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Nashville Predators advance to Round Two of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Nashville, TN – The David Legwand, Alexander Radulov, Gabriel Bourque line connected for a pair of goals and Pekka Rinne stopped 21-of-22 shots as the Nashville Predators edged the Detroit Red Wings, 2-1, in Game 5 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals to win the series four games to one.
Nashville becomes the first team this playoff season to advance to the second round (opponent still to be determined by results in the other three Western Conference series).
Full Team Effort – All four of Nashville’s lines contributed to the effort tonight. The Legwand line created the first two goals, but the Mike Fisher line was dangerous (especially in the first and third periods) and easily could have had two or three goals if not for great saves and some unlucky bounces, the Nick Spaling and Paul Gaustad lines gave great energy and created scoring chances of their own.
Gaustad, Craig Smith and Brandon Yip, while only seeing around seven minutes of even strength time, had some creative offensive shifts, particularly in the first period, which allowed the Predators to roll four lines early and save the top lines for later in the game.
Original Pred Shining — David Legwand was excellent tonight. In all three zones. Coach Barry Trotz even commented that he thought Legwand could be a difference maker in the series and stressed that tonight he was just that. The goal and assist were highly noticeable, but beyond that he was great in one-on-one battles, was strong defensively, and used his speed to create chances through the neutral zone, finishing with a game-high 5 shots on goal. He also won 6-of-8 faceoffs and had 3 defensive takeaways.
Closing Instinct – With an additional off day between Game 4 and Game 5, the Preds had two days to hear about how tough the Red Wings were going to be to finish off; that the fourth win would be the toughest. Nashville showed tremendous team growth finishing the series in its first try.
And tonight might have been the team’s best performance from start to finish, never trailing all night and controlling the pace of the play for the majority of the time. Even post-game was zeroed in, last year the team was jubilant after knocking off the Ducks; this year it was business-like and focused.
Post Game Quotes
Nashville Head Coach Barry Trotz
The great thing I liked about our team is that we didn’t sit back and say “Hey, we’ve got the lead, now let’s protect it.” We protected it the right way; we protected it by going after them and reloading and taking away their time and space and making them work for their inches. To me, we handled that really well.
On the play of David Legwand…
For David to seal the deal tonight with the way he played was great. David played with fierce competitiveness, lots of detail in his game, and he was using his assets – that speed and hockey sense. I thought he was really good. He and Rad and Bourquey were dangerous all night.
On the importance of beating Detroit…
I think we’ve grown to the point where we have a great respect for the Detroit Red Wings, but we’re not in awe of them. That’s the stepping stone that we’ve taken. Obviously, beating Detroit in the first round is a step in the right direction. But I’ll tell you what – they’re a good hockey team. I marvel at how they are so resilient. It was a series of inches and battles.
A guy like Rads spent four years over playing in the KHL, and now he’s in playoff hockey where there’s zero space out there. It’s a big adjustment for him, in dealing with the emotions and intensity of the NHL versus the KHL. I’m sure it was emotional over there, but you’re in confined quarters over here.
There’s a lot more of the subtleties and the nastiness over here than over there – those are things that he’s learning to deal with. I thought our leadership group did a really good job trying to integrate him, and Andrei Kostitsyn, and all the new players – Gaustad, Hal Gill. I just think that shows a lot of maturity in our young leadership group – the Webs and the Sutes, and Leggy, Leggy’s a leader and he played like one tonight.
On getting contributions from throughout the lineup…
Goaltender Pekka Rinne
On the impact of winning this series for the franchise…
On playing calm during one‐goal games…
I thought that we had a lot of scoring chances at times. Horny [Patric Hornqvist] hit the post and a few other great chances. Howard made some good saves. They made some good defensive plays. We knew it was going to come down to the last 10 minutes. They always have a great push and we were ready for it.
Center David Legwand
On the increase in puck possession compared to the games in Detroit…
On the first goal…
On what winning this series means to him being a Detroit native…
Defensemen Shea Weber
On the adjustments the team made from Games Three and Four…
On what the team talked about in the intermission between the second and third period…
On Radulov’s play…
Three Stars Of The Game
1) NSH F David Legwand – 1 goal, 1 assist; game-high 5 shots on goal; great in one-on-one battles
Three Stars Of The Series
1) NSH G Pekka Rinne — was a difference maker in all 4 Preds wins, especially the 2 in Detroit
Opponent, dates and start times for the Predators Western Conference Semifinals matchup will be confirmed with the NHL after the completion of all Western Conference Quarterfinal series. An update will be announced at that time.
Detroit Red Wings 1 – 2 Nashville Predators
Shots on Goal
TopicsAlexander Radulov, Andrei Kostitsyn, Barry Trotz, Brandon Yip, Craig Smith, David Legwand, Detroit Red Wings, Gabriel Bourque, hal gill, Jimmy Howard, Jonathan Ericsson, Kevin Klein, Kyle Quincey, Martin Erat, Mike Fisher, Nashville Predators, Nashville TN, National Hockey League, NHL, NHL Western Conference Quarterfinals, Nick Spaling, Patric Hornqvist, Paul Gaustad, Pekka Rinne, Predators, Shea Weber, Stanley Cup Playoffs
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