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Nashville Predators play Detroit Red Wings
Posted By Hank Bonecutter On Monday, April 16, 2012 @ 8:34 pm In Sports | No Comments
Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 at 6:00pm CT
Detroit, MI | Joe Louis Arena
Detroit, MI – The Nashville Predators return to the Joe Louis Arena to face the Detroit Red Wings in game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal, Tuesday night at 6:00pm central time. The Predators lead the series 2-1 after surviving a furious Red Wing attack on Sunday, winning 3-2 in Detroit.
Pekka Rinne notched his 10th career postseason victory on Sunday afternoon, turning aside 41-of-43 shots. Detroit’s 43 shots were the second-highest shot total Rinne has seen in his postseason career. He faced 47 shots in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Vancouver Canucks last season (May 3rd, 2011).
During the regular season, Rinne was 5-0-2 with a 1.66 goal-against average and .958 save percentage in the seven games in which he faced 40-or-more shots on goal, including a 4-3 win over the Red Wings in Nashville on December 15th. He improved to 2-0 this postseason when making 35 saves or more. During the regular season, Rinne was 14-0-2 when stopping at least 35 shots.
The Kempele, Finland native is the franchise’s all-time leader in nearly every postseason goaltending category including games played (21) and wins (10). He posted a franchise-record for goals-against average in a series (1.94) along with a .932 save percentage in the Western Conference Semifinals vs. Vancouver. Dating back to Game One of Nashville’s WCS series against the Canucks, Rinne has turned aside 267-of-287 shots against (.930).
Nashville Predators 3, Detroit Red Wings 2 at Joe Louis Arena
Nashville weathered a late attack by Detroit on Sunday afternoon to hold on for the 3-2 victory. The Predators were outshot 43-22 in Game Three, but improved to 2-0 when being outshot this postseason. Nashville led the NHL during the regular season, going 32-18-4 when being outshot. Nashville’s minus-21 shot differential in Game Three was the highest in the playoffs since being outshot by 23 in Game Six of the 2008 WCQ vs. Detroit (April 20th, 2008).
There were several key moments and a few firsts for this series that helped the Predators regain home ice advantage with their victory in game three. The Predators won their first playoff game in Detroit. They were 0-6 in the Motor City in their two previous Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Red Wings. Shea Weber netted the Predators’ first power-play goal of the series 2:48 into the first period. Nashville’s captain now has goals in back-to-back games.
Kevin Klein notched his first-career multiple point playoff outing. Klein put the Predators ahead 2-0 early in the second period. He then added an assist on Sergei Kostitsyn’s game winning goal. Each member of the Martin Erat-Mike Fisher-Sergei Kostitsyn line recorded their first points of the series.
Defenseman Hall Gill who missed the first three games this series, is tied for sixth among active defensemen in postseason games played. He has skated in 105 career playoff games, making him the most experienced Predator in the postseason. Sixty-nine of those games have come in the past four seasons. Gill has been hampered by injury so far in the playoffs, and is doubtful for game 4 Tuesday night.
The Predators return to Nashville Friday night for game five and depending on the outcome of game four, they could win the series at home in “Smashville.”
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