April 11, 2004: Nashville’s first playoff win
Tomas Vokoun was spectacular, stopping 41 shots, and Adam Hall scored the game-winning goal with just 15 seconds left in the first period as the Nashville Predators knocked off the rival Detroit Red Wings, 3-1, to claim the first playoff victory in franchise history in front of a rocking sell-out crowd at Bridgestone Arena.
"To get the first win for the team in the playoffs was special," Vokoun said. "Anybody who was here felt the energy," Vokoun said. "The fans were unbelievable. It was the best moment since I've been in Nashville."
The Predators were outshot 42-21, but Vokoun was masterful, stopping 22 shots in the third period alone. David Legwand got the scoring started with a shorthanded marker at 18:23 of the opening frame, and Scott Hartnell added an insurance marker at 16:03 of the third.
"Vokoun played unbelievable," Detroit goalie Manny Legace said. "He stood on his head and stole the game."
The victory paved the way for another just two nights later, tying the best-of-seven series at 2-2 heading back to the Motor City.
"Obviously, this was an important game," Head Coach Barry Trotz said. "Detroit is a veteran team, and they wanted to put a nail in the coffin today, and we didn't let them."
April 11, 2007: Third period comeback, Double-OT Game 1 vs. San Jose
The Predators and Sharks kicked off their Western Conference Quarterfinal series with a bang in front of a sellout crowd at Bridgestone Arena, playing the second-longest game in franchise history – a barnburner that lasted more than 88 minutes. San Jose claimed a 5-4 victory to take a 1-0 advantage in the series, but not before a valiant third-period comeback by the Preds that saw them erase a two-goal deficit.
Alexander Radulov scored on a beautiful goal at 13:05 of the third, and J-P Dumont sent the game to sudden death with the first of four goals he would score in the series with just 51 seconds remaining in regulation.
Goaltender Tomas Vokoun kept his team in the game as they fought through early penalty trouble, stopping 13 shots in the first period and a total of 33 in the game.
“I thought Vokoun was real good tonight,” Head Coach Barry Trotz said. “I mean in the first part of the game we took a lot of penalties. He had to be real good for us and he kept us alive.”
Despite the heart-breaking loss, the Predators would bounce back in Game Two, receiving two goals each from Dumont and Peter Forsberg for a convincing 5-2 victory, sending the series out to San Jose tied 1-1.