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Detroit Red Wings Playoff Game Day Blog

WELCOME TO GAME DAY - Round 1, Game 4

Tuesday, 04.17.2012 / 12:00 AM ET
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Detroit Red Wings Playoff Game Day Blog
Pekka Rinne can be beaten, as Pavel Datsyuk showed during Sunday's Game 3. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

Like any good movie, it takes time to build context into the story, to set everything up for its thrilling, climactic conclusion.

The same thing exists for a best-of-seven playoff series.

Rarely, do you see a scene like you did in Philadelphia on Sunday. Then again, the Flyers and Penguins met in the final game of the regular season. The natural rivalry between the Keystone State rivals has existed for generations. And when one team is down 2-0 in the series headed to hostile territory, desperation can and will creep in.

That’s the exception. The rule is what we’ve seen between the Red Wings and Predators, a series that all of the pundits agreed that six games was the bare minimum, with the difference between victory and defeat being a bounce here and a bounce there. Not too many of these so-called experts thought home ice would matter, especially with Detroit’s veteran laden club, nor has it with two of the first three games being won by the road team.

“You have two evenly matched teams,” Jimmy Howard said following Monday’s practice. “You knew it was going to be tight and that whatever team stuck to their systems the best would be in a good position.”

Now it gets interesting.

Sure, the whole Henrik Zetterberg-Shea Weber thing was an intriguing appetizer, but it has little to do with the final plot. Instead, it is the fact that all three games have been decided by one goal, even with the Red Wings controlling much of the play throughout the series. That couldn’t have been more apparent on Sunday, when Detroit outshot Nashville 43-22, leaving the Predators on their heels for much of the last 25 minutes of play.

And that leads us to this story’s antagonist (at least to us) in Pekka Rinne, the last line of defense and keeper of the gate for Nashville. Rinne has stymied Detroit, not just in the last three games, but also throughout much of his career. If this were chess, the Red Wings would have a queen, two rooks, a bishop and a knight, but unable to make the right moves to create checkmate.

He is the challenge, the mountain, the primary obstacle between our group of heroes and their ultimate goal. Now, can they find a hole in his shield?

“Our job is to create chances and be a little bit annoying to play against,” Cory Emmerton said on Sunday. “I thought we did a pretty good job of that in Game 3, but we just have to build off of it.”

How do you do that?

“I think the biggest thing is to get the first goal,” said Kyle Quincey. “We got the first goal in Game 2 and we were okay there, so I think that’s a huge thing for us.”

Getting the first goal won’t just get the Wings on the board, but awaken the building, establish momentum and eventually, if all goes well, lead to a series-tying victory.

The next chapter is waiting to be written. Which star will emerge as a legend tonight?


- Nashville took a 2-1 lead on Sunday, but did you know that it was their first playoff victory at Joe Louis Arena? The Predators had been 0-6 in two previous playoff appearances.

- The Red Wings fired 19 shots on goal in the third period, surpassing their shot total in all of Game 2 (17). Henrik Zetterberg led Detroit with nine shots on net.

- The Red Wings last 10 playoff losses have all been by one goal. This streak dates back to a 5-2 loss on April 25, 2010 to the Phoenix Coyotes.

- Tonight marks the 71th consecutive sellout at Joe Louis Arena, a streak dating back to December 19, 2010. The Red Wings were 31-7-3 on home ice this season. Nashville was 22-16-3 on the road.


The Red Wings shook things up in practice on Monday, pairing Nick Lidstrom with Ian White, while Jonathan Ericsson was skating alongside Kyle Quincey. This could be seen as an offensive move, seeing that Ian White was the team’s plus-minus leader during the first few months of the season while paired with the captain.

Gustav Nyquist also continued to show his flexibility, seeing time with Justin Abdelkader and Todd Bertuzzi, in addition to with Tomas Holmstrom and Cory Emmerton on the fourth line. 


10:30 AM – The Red Wings skate at Joe Louis Arena
11:30 AM – The Predators skate at Joe Louis Arena
6:00 PM – Doors Open
7:30 PM – JLA Pregame Show
Immediately Following – Game 4 on FOX Sports Detroit, NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS2 and 97.1 The Ticket.

Hal Gill took part in Nashvile’s Monday practice at Joe Louis Arena and is still considered day-to-day with a lower body injury. He is expected to be a game-time decision after missing the first three games of the series.

Darren Helm will miss the remainder of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs after surgery to repair lacerated tendons in his right forearm.

Following the success of last year’s decorated stairs celebrating 20 consecutive years of playoff appearances, Joe Louis Arena will once again be decked out for the big occasion. Vinyl photographs of the Wings’ Stanley Cup championship banners and former Stanley Cup celebrations will don the East Gate, West Gate and box office doors.

Thanks to AT&T for providing today’s car flag giveaway. All fans attending Game 4 can find these on their seats upon entering the building. 

Twitter handles for some pretty important people.
@DetroitRedWings – The team’s official account
@CEmmer48Cory Emmerton
@GNyquistGustav Nyquist
@RSheahan4Riley Sheahan




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
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