Found April 21, 2012 on The Predatorial:

Photo Credit: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

As the final seconds ticked off the clock and the horn sounded, the Nashville Predators erupted off the bench after winning the game 2-1 and defeating the storied Detroit Red Wings 4 games to 1 in the best-of-seven Western Conference Quarterfinals matchup.

Getting goals from Alexander Radulov and David Legwand and a 21 save performance from Pekka Rinne, the Predators outshot, outhit, and outplayed a veteran Red Wings team to win the series in 5 games, shocking experts/pundits from around the sporting world who predicted a lengthy 7 game series between these two teams.

There are a lot of little things you can take from this series and we’ll go over all the major nuances and the breakdowns of how the Predators won this series in our post-series breakdown here in the next day or so, but let’s tell you a little about this game.

The question before the game started would be what team would show up on the ice for Game 5 for the Predators? Would it be the Nashville squad who dominated Detroit in the third period in the last game? Or would it be the Nashville squad who played in their end for the majority of the first two periods of Game 4? Well, Nashville came out with a 10 shot first period and showed the most fire that I’ve seen throughout the entire series.

After multiple chances up and down the ice, Nashville would break through late in the first period. David Legwand stole the puck and found Alexander Radulov streaking down the zone who sniped it top shelf over Jimmy Howard for a 1-0 Nashville lead at 16:10 of the first.

While 4 penalties were called in the first period between both teams, only one penalty was called over the remaining 60 minutes, a shocker as there were many “possible” penalties to be called throughout, however it was a fresh change of pace to see a “pre-lockout” type of officiating over the course of the final two periods.

I could be wrong, however with the officials swallowing their whistles and letting the teams play the game, I felt it really upped the skill level of both squads, who knew that the referees weren’t going to call ticky tack penalties after that first period. But, Detroit wouldn’t need a powerplay to tie the game up at 1, as Jiri Hudler found a loose puck beside Pekka Rinne at the 13:45 mark of the second period, knotting the game at 1.

The Predators fell back on their heels for the remainder of the second period, but came out re-energized and on fire in the third. It only took 13 seconds to break the ice, as well. David Legwand grabbed a deflected Gabriel Bourque pass and put it top shelf on Jimmy Howard to make it 2-1 Nashville, a lead that would stick for the remainder of the game.

The Predators take down the Red Wings with a final score of 2-1 after a hectic third period and finish Detroit in a short 5 games, which gives them some breathing room to rest and heal up before round 2.

Pekka Rinne finished the series with a 4-1 record, a .944 save % and a 1.81 GAA. David Legwand has scored the final goal in BOTH of Nashville’s series-clinching wins, which seems only fitting for the first ever draft pick for the Nashville Predators.

Stay tuned over the next couple of days for the post-series breakdown of the Nashville/Detroit series and what to look for in the next round. Now, check out some videos from tonight’s game:

HIGHLIGHTS

POST-GAME LOCKER ROOM CELEBRATION

THE BACKYARD
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