GAME 3 FINAL THOUGHTS: Nashville 3, Red Wings 2
THE AMWAY QUALITY PLAY OF THE GAME
Pavel Datsyuk could be charged with a crime for this. That’s the work of a certified puck thief behind the net, pure and simple.
With the Red Wings down 2-0 and playing four-on-four hockey, Datsyuk picked Roman Josi’s pocket behind the net, then poked one past Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne to make it a one-goal game. Detroit used the momentum to create numerous scoring chances over the final 4:57 of the second period, including a goal by Johan Franzen that didn’t count because it crossed the goal line milliseconds after the period had ended.
“We were right back in it after that,” Cory Emmerton said of the goal. “Especially with the atmosphere in the building, one goal was going to be a huge boost for us. When you see a great player make a great play like that, it’s going to pump you up even more.”
TONIGHT’S THREE STARS, POWERED BY RAM
1) Shea Weber – His first period goal was the first for the Predators on the power play in this series, beating goaltender Jimmy Howard just 2:48 into the game.
2) Pekka Rinne – Stopped 41 of 43 shots en route to his second win of the series.
3) Pavel Datsyuk – His highlight-reel goal in the second period was a turning point for the Red Wings, who were able to tilt the ice thereafter.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT: @SuperGirl30: The JLA environment is awesome, even after NSH scores. They start right up with a ‘Let’s Go Red Wings’ chant! #DetroitPride #DRWChat
THEY SAID IT:
“We have to find a way to stay out of the box. It kind of kills your rhythm, trying to roll four lines and with the rotation on the back end as well. We have to do a better job with that. – Nick Lidstrom
"Let's be honest, if you look at the game, the puck didn't go in for us. It did for them and we've got to change that next game."
– Mike Babcock
“It was close there at the end of the second period. I felt for sure we’d get one pretty early in the third. They have a great goalie and a great defensive team. They were going to limit the number of second chances we had.”
– Cory Emmerton
“I think the biggest thing for us in the next game is to get the first goal. We got the first goal in Game 2 and we were okay there, so I think that’s a huge thing for us.”
– Kyle Quincey
“Getting that goal (Weber) was real huge. I thought the first period we did what we wanted to do. We know it was going to be a real hostile environment and it started right from the start. Our guys had real good focus.
– Predators coach Barry Trotz
JOE LOUIS ARENA SHINES:
The old barn can still give chills on occasion.
The first playoff game on home-ice is always special. This was no different, with an outstanding pregame production that included on-ice lighting, the emergence of Al the Octopus and 20,000 screaming fans waving red glow sticks in unison. It created an electric playoff setting as Red Wings players took the ice.
THE STREAK IS OVER:
The talk coming into Game 3 was about the job Detroit had done shutting down Nashville’s top ranked power play. However, the Predators flipped the script just 2:48 into Sunday’s matchup as Drew Miller was whistled for interfering with Rinne, then Pavel Datsyuk’s stick broke mid-kill and Shea Weber finished off a hectic sequence in front of Jimmy Howard by scoring the first power play goal on the Red Wings since March 24, a streak that was at 37 straight at the time of the Miller penalty.
“I think that the odds are just not in your favor when you take so many penalties,” said Kyle Quincey. “I thought we did a good job on the penalty kill. We just let that one goal go in.”