Sunday, April 20, 2008

Red Wings bounce Predators out of the playoffs

The first Detroit goal in game six will probably be played over and over and over again, for the next few days, a slow torturous vision for Nashville goaltender Dan Ellis.

The Red Wings Nicklas Lidstrom scored almost fourteen minutes into the second period, on a long shot from centre ice, a lofting puck that bounced once before eluding Ellis, providing the Wings with the first goal of an until then rather tightly played game.

While the Wings would pick up two more goals in the third, one into an empty net, before the game was over, Lidstrom’s half rink shot would in the end, be all that Detroit really needed to advance in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The goal was an unfair final memory for Ellis, who at times had provided some remarkable goaltending to keep his Predators alive and causing fits for the Wings. The Predators who continued to battle back from adversity in this series, finally seemed out of gas in the third, injuries to key players and an inability to take advantage of their power play opportunities, finally left them on the wrong end of the score in the wrong game.

Scoring chances would bounce just wide or off a post on Sunday, as Detroit’s Chris Osgood held his ground, deflecting or catching the 20 Predator shots directed his way. While frustration would haunt Nashville through a number of games in this series, none more so than in game six, which could have bee a very different outcome if only a few of those 20 shots had found a corner of the net or bounced off a post inwards instead of out.

The Wings who traditionally seem to have troubles with these first round opponents will be quite thankful to have come out of their series alive, no one had given the Predators much of a chance heading into the series and through sheer will and work ethic they made this a hard earned series win for Detroit.

The outcome could have been very different, if only for a few bounces…

Detroit Free Press-- Chris Osgood to start in Round 2
The Tennessean-- Proud Exit
. Stats Pack

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