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Wings need more pressure on Rinne

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT – There were plenty of good scoring chances for the Red Wings in Game 3, particular in the third period of Sunday’s 3-2 loss when they outshot Nashville, 19-4, in the final 20-minutes.

Detroit just didn’t capitalize on them and now find itself down 2-1 in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinals series, which resumes tonight with Game 4 at Joe Louis Arena.
However, the Wings are far from conceding this series that has had all three games decided by identical 3-2 scores.

“We had a good third. We were able to get pucks in front more and create some second chances. But it’s tough to score,” said Wings forward Valtteri Filppula, who last scored a goal on St. Patrick’s Day. “We haven’t been able to score as much as we wanted to and hopefully it changes and we’re able to score more next game.”

The Wings would like to have a breakout game and get more than two pucks past Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne, the 6-foot-5 Finland native who covers an immense amount of ground and moves with cat-like quickness from post-to-post.

“It’s little different, playoff hockey is always different,” Filppula said of scoring on Rinne. “There’s less room and you don’t’ get as many good chances as you do during the regular-season. It’s tighter. The biggest thing is getting second shots and second chances and getting goals that way.”

The Wings have seven goals through the first three games and have gone nine games overall without scoring more than three, which was about the time that many of the team’s injured players, like Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom, Jonathan Ericsson and Danny Cleary began to return to the lineup.

“I think that's part of it and I think you go through your ups and downs throughout the regular-season, you score goals and then all the sudden you can't get those goals,” Lidstrom said. “That's one of the reasons it happened late in the year but in the playoffs it's even harder to get those scoring chances. Teams are playing so much better in their own zone, protecting the slot, protecting the net, making it harder to get goals and scoring chances.”

Over the final 17 regular-season games and the three playoff games the Wings scored two goals or fewer 15 times. They scored a total of 45 goals, for an average of 2.25 per game.

Detroit managed to score three or more goals in just four games with two coming against non-playoff teams with seven against Columbus and five on Carolina.

“You create chances to score but at the end of the day, chances, they don’t court,” Filppula said. “We have to find a way to score and hopefully we can do a better job.

“I feel like we’ve been getting some chances, for sure. It’s tough obviously. You hope to get more chances but their goalie is playing really well, too. The more chances, hopefully the better luck you have that some go in.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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