We have updated our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the NHL’s online services, you agree to these updated documents and to the arbitration of disputes.
Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
 
SHARE
Posted On Sunday, 04.15.2012 / 6:35 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Predators vs. Red Wings series blog

Klein steps up in Preds' Game 3 win


DETROIT
-- Kevin Klein's haircut had been garnering more media attention lately than his play, but the Mohawk styling atop his head took a big back seat on Sunday at Joe Louis Arena.

Klein scored a goal, added an assist and saved a sure goal by Detroit Red Wings rookie Cory Emmerton in the Nashville Predators' big 3-2 victory in Game 3 of their Stanley Cup Playoffs Quarterfinals series with the Detroit Red Wings.

Klein's goal, just the second playoff marker of his career, came just 3:50 into the second period and put the Preds up 2-0 to quiet a raucous pro-Wings crowd. Maybe more impressive was the way he scored it.

After Detroit's Brad Stuart created a delayed penalty situation, Klein took a short pass at the Red Wings blue line and blew past Stuart into the slot for a wrist shot that beat Howard high to the top right corner of the net.

"I don't know what I was really doing there," Klein said. "It's one of those plays where you just kind of read and react, and [Erat] gave me a nice pass there. It was nice to make a move and go in and score, get the boys fired up a little bit. It was nice to pot that one. When I got in alone, I saw the top was open a little bit, and I happened to execute it."

He also happened to come up with the quote of the day to sum it up.

"I like to step up and show my offensive talent once a year," said Klein, who scored four goals and added 17 assists in 66 games this season. "That’s about it."

Klein also blocked a shot from close range off the rush by Emmerton to save a sure goal, using just the shaft of his stick. Emmeton had pounced on a rebound of Drew Miller's shot that ricocheted off Pekka Rinne's pad to the low slot -- leaving the Preds goalie out of position.

Klein then picked up a secondary assist on Sergei Kostitsyn's goal with just 3:30 left to play in the third that made it 3-1 Nashville.

"Kevin was really good," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "He really stepped up. He was real strong. The second goal was huge. He looked like a 40-goal scorer jumping up there. He roofed it. I thought it was a real defining moment."

As for the shot block, Rinne was relieved and impressed.

"That was awesome," Rinne said. "He's done that a lot this year. I guess he has a little bit of goalie instinct, but he made a huge block ... really saved a for-sure goal. That's obviously one of the key plays."
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Sunday, 04.15.2012 / 6:32 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Predators vs. Red Wings series blog

Weber has big game for Preds in hostile atmosphere

DETROIT -- Shea Weber knew that he'd be the subject of jeers on Sunday in an arena filled with angry Detroit Red Wings fans.

Weber's altercation with Henrik Zetterberg just after the final horn of Game 1 in Nashville's Stanley Cup Playoffs Quarterfinals series earned him a fine by the League, but Wings fans got a chance to let him hear it in Game 3 on Sunday at Joe Louis Arena.

Weber was booed virtually every time he touched the puck, and he touched it a lot while playing 27:06 and spreading it out over a whopping 33 shifts.

It didn't matter, as Weber scored the game's first goal on a power play, launched four shots on goal, delivered three hits and blocked three shots to earn praise from Nashville coach Barry Trotz after the Preds' narrow 3-2 victory.

"He was a monster out there," Trotz said. "He scored a big goal. Obviously, when he came to the rink, he knew he wasn't going to be the most likeable guy in the arena. He made a big statement. He said, 'I'm here to stay and nothing's going to stop me from being a top player.' He's all about business, on and off the ice. I'm very fortunate that I can put him on the ice, night in and night out."

As for the constant boos, Weber just took them in stride.

"It's part of it, whatever," he said. "I guess we're more focused on the game."
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Sunday, 04.15.2012 / 10:58 AM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Predators vs. Red Wings series blog

Predators-Red Wings projected lineups

DETROIT -- It's only two games into their Stanley Cup Playoffs Quarterfinals series and already it's been kind of an odd one for both the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators.

Not only was there the well-publicized incident with Shea Weber and Henrik Zetterberg at the conclusion of Game 1 at Bridgestone Arena, but there's also the fact Detroit won Game 2 with both coaches basically agreeing Nashville played a better game.

The Red Wings were limited to just 17 shots on goal in the second game, yet triumphed 3-2 on goals by Ian White, Cory Emmerton and Johan Franzen plus some outstanding work in net from Jimmy Howard (24 saves). The only constant thus far, heading into Sunday's Game 3 at Joe Louis Arena (Noon NBC, CBC, RDS), has been the tight-checking nature of both games -- which both ended in 3-2 scores.

