Predators take Game 4, push Red Wings to brink
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings won an NHL-record 23 straight home games during the regular season.
But after dropping back-to-back playoff contests at Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings find themselves on the brink of elimination.
Kevin Klein scored the tiebreaking goal 6:25 into the third period and the Nashville Predators posted a 3-1 win over the Red Wings in Game 4 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Pekka Rinne made 40 saves for the Predators, who lead the best-of-seven set 3-1 and will look to close it out on Friday in front of their fans.
"Our defense core stepped up and they spent a lot of time in our end, more than necessary at times, and did a great job," said Nashville head coach Barry Trotz.
Jimmy Howard stopped just 14 shots for Detroit, which finished 1-for-7 on the power play.
Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom knows what his team is facing.
"You can't look at the big picture. You have to break it up and look at that next game. Take things one game at a time," he said.
All four goals Tuesday night were scored after the second intermission.
Gabriel Bourque's third goal of the series gave Nashville the lead at the 1:55 mark of the third. He started the play with some nifty stickhandling from his knees in the right corner and chipped the puck behind the Detroit net. Alexander Radulov tracked it down and whipped a backhander from the left goal line that deflected into the slot and Bourque one-timed it past Howard.
The Predators were called for too many men less than a minute later and Jiri Hudler redirected Niklas Kronwall's point shot for a power-play tally at 3:14.
Klein put the visitors back on top at 6:25. Martin Erat did most of the labor, carrying the puck on an end-to end rush. As three Detroit players converged on him, Erat slipped the puck from the left circle back to the middle of the ice and Klein fired it into an open net.
Once again, the Predators were whistled for a penalty shortly after a goal. This time, they killed the power play and survived another man-down situation later in the frame.
Detroit's bid to force overtime was hindered when Henrik Zetterberg high- sticked Nashville captain Shea Weber inside the final minute. Danny Cleary then tried to bring the puck out from behind the Detroit net and David Legwand whacked it past a stunned Howard with 38.9 seconds to play.
Despite a parade to the penalty box, the game remained scoreless after the first period. Nashville was called for three minor infractions through the opening 20 minutes and Detroit was whistled for a pair.
The Red Wings outshot the Predators 17-3 in the second period.
Nashville was 0-6 in the Motor City in their two previous playoff series against the Red Wings (2004, '08)...Each of Detroit's last 10 postseason defeats had come by one goal...The first three games of this series all ended 3-2...Detroit forward Pavel Datsyuk played in his 125th career playoff game to move into sole possession of fourth place in NHL history amongst Russians...Nashville defenseman Hal Gill sat out on Tuesday. He has yet to play in this series because of a lower-body injury incurred in the penultimate game of the regular season.
04/18 00:20:50 ET