The answer to this year's Red Wing trivia question is "during the national anthem", that's when the first of the traditional Detroit fare slapped onto the ice as the Red Wings and Nashville Predators opened up their best of seven playoff series on Thursday night.
With the rockets red glare, bombs bursting in air and an octopus over there all wrapped up, the Wings got on to the job at hand. That being a bid to bring back Stanley to Hockeytown after a six year absence. Thursday night marked the seventeenth straight year that the Red Wings had appeared in the Stanley Cup playoffs, a record marked with the greatest of victories and some of the biggest in disappointments.
The always enigmatic Dominik Hasek was in the nets for Detroit, backstopping the Wings to their 3-1 victory surrendering his only goal late in the second period, on a Jordon Tootoo shot that bounced around off of any number of legs and sticks before eluding Hasek and finding its way to the back of the net, the only goal he would give up on the 20 shots faced on Thursday.
Detroit scored early in the game, picking up their first goal of the playoff season six minutes into the game, go ahead goal number two came in the third period, while the insurance marker into an empty netter rounded out the scoring for the night.
By no means one of those dominating types of games that once made the Wings famous, they played virtually the same kind of game that took them to the top of the NHL standings this season, a workman like performance that in the end provided the two points and the win.
The Wings were never really sure of victory until the empty net goal late in the third, but they did shut down the Preds in the third a sign that a larger lead in coming games may very well be an insurmountable lead.
The reviews have begun to churn out from game one and here's a sample of the night's entertainment.
MLive.com-- Red Wings answer some questions in openerNational Post-- Controversial play propels Red Wings
Windsor Star-- Red Wings win playoff opener
Globe and Mail-- Zetterberg gets Wings rolling
CBC Sports-- Red Wings soar into 17th straight playoffs
CBC Sports-- Red Wings best players shine
Detroit News-- Red Wings open playoffs with a victory
Detroit Free Press-- Henrik Zetterberg scores twice, lifting Red Wings to win over Predators...
The Tennessean-- Wings bounce by Predators
NHL.com-- Stats Pack