There's no reason to expect any different on Sunday, either.

"I don't think there's been a whole lot of room either way," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We only had [17 ]shots on goal [in Game 2], so we stopped playing the third period -- didn't skate I didn't think [and] got in a protective mode, which isn't the way you want to do it. In saying that, there's just not a lot of room for either team and that's what we expect. They'll go make some adjustments. We'll go make some adjustments. And we'll both try to do better."

Predators coach Barry Trotz didn't sound all that different in his assessment of the series.

"I was more comfortable with our game [on Friday] when we lost than our first game, when it was just a game that broken up through penalties," Trotz said. "It really hasn't been that physical of a series. Last year against Anaheim, that was nasty. This one's just ... you have to grind for inches. It's more of a grinding series than it is physical."

Detroit's Ian White missed practice on Saturday with a sore instep on his left foot as the result of blocking a slap shot in Game 2, but he's expected to play on Sunday. Nashville defenseman Hal Gill, who hasn't played since the end of the regular season, will be a gametime decision.

Here is how each team is likely to start Sunday's game:

PREDATORS

Martin Erat - Mike Fisher - Sergei Kostitsyn
Andrei Kostitsyn - David Legwand - Alexander Radulov
Gabriel Bourque - Nick Spaling - Patric Hornqvist
Matt Halischuk - Paul Gaustad - Brandon Yip/Jordin Tootoo

Ryan Suter - Shea Weber
Jack Hillen/Hal Gill - Roman Josi
Francis Bouillon - Kevin Klein

Pekka Rinne
Anders Lindback

RED WINGS

Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Jiri Hudler
Todd Bertuzzi - Pavel Datsyuk - Johan Franzen
Gustav Nyquist - Justin Abdelkader - Danny Cleary
Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Tomas Holmstrom

Nicklas Lidstrom - Jonathan Ericsson
Niklas Kronwall - Brad Stuart
Kyle Quincey - Ian White

Jimmy Howard
Ty Conklin
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 04.14.2012 / 11:21 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Predators vs. Red Wings series blog

Red Wings happy with penalty killing, not penalties

DETROIT -- On the one hand, the Detroit Red Wings couldn't be happier about their penalty-killing units in their first two Western Conference Quarterfinal games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Detroit has killed all 12 power plays that were granted to the Nashville Predators and the Red Wings haven't allowed a power-play goal in the last nine games dating back to the conclusion of the regular season -- totaling 37 straight successful penalty kills.

On the other hand, the Wings also took significantly more penalties in the first two games than they'd averaged per game all season.

"I have no idea how many in a row it's been," Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson said of the penalty-kill streak. "The last two games there, have been a bit too many penalties we've taken. We don't really want that."

What they do want is to continue doing the things that have sparked such recent success while playing with less skaters -- such as blocking shots in bunches, clearing out loose rebounds and winning faceoffs inside the defensive zone.

"I think we've just been doing a great job frustrating them, blocking shots, taking away passing lanes and just working hard out there," said Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, who's also been a big part of the defensive special teams unit's hot stretch. "I really think it's the sacrificing [of] the body, the way we've been blocking shots. Guys have been putting their bodies on the line out there. It's not easy to step in front of Shea Weber's shot. Guys have been doing it."

The Wings have also been doing it without the help of two top penalty killers -- Darren Helm and captain Nicklas Lidstrom. Helm is out for the remainder of the playoffs after severing tendons in his forearm in Game 1, while Lidstrom isn't playing on either penalty-kill unit because of a deep bone bruise on his foot that's susceptible to getting hit again by a hard shot -- which is what caused the initial injury.

"Not having [Helm] out there is a huge blow," Howard said on Saturday. "With his speed and everything ... he gets up ice and then disrupts the flow of their breakouts. But at the same time, guys are stepping up and that's great to see."

Speaking of things to see, Howard's been having a difficult time seeing shots because of traffic in front of the net caused primarily by Patric Hornqvist -- who said he patterned his net-front game after fellow countryman Tomas Holmstrom.

Though Hornqvist hasn't scored yet on the power play, he's definitely making his presence felt in front of Howard.

"He's just like [Holmstrom]," Howard said. "He's really going to get his stick on pucks. As a goalie, he just makes your life miserable out there. He's a hard guy to move as well."

That's why it's nice to have the big body of Ericsson back from a wrist fracture that kept him out for much of the final stretch in the regular season. Ericsson's play in all situations has been noticeably improved this season, especially since his return, but especially so while killing penalties.

