for this game

Predators strike quick again to even series

Apr 17, 2008 - 6:05 AM
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- The Nashville Predators have mastered the art of scoring consecutive goals quickly. In Game Four of their Western Conference quarterfinal series on Wednesday, they also learned how to answer their opponents in swift fashion.

Dan Hamhuis and Shea Weber scored 32 seconds apart early in the first period and fellow defenseman Greg de Vries netted the eventual game-winner 6 1/2 minutes into the second as the eighth-seeded Predators evened their series against the top-seeded Detroit Red Wings at two games apiece with a 3-2 victory.

Weber added an assist and Martin Erat set up a pair of goals for the Predators, who seek the first playoff road win in franchise history Friday at Joe Louis Arena.

"I think as we go along here, we try to make it a long series because it really favors us," said Predators coach Barry Trotz, whose team is 0-9 on the road in its postseason history. "Being down 0-2 is very difficult, so we needed to get it back on even ground and make it a best-of-three, and we've done that part. Now we need to focus on winning a road game since we have not done that yet."

"It's a very difficult building to play in," Hamhuis said. "We know we've had success in that building in years past, and this season. We know we need to win one on the road to win the series."

Dan Ellis made 39 saves for Nashville, which improved to 6-5 overall at home in the postseason and 4-1 all-time at the Sommet Center against Detroit in the playoffs.

"Our confidence level is improving and we're gaining a little momentum," Ellis said. "We believe in ourselves a lot more. We're in this series and believe that we're just as good as Detroit. We're going to battle this one all the way to the end."

Pavel Datsyuk netted both goals for the Red Wings, who pulled Dominik Hasek after the six-time Vezina Trophy winner allowed three goals on just 14 shots.

"Very disappointing," Hasek said. "Last 60 minutes, worst hockey I've played in my life. I have nothing to say about it. I feel very bad about myself."

Despite suffering a 4-2 loss in Game Two, the Predators erased a two-goal deficit in that one when Alexander Radulov and Jordin Tootoo scored 11 seconds apart in the second period.

After Radulov and David Legwand tallied in a span of 2:08 in the middle session of Game Three to forge a 2-2 tie, defenseman Ryan Suter and captain Jason Arnott netted goals a franchise-record nine seconds apart late in the third to give Nashville a 4-3 lead, which it maintained.

In this one, the Predators did not wait until falling behind to score quick goals.

"After the (quick) goals, the crowd gives us a lot of energy and we seem to run with it," Hamhuis said.

"Obviously, that's a real stickler," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said of Nashville's ability to strike quickly. "The other night when they scored a goal, they came out and they tilted the rink for seven minutes."

With Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall in the penalty box for hooking, Radulov made a cross-slot pass to Hamhuis, who pinched in from the point to beat Hasek from the left faceoff circle at 5:18 for his first career postseason goal and a 1-0 lead.

Hamhuis' goal marked the first time in the series Nashville opened the scoring.

"It helps us play with a little more confidence instead of changing our game," he said. "Being up, we can play more our style."

Just 32 seconds later, Weber unleashed a wrist shot from the blue line following a faceoff win by Rich Peverley that beat Hasek low to the stick side for a two-goal bulge.

"That was a great (faceoff) win by (Peverley)," Weber said. "I got the shot through and (Jerred Smithson) did a great job of screening the goalie.

"You don't want to give them momentum in a game. They have a lot of nifty players who have a lot of skill. If they're able to get the momentum, they're able to build off of it. The better starts we have, that's going to help us and give us an advantage."

Babcock was not concerned with the fact his team yielded quick goals for the third consecutive game, even though he was unaware of the brief span between Nashville's first two tallies on Wednesday.

"Is that what they were, 32 seconds apart?" he asked. "We lost a faceoff there and it ended up in our net. To me, that's not running around or anything like that. It's just losing a faceoff. It's a different thing totally, but can call it the same if you want."

Datsyuk halved the deficit at 6:24 of the second period, receiving a cross-slot feed from blue-liner Brian Rafalski and firing the puck between the pads of Ellis from the left circle.

