GAME 1 FINAL THOUGHTS: Nashville 3, Red Wings 2
THE AMWAY QUALITY PLAY OF THE GAME
How about the special teams? Both of the Red Wings goals came on the power play, including this Henrik Zetterberg tally that tied the game 2:29 into the second period. Detroit was also six-for-six shorthanded, having now killed off 31 consecutive penalties over their last eight games.
“The guys did a tremendous job on the penalty kill all night,” Jimmy Howard said. “We’re going to continue to need that effort the rest of the series here.”
TONIGHT’S THREE STARS, POWERED BY RAM
1) Gabriel Bourque – His two goals, including the game-winner 11:35 into the third period, were the difference in the game.
2) Pekka Rinne – Made 35 saves en route to the victory, none better than a sprawling third period glove save on Henrik Zetterberg to keep Nashville ahead 2-1.
3) Paul Gaustad – Scored Nashville’s first goal of the night at the 6:59 mark of the first period.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT: @HockeyPuckQueen: Pass the ginger ale, Mickey Redmond is trending. #DRWChat
THEY SAID IT: “It could have been a tie going into overtime, but that’s the kind of series I think we’re going to expect. It’s going to be a real close series and you have to take care of your own zone and play well defensively. We’ve got to go get more shots on net too.”
– Nick Lidstrom
We turned it around after the first period. We were in the box a lot there in the first and we turned it around. We carried the play for the majority, but Pekka [Rinne] made some great saves for them, and that was the game.
– Jimmy Howard
I thought we deserved a little better, but that’s why they call it a series. There’s more than one game and we have the opportunity to make up for it. We’re just going to come out and continue with the same effort we had in the last two periods, at least. I think we’ll be alright; that’s the way these series tend to be.
– Brad Stuart
PUCK LUCK: You can’t score without throwing the puck at the net and Nashville’s first two goals were an example of that. Paul Gaustad fired a puck from behind the net at the crease, banking off of Brad Stuart and in. Matt Halischuk’s second period blast from the point was deflected by Bourque, beating Howard in the corner to make it 2-1.
“Let’s be honest. I mean, the first goal and their second goal were kind of seeing-eye pucks,” Mike Babcock said. “Those things happen in the playoffs.”
“They won tonight. We’ve got to come back the next game, so let’s go.”
TOO MANY PENALTIES: Nashville and Detroit were the least penalized teams in the NHL during the regular season, averaging 8.4 minutes and 8.5 minutes per game respectively.
Tonight the penalty bug was contagious, with seven different Red Wings getting set to the sin bin, while Nashville was booked 10 times. Only 37:25 of Game 1 was played at even strength.