"That was one of my goals before the season and from the meetings I had, was to take a step on the penalty kill and become a bigger factor for the team," Ericsson said. "That's how I wanted to contribute. I think I got better throughout the year on the penalty kill, but you're always working as a unit out there. Everyone has to work together. It's not one player or two."
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 04.14.2012 / 11:10 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Predators vs. Red Wings series blog

Red Wings 'bottom six' help them come out on top

DETROIT -- Mike Babcock wasn't real thrilled with the play of his third and fourth forward lines down the last stretch of the regular season and into Game 1 of the Detroit Red Wings' Stanley Cup Playoffs Quarterfinal series.

He told reporters prior to the second game on Friday at Bridgestone Arena that Detroit needed more at both ends of the rink out of his "bottom six" forwards and they responded in kind. Rookie Cory Emmerton, who centers the fourth line, scored his first NHL playoff goal on a great individual effort late in the first period to highlight the offense, but third-line wingers Drew Miller and Danny Cleary also drew recognition from Babcock on Saturday.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 04.14.2012 / 4:29 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Predators vs. Red Wings series blog

Wings' White misses practice, expects to play

DETROIT -- They haven't allowed a power-play goal 12 opportunities with the man-advantage for the Nashville Predators during the first two games, but the Detroit Red Wings might have paid a price for it anyway.

Defenseman Ian White missed the team's brief practice Saturday in Detroit with a foot injury that happened while killing a Nashville power-play late in the second period of a 3-2 win Friday at Bridgestone Arena.

White blocked a hard, one-timed slapshot by Predators defenseman Roman Josi with the instep of his left skate with just 6:01 left in the period and was immediately slowed. White managed to finish the game, but couldn't get his foot into the skate boot on Saturday morning for practice.

White and Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, however, expect him to play in Game 3 on Sunday of a Western Conference Quarterfinal series (noon, NBC) -- which is knotted at one game apiece with the next two in Detroit's Joe Louis Arena.

"Just a little tender," White said. "Just take the day off and let it rest."

White, who raised his foot off the ice to stop the puck, also said X-rays weren't necessary.

“No, I’ve been hit in the foot by a puck many times, so I was pretty sure it wasn't broken," he said. "It was just one of those things that when you take a puck in the foot, it’s gonna hurt.”

White also got stuck on the ice during a high-tempo sequence after getting hit in the foot and hobbled around as best he could until he could get to the bench.

“We were out there killing for a while," White said. "You take that puck in the foot and you’re already tired and you can’t skate and you have to go battle some more, but that’s how it goes.”
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 04.14.2012 / 2:48 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Predators vs. Red Wings series blog

No Gill at Preds practice, still hopeful for Sunday

NASHVILLE – Predators defenseman Hal Gill, who has missed the first two games of his team’s Western Conference Quarterfinals series with Detroit, did not participate in a brief practice Saturday at Bridgestone Arena.
 
Asked if he had a chance to play in Game 3 on Sunday, Gill responded “hope so.”
 
Predators coach Barry Trotz said Gill, 37, is “getting closer.”
 
“One of the things with certain injuries here, sometimes you’re better off not to skate in terms of that and let it settle down,” Trotz said. “Every day that goes by, he’s getting closer and we felt that we can just keep him off today. He did some stuff a lot earlier before everybody got here and we’ll see where it is.”
 
Gill led Nashville in shorthanded time on ice during the regular season and was the team’s top shot-blocker.
 
Power play struggles
 
Nashville has not scored a power play goal in its first 12 chances through Games 1 and 2, but Trotz is not getting discouraged. That is because the Preds are generating plenty of chances, but they’re just not finishing them off.
 
Trotz said there would be a tendency to “reinvent the wheel” if the unit were not generating chances.
 
In the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Predators lost their opening-round series with eventual champion Chicago in six games in part because they did not score a power-play goal through the first five games.
 
“The difference in that power play was in that we got no chances,” Trotz said. “That’s the biggest thing. We just weren’t getting any chances or very, very little. That’s not the case here. … I remember that well, by the way.”
 
0-for-Detroit
 
The Preds have never won a postseason game in Detroit, failing in all six chances in their two previous meetings with the Red Wings. If they want to win this series, they will need to do so.
 
“Obviously, it’s a tough place to play,” Ryan Suter said. “We have to if we want to win the series, we’re going to have to win a game there. Going into it, you’re looking at it as, ‘Oh, geez, we’ve never won there. We gotta win.’ But it’s just more of a fact that if we play the way we’re capable of playing we have a good chance to win.”
 

