Playing In their first playoff game in franchise history against the vaunted Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena, one would assume the underdog Nashville Predators would come out of the gate hesitant and caught in the moment. That was the farthest from the case as Adam Hall gave the Preds a 1-0 lead just 16 seconds into the game – the quickest Detroit has been scored on in its playoff history.
"I was worried how we would start the game," he said. "I was afraid we would be in awe of the Detroit Red Wings and the atmosphere."
Hall’s goal made the 20,066 in attendance eerily quiet until Detroit’s Kris Draper scored the first of three third-period goals to lift the home team to a 3-1 win to take a 1-0 advantage in the series.
Goaltender Tomas Vokoun kept the Preds in the game with an unreal performance, stopping all 18 shots he faced through 40 minutes and a total of 26 for the game.
“That is what you ask your goaltenders to do every night – give you an opportunity to steal a game,” head coach Barry Trotz said.
Though Nashville would fall in the series, four games to two, they provided countless memorable moments in their first appearance in the playoffs, including wins in games three and four at the Sommet Center. The six-game series earned the Predators respect around the league, and showed that they would be a team to be reckoned with in the years to come.