GAME 2 FINAL THOUGHTS: Red Wings 3, Nashville 2
THE AMWAY QUALITY PLAY OF THE GAME
Mike Babcock wanted net-front presence in Game 2 and he got it on the game-winning goal. Just 58 seconds after Nashville had cut the lead to 2-1. Brad Stuart threw a puck at the net from the left circle, which caught Johan Franzen’s leg, beating Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne.
“I don’t know if it was lucky or not,” Franzen said. “I don’t know if he (Stuart) aimed for my leg, or it just touched it. We had a three-on-two, I passed it to Stuie and got in front and well, it went in.”
TONIGHT’S THREE STARS, POWERED BY RAM
1) Jimmy Howard – Made 24 saves and withstood six Nashville power plays in the process.
2) Johan Franzen – Scored the game-winning goal 9:57 into the second period after Brad Stuart’s shot caught his leg.
3) Cory Emmerton – Put the Red Wings up 2-0 on his first Stanley Cup playoff goal with 4:27 left in the first period.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT: @sam_hoot That’s how you get yourself a goal. Beauty of a block and finished up by an excellent shot. #CoryEmmerton #DRWChat #NHLPlayoffs
And a special bonus Tweet from former Mike Commodore, the former Red Wing who was traded to Tampa Bay at the trade deadline.
@Commie22 Little @CEmmer48 buried his first playoff goal tonight? I didn’t see it … give me a rating out of 10 … how nice was it?
THEY SAID IT: “It was definitely a huge game for us tonight. Going back 1-1 instead of 0-2 is huge. It’s going to be fun to go home and play in front of our crowd.”
– Johan Franzen
“I don’t know. We’re just trying to do our job, trying to be big in the lanes and trying to be aggressive when we can. We’re just trying to do what we’ve talked about on the penalty kill.”
– Nick Lidstrom
“I thought we did lots of things really well. I thought we played harder with more grit, but I didn’t think we were as good defensively, and I thought we gave up better chances and had more puck luck tonight than we did the other night. We didn’t have a whole bunch of guys that skated in the third period and we allowed them to get going, which I didn’t like as much. We’ll take the best of five and go back to our building and get at her.”
– Mike Babcock
BERTUZZI, WEBER GET IT OVER WITH EARLY: You had the feeling that given all of the talk over the last 48 hours that something was going to happen with Shea Weber and somebody. It’s one of those unwritten codes of hockey where a player who does something the other team feels is dirty, that they’ll have to answer the bell at some point.
That point was just 1:36 into game 2 when Todd Bertuzzi and the aforementioned Weber started to throw punches, with the referees letting them go for a good minute before it all ended.
“I don’t know if it inspired, but I just thought he had to do the right thing and he did,” Mike Babcock said. “I thought it was important for our team that it happened.”
“It’s hockey,” Bertuzzi said. “Things happen in a game or whatever. It’s something you’ve gotta do. Stick up for your teammates and you do stuff like that. The game was more important. It was good to get a win in here.”
STEPPING UP: Those who needed to step up in Darren Helm’s absence did so in a big way in Game 2. Drew Miller picked up an assist on Ian White’s first period goal that opened the scoring. Then, Cory Emmerton forced a turnover before firing a beauty of a shot that beat Pekka Rinne and gave the Red Wings a 2-0 lead.
“The feeling was more that it was an important goal to go up 2-0, so I was just happy with whoever scored,” Emmerton said. “Whenever you could score and help out at the same time it’s a nice feeling.”