"We came out like we wanted to and got up by a couple," de Vries said. "We have to work on maybe not sitting back when we have the lead. It was our first lead of the series, so we need to learn from that."

De Vries answered 11 seconds afterward, ripping a one-timer from the left point past Hasek with Arnott setting a screen in front for a 3-1 cushion.

"It was a big goal," de Vries said. "It got us up 3-1 and we ended up holding on."

"As soon as we scored, they came down and, once again, they shot on the net and they scored," Babcock said. "We had to try battling back from that point."

The Red Wings again drew within one early in the third on Datsyuk's second goal of the game and third of the series. From the right corner, Tomas Holmstrom made a pass to the All-Star, whose shot from the doorstep caromed off the left goalpost and in at 3:23.

But Ellis stood tall the rest of the way, stopping the final nine shots he faced to preserve the win.

"I thought we played a lot better second half (of the game)," Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "We had some great chances to tie it up and we created a lot of chances."

Chris Osgood relieved Hasek and made 13 saves.

"I think it helped," Lidstrom said of the goalie change. "(Osgood) made some saves right away."








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 0 1 1 2
    NASHVILLE 2 1 0 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - (PP) DAN HAMHUIS 1 (ALEXANDER RADULOV, MARTIN ERAT)
    5:18
    NAS - SHEA WEBER 1 (RICH PEVERLEY) 5:50
    2ND PRD: DET - (PP) PAVEL DATSYUK 2 (BRIAN RAFALSKI, HENRIK
    ZETTERBERG) 6:24
    NAS - GREG DE VRIES 1 (M

    Apr 16 11:44 PM
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    Red Wings 2, Predators 3  3rd - 1:20Apr 16 11:40 PM
  • 20
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    bouch Added 5 roots

    Red Wings 1, Predators 3  3rd - 16:42Apr 16 11:13 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 2
    NASHVILLE 3
    3RD PRD: DET - PAVEL DATSYUK 3 (TOMAS HOLMSTROM) 3:23

    Red Wings 2, Predators 3  3rd - 16:37Apr 16 11:12 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 0 1 1
    NASHVILLE 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - (PP) DAN HAMHUIS 1 (ALEXANDER RADULOV, MARTIN ERAT)
    5:18
    NAS - SHEA WEBER 1 (RICH PEVERLEY) 5:50
    2ND PRD: DET - (PP) PAVEL DATSYUK 2 (BRIAN RAFALSKI, HENRIK
    ZETTERBERG) 6:24
    NAS - GREG

    Apr 16 10:49 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 1
    NASHVILLE 3
    2ND PRD: NAS - GREG DE VRIES 1 (MARTIN ERAT, SHEA WEBER) 6:35

    Red Wings 1, Predators 3  2nd - 13:25Apr 16 10:24 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 1
    NASHVILLE 2
    2ND PRD: DET - (PP) PAVEL DATSYUK 2 (BRIAN RAFALSKI) 6:24

    Red Wings 1, Predators 2  2nd - 13:36Apr 16 10:22 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 0 0
    NASHVILLE 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - (PP) DAN HAMHUIS 1 (ALEXANDER RADULOV, MARTIN ERAT)
    5:18
    NAS - SHEA WEBER 1 (RICH PEVERLEY) 5:50
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DET 11 11

    Apr 16 9:51 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 0
    NASHVILLE 2
    1ST PRD: NAS - SHEA WEBER 1 (RICH PEVERLEY) 5:50

    Red Wings 0, Predators 2  1st - 14:10Apr 16 9:24 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 0
    NASHVILLE 1
    1ST PRD: NAS - (PP) DAN HAMHUIS 1 (ALEXANDER RADULOV, MARTIN ERAT)
    5:18

    Red Wings 0, Predators 1  1st - 14:42Apr 16 9:21 PM
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    Red Wings vs. PredatorsApr 16 9:03 PM
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    Red Wings vs. PredatorsApr 16 7:47 AM
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    Red Wings vs. PredatorsApr 14 12:12 PM