NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Tomas Vokoun won't call his first postseason shutout
his most satisfying win. The Nashville goalie will admit he's having lots of
fun at the Detroit Red Wings' expense.
Vokoun continued his suffocating play by stopping 41 shots and shutting out
the Red Wings 3-0 Tuesday night as the Predators evened their first-round
Steve Sullivan, Vladimir Orszagh and Greg Johnson each scored and Dan
Hamhuis had two assists. The six-year franchise ensured a return visit to Music
City for Game 6 on Saturday against the 10-time Stanley Cup winners.
Game 5 will be in Detroit on Thursday night.
``It's great. I was happy, ... and you want to stay down to earth,'' Vokoun
said. ``It's 2-2, and I wish that was a 40 (save) shutout in Game 7 and we won
and you could enjoy it more. I'm going to enjoy it. It's great. There's not
much better you can do.''
Nobody scored more goals in the regular season than the Red Wings in winning
the Presidents' Trophy, but they haven't been able to crack Vokoun since the
series shifted to Nashville.
The 27-year-old goalie stopped 41 shots in a 3-1 victory Sunday. Vokoun was
better Tuesday night in his 13th career shutout _ even with the Red Wings
outshooting Nashville 41-20.
``I think he's got some kind of plexiglass behind him no one can see,''
Vokoun stopped Brett Hull early with a pad save among 16 stops in the first
period. In the final minutes, Detroit turned up the pressure, and Vokoun
answered. His last save came as he gloved a long shot from the other end of the
ice by Mathieu Dandenault in the final seconds.
The goalie gave credit to his teammates for helping him see the puck well.
``We give up a lot of shots, but a lot of shots I'm able to see and they
have got to be doing something right. It's all about that. If you can see, you
can stop it,'' Vokoun said.
Not even having the man advantage helped the Red Wings. They went 0-for-5
and now are 1-for-20 in the series, and a team that has talked about playing
with desperation is much closer to that emotion now.
``I certainly hope so,'' coach Dave Lewis said.
Remember, the Wings were swept in the first round last season by Anaheim,
which also had a hot goalie in J.S. Giguere.
Detroit forward Darren McCarty said the Red Wings might be a little
frustrated, but they remain confident in their quest for a fourth Stanley Cup
in eight years.
``We just have to find a way to win a hockey game. The good thing is we're
going back to the Joe for Game 5. We've been here before. It's not the way we
would have wanted it to go, but it's the way it's gone. We've got a series,''
Even when it looked like Robert Lang scored for Detroit at 3:41 of the third
period, it was waved off for goaltender interference on Tomas Holmstrom.
The Predators fed off the energy from their ecstatic fans once again.
Detroit had a few more supporters in the stands this time, but when they tried
to start up the ``Let's go Red Wings'' chant, it was quickly drowned out by
``Chelios is a sissy.''
Sullivan gave Vokoun all the margin he would need, ending his own personal
playoff drought at 10:44 of the first period.
He missed on a penalty shot in the opening minutes of Game 1 and had gone
nine shots without finding the net in the series. But with the teams skating
four-on-four, Scott Walker fed Sullivan for a breakaway, and Sullivan flipped a
backhander high over a sprawling Manny Legace.
Orszagh made it 2-0 in the second period when he redirected a shot from
Hamhuis, and the Predators chased Legace after he gave up a goal off his glove
to Johnson at 2:04 of the third period.
Legace had seven saves on 10 shots.