knee injury, recorded an assist.

Emotions erupted after Forsberg's second tally, as a pair of Sharks attacked Scott Hartnell immediately following the ensuing faceoff, sparking a series of fights. Hartnell delivered the knee-on-knee hit that knocked Cheechoo out of Game One.

"You knew something was going to go down," said Hartnell, who was involved in one of the battles and received a double-game misconduct, which likely will result in a suspension. "Two or three guys came after me there at the end, and Toots (Jordin Tootoo) did a good job of jumping in and helping me. That's what you need in the playoffs, everyone covering everyone else's back."

"I just went out, I was going to ask him (to fight)," said Clowe, one of the players who attacked Hartnell. "I wasn't going to sucker-punch him, I was going to ask him straight up. He said he was open to retaliation, so I wasn't going to try and do anything dirty."

Trotz believes Clowe's actions warrant a suspension.

"(Clowe) drops his gloves and goes at Hartnell. That's where the fight started," Trotz said. "He actually grabbed Hartnell, and that's where the instigation took place. ... It's very clear on film. It was clear as day, and we will leave it at that. We came here to play hockey tonight. We knew this was an important game, and they turned it into a street brawl."

Punishment likely will be handed out by the NHL, which will examine the incident in order to prevent any further outbursts in the series.

"(Director of hockey operations) Colin Campbell is presently looking at the incidents at the end of the game, and the game-misconduct penalties are being reviewed," senior vice president of operations Mike Murphy said.

"I think Colin Campbell has a job, and his job is to review these plays," Sharks center Joe Thornton said. "I'm sure if he wants us to play this way, we can play this way. It's in his hands, and we'll see what happens."

Rivet opened the scoring with his second goal of the playoffs, getting ahead of fellow defenseman Dan Hamhuis in the slot and lifting his own rebound past Vokoun at 4:37 of the first period.

San Jose's lead did not last long, however, as Vernon Fiddler forced a turnover by rookie blue-liner Marc-Edouard Vlasic in the left corner and passed to Radulov, who flipped the puck inside the left goalpost from the doorstep 2:17 later.

Forsberg put Nashville ahead for good with 4:04 to go in the first, lifting Vlasic's stick to gain control of a carom off the end boards and beating Evgeni Nabokov from the left side for his 62nd career postseason tally.

Dumont, who made an errant pass on a shorthanded 2-on-1 rush earlier in the second, did not make the same mistake at 10:26, carrying down the right side and firing a wrist shot from the faceoff dot over Nabokov's left shoulder for a 3-1 advantage.

"On the shift before that, I had a 2-on-1 and I tried to make a pass," Dumont said. "(On the second chance), that was a good decision. I came in, and being a lefty on the right-hand side, it gave me a lot of angle to shoot at. I shot it high glove and it went in. That was a big goal. It felt really good."

"It's tough, especially when we had a couple of glorious chances to tie it at 2-2," said Thornton, who had a shot at a wide-open net blocked by defenseman Ryan Suter two minutes prior to the goal. "We just misfired. ... We had some great chances, we just didn't bear down."

The tally came shortly after Nashville successfully killed the remainder of Radulov's major, which, coupled with a roughing penalty on Suter, gave San Jose a 59-second two-man advantage.

"That was definitely the turning point in the game," Vokoun said. "When you kill a 5-on-3, especially when you are playing at home, you get a big momentum change for you, and then we were able to score the shorthanded goal. That's as big as it gets."

"The penalty-killers did an outstanding job against them," Trotz added. "We killed off some important penalties, like the 5-on-3 and the major, and we got some great goaltending. They were all outstanding."

Dumont increased the lead 2 1/2 minutes later, burying a cross-slot feed from Zidlicky during a 5-on-3 power play for his fourth this postseason.








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 1 0 1 2
    NASHVILLE 2 2 1 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - CRAIG RIVET 2 (PATRICK MARLEAU, MATTHEW CARLE) 4:37
    NAS - ALEXANDER RADULOV 3 (VERNON FIDDLER) 6:54
    NAS - PETER FORSBERG 1 (MAREK ZIDLICKY, ALEXANDER RADULOV)
    15:56
    2ND PRD: NAS - (SH) JEAN-PIERRE DU

    Apr 13 10:52 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL SAN JOSE 2
    NASHVILLE 5
    3RD PRD: NAS - (EN) PETER FORSBERG 2 (DAVID LEGWAND) 18:55

    Sharks vs. PredatorsApr 13 10:40 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL SAN JOSE 2
    NASHVILLE 4
    3RD PRD: SAN - RYANE CLOWE 1 (JONATHAN CHEECHOO, CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF)
    9:52

    Sharks vs. PredatorsApr 13 10:24 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    ------------------------------
    San Jose 1 0 --1
    Nashville 2 2 --4
    ------------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, San Jose, Craig Rivet 2 (Patrick Marleau,
    Matthew Carle), 4:37. 2, Nashville, Alexander Radulov 3 (Vernon
    Fiddler), 6:54. 3, Nashville, Peter Forsberg 1 (Marek Zidlicky,
    Alexander Radulov), 15:56. Penalties: V Fiddler, Nas (unsportsmanlik

    Apr 13 9:52 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL SAN JOSE 1
    NASHVILLE 4
    2ND PRD: NAS - (PP) JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT 4 (MAREK ZIDLICKY, PAUL KARIYA)
    12:56

    Sharks vs. PredatorsApr 13 9:38 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL SAN JOSE 1
    NASHVILLE 3
    2ND PRD: NAS - (SH) JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT 3 (UNASSISTED) 10:26

    Sharks vs. PredatorsApr 13 9:31 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 1 1
    NASHVILLE 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - CRAIG RIVET 2 (PATRICK MARLEAU) 4:37
    NAS - ALEXANDER RADULOV 3 (VERNON FIDDLER) 6:54
    NAS - PETER FORSBERG 1 (MAREK ZIDLICKY, ALEXANDER RADULOV)
    15:56
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD

    Apr 13 8:53 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL SAN JOSE 1
    NASHVILLE 2
    1ST PRD: NAS - PETER FORSBERG 1 (MAREK ZIDLICKY, ALEXANDER RADULOV)
    15:56

    Sharks vs. PredatorsApr 13 8:45 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL SAN JOSE 1
    NASHVILLE 1
    1ST PRD: NAS - ALEXANDER RADULOV 3 (VERNON FIDDLER) 6:54

    Sharks vs. PredatorsApr 13 8:25 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL PLAYOFFS
    SAN JOSE 1
    NASHVILLE 0 14:19 LEFT, 1ST PRD

    Sharks vs. PredatorsApr 13 8:23 PM