NHL.com: Klein steps up in Preds' Game 3 win

Sunday, 04.15.2012 / 6:55 PM / Nashville Predators Playoffs Coverage
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NHL.com: Klein steps up in Preds\' Game 3 win
Kevin Klein's haircut had been garnering more media attention lately than his play, but the Mohawk styling atop his head took a big back seat on Sunday at Joe Louis Arena.

Klein scored a goal, added an assist and saved a sure goal by Detroit Red Wings rookie Cory Emmerton in the Nashville Predators' big 3-2 victory in Game 3 of their Stanley Cup Playoffs Quarterfinals series with the Detroit Red Wings.

Klein's goal, just the second playoff marker of his career, came just 3:50 into the second period and put the Preds up 2-0 to quiet a raucous pro-Wings crowd. Maybe more impressive was the way he scored it.

After Detroit's Brad Stuart created a delayed penalty situation, Klein took a short pass at the Red Wings blue line and blew past Stuart into the slot for a wrist shot that beat Howard high to the top right corner of the net.

"I don't know what I was really doing there," Klein said. "It's one of those plays where you just kind of read and react, and [Erat] gave me a nice pass there. It was nice to make a move and go in and score, get the boys fired up a little bit. It was nice to pot that one. When I got in alone, I saw the top was open a little bit, and I happened to execute it."

He also happened to come up with the quote of the day to sum it up.

"I like to step up and show my offensive talent once a year," said Klein, who scored four goals and added 17 assists in 66 games this season. "That’s about it."

Klein also blocked a shot from close range off the rush by Emmerton to save a sure goal, using just the shaft of his stick. Emmeton had pounced on a rebound of Drew Miller's shot that ricocheted off Pekka Rinne's pad to the low slot -- leaving the Preds goalie out of position.

Klein then picked up a secondary assist on Sergei Kostitsyn's goal with just 3:30 left to play in the third that made it 3-1 Nashville.

"Kevin was really good," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "He really stepped up. He was real strong. The second goal was huge. He looked like a 40-goal scorer jumping up there. He roofed it. I thought it was a real defining moment."

As for the shot block, Rinne was relieved and impressed.

"That was awesome," Rinne said. "He's done that a lot this year. I guess he has a little bit of goalie instinct, but he made a huge block ... really saved a for-sure goal. That's obviously one of the key plays."

By Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

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