Western Conference Quarterfinals: Game Five
Nashville Predators defeat Detroit Red Wings 2-1
The Western Conference Quarterfinals series between the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators was over before the start of the second period.
Keeping with the common theme in this series, the team that scored first never trailed and came out victorious. And it wasn’t the Wings who played their worst hockey of the postseason in a 2-1 loss to the Predators that ousted them from the playoffs.
The elimination marks their earliest since a first round exit in 2006 at the hands of the No. 8-seeded Edmonton Oilers.
For the past three seasons, the Wings haven’t advanced past the second round of the playoffs.
“To me that doesn’t look like you’re going in the right direction,” said Detroit coach Mike Babcock. “We’ll have a lot of time to figure it out.”
Babcock thought his team played well in the series up until Game 5, which he called their worst.
“When you lose 4-1 in a series, you can talk about all of the games being a one-goal game,” he said. “To me that’s not close, 4-1 is not close.”
Jiri Hudler scored the lone goal for Detroit. The Wings scored nine goals in the five-game series.
“We created chances but we couldn’t find a way to score,” said Henrik Zetterberg. “When we made mistakes, they ended up in our net.
“We didn’t score like we normally do.”
After the Predators took an early 1-0 lead in the first period, Hudler tied it at 1-1 in the second giving new life to Detroit. But just 0:13 into the third period, David Legwand scored what would be the game-winning goal.
The Wings are the first team to make an exit from the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. They’re also a team that most thought wouldn’t be the first to go.
“It’s disappointing,” said Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall. “Right now it’s just empty I think. Everyone in here believed something completely different than what the outcome was.”
There’s always a next year for the Red Wings, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less.
GAME BROWSER: DET 1, NSH 2
Most Valuable Wing: Jiri Hudler scored the Red Wings’ only goal in their final game of the season.
Three Stars: 1. David Legwand (NSH), 2. Alexander Radulov (NSH), 3. Pekka Rinne (NSH)
DET: J. Hudler (13:45 – 2nd)
NSH: A. Radulov (16:10 – 1st), D. Legwand (00:13 – 3rd)
DET: J. Howard (L)
NSH: P. Rinne (W)
The Good: No shut-out.
The Bad: The Red Wings were the first team in the playoffs to be ousted.
Key Stat: 1 –Victory for the Red Wings in this series.
Next Up: A long offseason with many questions left to be answered. Who stays? Who goes? Will a certain captain retire?