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Friday, 04.13.2012 / 2:02 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Predators vs. Red Wings series blog

Filppula happy for Rinne's rise, but not right now

NASHVILLE – Each team in this Western Conference Quarterfinal series has one player from Finland -- forward Valtteri Filppula for Detroit and Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne.
 
Filppula has played against Rinne in his homeland and often as foes in the Central Division. He said in the NHL that Rinne is one of the few goalies who will have a chat with him during the game, though none of that has gone on in the playoffs.
 
“You have a little bit of a Finnish connection and any time you face a Finnish guy, usually say hi to him and what’s going on there,” Rinne said. “He’s a nice guy, but now it’s a different time of the season but he’s pretty laid-back guy and I’m usually that way, too.”
 
Filppula said that part of what makes the 6-foot-5 Rinne successful is that he’s an excellent athlete. Filppula said he played against Rinne some back home, but more now in the NHL.
 
“Now you get to see him more and obviously he’s become better as you would hope,” Filppula said of Rinne. “He’s always been good size and really fast and I think that’s the biggest thing as to why he’s really good. He’s really quick and obviously never gives up and makes a lot of good saves after you think it should be a sure goal. He comes back and makes those key saves. Definitely, it’s a fun goalie to follow and hope for all the best, but not so much in this series.”
 
Rinne was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy last year but he does not have a star personality. He’s fairly low-key off the ice. Filppula said that as a result Rinne does not exactly have rock-star status in Finland.
 
“Well, I think for the Finnish audience, it’s tougher since he didn’t play that much back home,” Filppula said. “He came over here pretty early but I think now people see him play more and I think he’s definitely one of the top Finnish players to play. He’s really earned that right and everyone knows he’s a great goalie now. I don’t think he acts that way, which is a good thing.”
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Friday, 04.13.2012 / 1:56 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Predators vs. Red Wings series blog

Cleary returns to 'heavy' style despite knee injury

NASHVILLE – As recently as last week, Red Wings right wing Dan Cleary said his left knee was only at 50 percent.
 
Without giving away too much, Cleary said Friday that improved medication is helping him in the playoffs. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he thought that Cleary was one of the team’s better forwards in Detroit’s 3-2 loss in Game 1 and that Cleary played a “heavy” game and not a “light” game on the periphery, as he was forced to do during the regular season when the knee bothered him.
 
Cleary played 15:49 and posted an even rating. Cleary was one of only four Red Wings not to be a minus in Game 1 and one of those four was center Darren Helm, who endured a playoff-ending laceration to his forearm and played only 3:06.
 
“How do I phrase this the right way? The medicine helped a lot,” Cleary said of Game 1. “It’s a little different in the playoffs. … The dose is a little better. It allowed to me to be able not to feel [the pain], so I felt like normal. It’s good.
 
“Let’s put it this way, medicine certainly helped -- like a lot. The type that you take in the playoffs is a lot different. It was a huge difference. I felt like normal. I could skate.” 
 
Cleary normally kills penalties with Helm so he said he did not think he would see more time on the penalty kill. But he said Helm’s loss was a blow to the team. Helm underwent surgery Wednesday.
 
“His loss is felt for sure,” Cleary said.
 
He said he had spoken to Helm and was asked about Helm’s spirits.
 
“How would you be, you know?” he said. “He’s pretty down, but at least he’s -- in a way -- healthy. You know, there’s no nerve damage, so that was a huge thing but his loss is going to be felt, huge, huge loss.”
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Friday, 04.13.2012 / 1:33 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Predators vs. Red Wings series blog

Projected Game 2 lineups

Here are the projected lineups for Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal series between the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena:

RED WINGS
Johan Franzen - Pavel Datsyuk - Todd Bertuzzi
Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Jiri Hudler
Gustav Nyquist - Justin Abdelkader - Danny Cleary
Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Tomas Holmstrom
 
Nicklas Lidstrom - Jonathan Ericsson
Niklas Kronwall - Brad Stuart
Kyle Quincey - Ian White
 
Jimmy Howard
Ty Conklin

PREDATORS
Sergei Kostitsyn - Mike Fisher - Martin Erat
Andrei Kostitsyn - David Legwand - Alexander Radulov
Gabriel Bourque - Nick Spaling - Patric Hornqvist
Matt Halischuk - Paul Gaustad - Brandon Yip
 
Ryan Suter - Shea Weber
Roman Josi - Kevin Klein
Francis Bouillon - Jack Hillen/Ryan Ellis
 
Pekka Rinne
Anders Lindback
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
First | Prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Next | Last
Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh