for this game

Zetterberg helps Red Wings top Predators

Apr 11, 2008 - 4:00 AM
DETROIT (Ticker) -- After being the Detroit Red Wings' most reliable goal-scorer during the regular season, Henrik Zetterberg picked up right where he left off.

Zetterberg snapped a tie at 6:54 of the third period and added an empty-netter to give the top-seeded Red Wings a 3-1 victory over the eighth-seeded Nashville Predators in the opener of their Western Conference quarterfinal series Thursday.

Johan Franzen also scored and Dominik Hasek made 19 saves for Detroit, which looks to take a two-games-to-none lead when it hosts Game Two on Saturday.

"The first one is always very, very difficult," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "That's what the playoffs are about. Just try not to give up too much and wait for your opportunity. We weren't great, but we were good enough to finally win."

Jordin Tootoo tallied and Dan Ellis turned aside 37 shots in his first career playoff game for Nashville, which has yet to win a playoff road contest.

"We know we can play with them, but we just have to worry about ourselves and put this one behind our backs," Tootoo said. "You have to win four games out of seven. This is only Game One, so we have to refresh ourselves for (Saturday)."

"I didn't have any of those playoff jitters you expect to have," Ellis said. "I felt calm, cool and collected from the get-go."

With the game even at 1-1 after 40 minutes, Zetterberg put the Red Wings ahead for good less than seven minutes into the third period.

Following a turnover by Predators defenseman Shea Weber in his own zone, Pavel Datsyuk made a cross-slot pass to the Swede, who one-timed the puck past Ellis from the right faceoff circle for his 16th career playoff goal.

"I was pretty certain that I was going to get the puck, so I just tried to be ready for it and just aimed and shot," Zetterberg said.

Ellis argued that Weber got the puck across the blue line to no avail.

"He did clear the puck," Ellis said. "You look at the replay and it was offsides. ... (The linesman) denied everything. What a beauty. But it is what it is. Can't do anything about it. They'll call the game the way they see fit and you have to deal with it."

Predators coach Barry Trotz shared Ellis' sentiments, believing the puck hit linesman Pierre Champoux and re-entering the zone.

"We cleared the puck," Trotz said. "We felt the linesman was outside the blue line. It looked like it hit him in the elbow and came back in."

Zetterberg disagreed.

"No, it didn't go offside," he said. "It stayed in their zone the whole time."

Zetterberg, who led Detroit with 43 tallies during the regular season, sealed the win with an empty-netter with 19 seconds remaining.

The Red Wings took an early lead as Franzen continued his sizzling pace at 5:58 of the first. The 28-year-old, who scored 15 of his career-high 27 goals in his final 16 games of the campaign, received the puck after several caroms and fired it past Ellis from the slot for a 1-0 lead.

"He's a big guy and those kind of goals are real important in the playoffs," Zetterberg said. "It's tough to move him when he's standing and wants the puck. That was a great goal and got this playoff going."

Franzen scored six goals against the Predators during the regular season.

"It's important that we have more than just Datsyuk, Homer (Tomas Holmstrom) and Hank (scoring goals)," Franzen said. "It's really important that we can sped some time down in their zone and hang on to the puck as long as we can to tire that team out."

Despite being outshot, 17-6, in the second period, Nashville drew even with 2:13 remaining. Defenseman Greg Zanon unleashed a shot from the left point that Tootoo redirected between the pads of Hasek for his first career postseason goal and a 1-1 tie.

The Predators also failed to generate chances in the third, registering just three shots on goal in the period.

"We didn't give up a ton of rubber, but we had to make good saves," Babcock said.

"I thought we played real well defensively," Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "At times, they had some pressure in our end. But we tried to keep them on the outside, and we were able to do that. I thought we got the puck out a lot quicker out of our own end, too, in the third period. That really helped us."

Lidstrom recorded an assist on Zetterberg's first goal, tying him with Hall of Famer Phil Esposito for 32nd on the all-time postseason scoring list with 137 points.

Detroit defenseman Chris Chelios appeared in his 247th career postseason game, tying him with Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy for first place on the all-time list.






  • 10
    roots
    stxnpux Added 5 roots

    Predators 1, Red Wings 3  FinalApr 10 9:45 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 1 0 1
    DETROIT 1 0 2 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - JOHAN FRANZEN 1 (JIRI HUDLER, NIKLAS KRONWALL) 5:58
    2ND PRD: NAS - JORDIN TOOTOO 1 (GREG ZANON, SHEA WEBER) 17:47
    3RD PRD: DET - HENRIK ZETTERBERG 1 (PAVEL DATSYUK, NICKLAS LIDSTROM)
    6:54
    DET - (EN)

    Apr 10 9:38 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NASHVILLE 1
    DETROIT 3
    3RD PRD: DET - (EN) HENRIK ZETTERBERG 2 (KRIS DRAPER) 19:41

    Predators 1, Red Wings 3  3rd - 0:19Apr 10 9:35 PM
  • 5
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 17 roots

    Predators 1, Red Wings 3  3rd - 0:19Apr 10 9:35 PM
  • 22
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Predators 1, Red Wings 2  3rd - 1:00Apr 10 9:30 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NASHVILLE 1
    DETROIT 2
    3RD PRD: DET - HENRIK ZETTERBERG 1 (PAVEL DATSYUK, NICKLAS LIDSTROM)
    6:54

    Predators 1, Red Wings 2  3rd - 13:06Apr 10 9:11 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 1 1
    DETROIT 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - JOHAN FRANZEN 1 (JIRI HUDLER, NIKLAS KRONWALL) 5:58
    2ND PRD: NAS - JORDIN TOOTOO 1 (GREG ZANON, SHEA WEBER) 17:47
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NAS 11

    Apr 10 8:42 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NASHVILLE 1
    DETROIT 1
    2ND PRD: NAS - JORDIN TOOTOO 1 (GREG ZANON, SHEA WEBER) 17:47

    Predators 1, Red Wings 1  2nd - 2:13Apr 10 8:40 PM
  • 5
    roots
    bouch Added 5 roots

    Predators 0, Red Wings 1  2nd - 12:15Apr 10 8:20 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 0
    DETROIT 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - JOHAN FRANZEN 1 (JIRI HUDLER, NIKLAS KRONWALL) 5:58
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NAS 11 11
    DET 10 10
    GOALIES: NAS - DAN

    Apr 10 7:47 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NASHVILLE 0
    DETROIT 1
    1ST PRD: DET - JOHAN FRANZEN 1 (JIRI HUDLER, NIKLAS KRONWALL) 5:58

    Predators 0, Red Wings 1  1st - 14:02Apr 10 7:22 PM