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Nashville Predators host Detroit Red Wings
Posted By Hank Bonecutter On Thursday, April 19, 2012 @ 8:00 pm In Sports | No Comments
Friday, April 20th, 2012 at 7:00pm CT
Nashville, TN | Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, TN – The Nashville Predators are poised to advance into the second round of the Stanly Cup playoffs when they host the Detroit Red Wings Friday night in “Smashville.” The Predators hold a 3-1 series lead after Tuesday nights thrilling 3-1 win at Joe Louis Arena.
For the second consecutive game, goaltender Pekka Rinne made 40-plus saves as he backstopped the Predators to a victory in Game Four. Rinne turned aside 40-of-41 shots on goal – after stopping 41 shots in Game Three – to record the 11th postseason win of his career.
He has made at least 35 saves in three of four games this series – winning all three of those contests. Rinne is just the eighth goalie in the past 24 postseasons with three 35-save outings against the Wings in a series. During the regular season, he was 14-0-2 when making at least 35 saves.
Detroit’s 41 shots in Game Four were the third-highest shot total Rinne has faced in his postseason career. He faced 43 shots in Game Three on Sunday and 47 shots in Game Three of the 2011 Western Conference Semifinals against the Vancouver Canucks (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.
Predators 3, Detroit 1 at Joe Louis Arena
Alexander Radulov has assists in three straight games after tallying the only helper on Gabriel Bourque’s third period goal. Radulov’s streak ties the franchise record for longest assist streak in the postseason (fifth time it has occurred).
In Game One, Bourque became just the third player in the last 14 playoff years to record two goals in his NHL playoff debut – Radulov and Washington’s Mike Green are the others.
Kevin Klein notched his second goal in as many games as he netted the eventual game-winner less than five minutes after Bourque’s goal. It was his first career postseason game-winning goal. This is the first time in Klein’s career (regular season and playoffs) that he has posted goals in consecutive games. He has three points (2g-1a) this playoff season after posting five points (1g-4a) in his first 18 career postseason outings.
David Legwand tallied a power-play goal with 39 seconds remaining in regulation to ice the win for Nashville. The goal was Legwand’s second career postseason power-play goal. Legwand now has seven points (5g-2a) in his last eight postseason games. The Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, native is the Predators’ franchise leader in nearly every postseason offensive category, including points (24), goals (11), plus/minus (+7) and games played (41).
Predators coach Barry Trotz has been shaking up his line-up throughout the playoffs, looking for combinations that produce results. Jordin Tootoo has been a healthy scratch during this series, having played in game three in Detroit.
Defenseman Hal Gill has missed the entire playoffs so far, recovering from an injury that occurred late in the season. Gill has skated in 105 career playoff games, making him the most experienced Predator in the postseason, but his impact has yet to be felt.
Alexander Radulov has assists in three straight games after tallying the only helper on Gabriel Bourque’s third period goal on Tuesday. Radulov’s streak ties the franchise record for longest assist streak in the postseason.
Friday’s game has been sold-out, and lower Broadway will be rocking, as Predators fans descent on “Smashville.” The puck drops Friday at 7:00pm.
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