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Nashville Predators 1, Detroit Red Wings 3 FINAL @NHLdotcom

DETROIT (AP) _ The Detroit Red Wings are happy because they opened the playoffs with a win for the first time in three years.

The Nashville Predators are satisfied because they held their own in their first-ever postseason contest. In fact, they held the lead for two periods.

The Red Wings were swept _ and stunned _ in the first round last season against Anaheim. In 2002, they lost the first two games of the playoffs to Vancouver before going on to win their 10th Stanley Cup.

``It's good to win the first game of the series obviously, and to win the first game at home after we stumbled around here the last two years,'' Detroit coach Dave Lewis said after the 3-1 win Wednesday night.

``You want to keep your home-ice advantage. I would consider it an ugly win, but we found a way to win.''

It took a while after Nashville's Adam Hall scored 16 seconds into the game. The one-goal lead held up until the Red Wings scored twice in the first five minutes of the third period.

Barry Trotz, the only coach the Predators have had, was surprised how poised his team was before and during the game.

``For our first playoff experience, I think we handled it pretty well,'' Trotz said.

``Six years ago when we joined this league, we were just trying to survive in this building. We don't have that mentality anymore, so actually, we were pretty relaxed. We've got nothing to lose.''

Game 2 in the best-of-seven first-round series is Saturday afternoon.

``I think we'll be more confident,'' Trotz said Thursday.

Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom expects goaltender Manny Legace to have even more confidence after making his first playoff start _ and playing in just his second postseason game.

``I think it helps him a lot, knowing he's got that first win,'' Lidstrom said.

Legace downplayed his performance, and the victory.

``Just because we won one game doesn't mean we're going to win the Stanley Cup,'' Legace said. ``It's a long road.''

Nashville goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who also made his first playoff start, was disappointed that the Red Wings were able to rally to a victory.

``We had a chance, but we couldn't get that second goal,'' Vokoun said.

While Nashville is making its first playoff appearance, it is Detroit's 53rd and 14th consecutive trip to the postseason.

Detroit has 11 players with at least 100 games of playoff experience. Nashville's Jim McKenzie, who helped New Jersey win the Stanley Cup last season, played in a team-high 51st postseason game.

``We don't have a lot of experience, but we probably doubled our team total almost,'' Trotz said.

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