GAME 4 FINAL THOUGHTS: Nashville 3, Red Wings 1
THE AMWAY QUALITY PLAY OF THE GAME
With 16:46 remaining in the third period and the Red Wings on the power play, Niklas Kronwall shot the puck from inside the blue line, with Jiri Hudler providing a screen in front. The laser beam drive caught Hudler, then the back bar of the net, crossing the line and tying the game at one.
TONIGHT’S THREE STARS, POWERED BY RAM
1) Pekka Rinne – What else can you say? The Nashville netminder made 40 of 41 saves, picking up his third victory of the series.
2) Kevin Klein – Scored the game-winning goal 6:25 into the third period.
3) Kyle Quincey – Picked up an assist on Niklas Kronwall’s game-tying goal and made a pair of quality defensive plays to break up scoring chances.
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THEY SAID IT:
“I think we had 40 shots again tonight and a lot of them were quality chances. It’s tough when you are getting chances, chances and more chances and they go up and score a goal. The momentum really goes up on their side and we’ve got to fight back.”
– Henrik Zetterberg
“It was definitely disappointing, but they’ve still got to win one more game.”
– Jimmy Howard
“When you are out there working hard, I think it shows that we want to win. We’re putting shots on net. Sooner or later, they are going to go in.”
– Drew Miller
It’s frustrating, but you’ve got to push past it. You’re playing playoff hockey now. You are not going to get the breaks all of the time. You’ve got to fight for it and battle for it. Now, we’re in a tough situation where we’ve got to go down to Nashville and win one game.”
– Nick Lidstrom
The Predators thought they had an early third period goal when David Legwand’s shot from the end line trickled by Jimmy Howard just 1:28 into the third period. That was until the referees determined that the whistle had blown before the puck had crossed the line, nullifying the play. Nashville ended up getting that goal back on the very next shift, as Gabriel Bourque took an Alexander Radulov pass and fired it past Howard.
The Predators also battled back to take the lead again following the Niklas Kronwall goal, as Martin Erat drew the attention of four Red Wing players, including Jimmy Howard, before firing a pass to Kevin Klein that ended up being the game-winning goal.
“We just said that we got to stabilize this, let’s just play through it,” Predators coach Barry Trotz said. “Detroit feeds on momentum, most teams in the National Hockey League, especially at home, get a goal and you’re sort of feeding on that crowd. We just had to dig in there and find a way.”
HAVE TO BE HAPPY WITH THE START
Mike Babcock changed up his lines a bit to open Game 4, moving Danny Cleary to the top trio, alongside Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen. The three nearly paid immediate dividends, as Datsyuk found Cleary in front of the net for a short-side opportunity that was stopped by Pekka Rinne. Cleary and Datsyuk also created another flurry 10 minutes into the game, and Detroit held an 8-3 shots edge during the first 11 minutes of play. Detroit also won 15 first period face-offs, which should also please the coach.
QUINCEY COMES UP BIG
Nashville didn’t get many chances, but when they did, Jimmy Howard didn’t necessarily have to make the save. Like when Sergei Kostitsyn found Shea Weber streaking in by his lonesome during the second period, only to have Kyle Quincey poke check the puck away just in the nick of time. The Wings pre-trade deadline acquisition did it again later that same period, breaking up a Martin Erat pass to Gabriel Bourque, ending a potential Predators odd-man opportunity. Quincey also picked up an assist on Kronwall’s game-tying goal in the third period.