Post-Game Musings: Game 4 at Detroit

Tuesday, 04.17.2012 / 10:10 PM / Nashville Predators Playoffs Coverage
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
On Tuesday night the Nashville Predators played rope-a-dope hockey for the first two periods before breaking out with a three-goal third period to claim a 3-1 win in Game 4 at Joe Louis Arena. With Tuesday's win, Nashville took both games in Detroit to grab a 3-1 series lead heading back to Nashville for Game 5 on Friday.

The Preds rotated forward combinations all game, trying to find the right mix of players, before hitting paydirt with a Bourque-Legwand-Radulov trio. The threesome accounted for the game’s first goal, 1:55 into the third period, and Legwand added the insurance goal on the power-play in the game's final minute. Jiri Hudler knotted the game at 1-1 for Detroit on a power-play redirection 19 seconds after Nashville opened the scoring, but defenseman Kevin Klein answered with his second goal in as many games to put the Preds ahead for good at 6:25 of the third.

Now on to the musings…


THREE MUSINGS:
Shots Don’t Tell The Story – Detroit held a major edge in shots on goal, but the scoring chances were fairly even through the game. In the first two periods, some of Nashville’s best scoring chances didn’t end up in shots on goal, while the overwhelming majority of Detroit’s shots on goal were from low percentage areas with an unobstructed view for Rinne.

Exorcising the Demons of Playoffs Past – When Nashville went on the power-play with under a minute left in regulation holding a one-goal lead, it had to trigger flashbacks to Game 5 of the 2010 series vs Chicago. This time the Preds – with a similar grouping of players on the ice – managed the puck better behind the Detroit net and ended up with an insurance goal to seal the win. Martin Erat commented in the locker room after the game that this is what this year’s team has been all about, learning from past mistakes and making the most of the current moment.

Late TV Break – Because of the penalties and icings in the middle of the frame, there were back-to-back television timeouts late in the period, which benefitted Nashville greatly. The Preds were hemmed in their own end by a pair of icings and strong cycle by the Wings, but Barry Trotz called his timeout to trigger the first television break with 3:10 left and allow an extended rest for the embattled group on the ice. Then 23 seconds later after Rinne held a save off a Franzen shot, the next television timeout was triggered, allowing further rest for Nashville’s top defensive players.


THREE STARS
1) NSH G Pekka Rinne - 40 saves
2) DET F Henrik Zetterberg - 5 shots on goal, 23:42 ice time, was consistently dangerous
3) NSH F Martin Erat - 1 assist; outstanding in the third period; created the game-winning goal with a strong one-on-three move; made a handful of strong defensive plays on the backcheck
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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

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