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NHL on NBC: Predators, Red Wings fight for series edge in Game 3

Apr 15, 2012, 2:33 AM EDT

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 13: Shea Weber #6 of the Nashville Predators celebrates his goal against the Detroit Red Wings in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bridgestone Arena on April 13, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

The Red Wings are a modern dynasty — a perennial contender that finds a way to stay competitive through wise draft picks, disciplined trades and savvy free agent signings.

Essentially, Detroit is the franchise Nashville wants to become…but the Red Wings have one element that the Predators lack.

Detroit has developed a reputation for success, helping them to convince their stars to take hometown discounts. It allows them keep their core intact, and it’s something the Predators have to be envious of as Ryan Suter’s contract nears its end.

That said, the Predators could one day gain this reputation as well — but first, they have demonstrate they can be successful in the playoffs. One first round series win in the history of their franchise (against Anaheim last year) isn’t going to cut it.

A good way to change their reputation is to defeat the Red Wings this round. To do that, they’ll need to beat Detroit at least once at Joe Louis Arena — and that’s no small task.

Detroit was 31-7-3 at home in the regular season and won a record-breaking 23 straight games on home ice. Of course, this is the playoffs and while those numbers serve to demonstrate the enormity of the Predators’ task, Detroit will need more than just history on their side to make it past the first round.

If there’s one thing the Red Wings have in abundance, its history, but it’s the Predators, with the building blocks of their first potential dynasty seemingly on the line, that need these wins more in order to secure their future.

Game 3 Notes:

— Nashville had a league-leading 21.6% power-play success rate in the regular season, but they are 0-for-12 with the man advantage in this playoff series.

— Speaking of the man advantage, Detroit was one of the most disciplined teams in the league during the regular season, but they just can’t stay out of the box against Nashville.

Alexander Radulov is still a big X-factor. He has one assist in two games, but could break out at any time.

— Nashville outshot the Red Wings 21-9 in the final 40 minutes of Game 2 and outscored them 2-1 over that span. Will that momentum carry over into Game 3?

  1. geo91 - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:58 AM

    Howard always plays well at home and the crowd stands up eveytime Datsyuk regroups with the puck in the neutral zone which usually fuels his motor, so we should get the W. If not I’ll do what everyone else does; blame Bettman and the refs and call it a day

  2. blomfeld - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    “blame Bettman and the refs” ? … well to hell with Bettman !

    Look friend … we LA Kings fans are now going to bed on the eve of possibly the most important game for us in recent memory … if we can replicate tomorrow night “that” which we’ve done in Vancouver, then joy will prevail throughout the land ! … and not for just us LA Kings fans, but for all the peoples everywhere ! … we need to just “do it again” one more time … and we need to do it again in style ! … Go Kings Go ! :)

  3. vshehane - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:49 AM

    The RW crowd is a non factor for Preds. The Detroit crowd is wanna be Nashville, imitating the Nashville ovation and chants. We laugh at them all the time. The Preds have already shown the can handle the wings in Detroit

    • michflaguy - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      What an amateur. Don’t embarrass your team…they are quite good. And your fans are loud and raucous…far more so than most teams in the league. But today you will see why we ARE “Hockeytown”.

    • polegojim - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      Hahahahaha… you got up WAY too early. Have some coffee and knock out those cobwebs…. then come back and post.

      Thanks for the early morning chuckle though!

    • paperkid96 - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:22 PM

      Get over yourself. The crowd is good in Nashville, but its not original. I was doing those same chants 20 years ago watching ccha games in college. So, right after you think Detroit fans imitate Nashville, you might want to footnote your source as college hockey.

    • clamnewton - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:16 PM

      Not a Wings fan, but I caught a game at the Joe a few years back and the place was totally rocking. And it was a regular season game. On a Tuesday night. Good times.

  4. kiopta1 - Apr 15, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    Should be a great game. Go Wings!

  5. michflaguy - Apr 15, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    Sometimes the hockey gods smile on a franchise…and that just may be what is happening with the Red Wings this weekend. Taking a commanding lead over Nashville *AND* having the Pens effectively eliminated in the 1st round could be quite fortuitous in a few weeks. Today? The Red Wings dominate and take a commanding lead. It’s just not Nashville’s year…nor the Pens.

    • polegojim - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:33 AM

      The Wings definitely earned this success, cuz the hockey gods definitely weren’t smiling on us through most of the 70’s and 80’s!

      Wings should help Preds see Hockeytown in a whole new light.

      1) Dats and Hank are due for breakout games
      2) Hudler has been close to some great plays.
      3) Detroit HITS with more zeal at home – Kronwall.

      Go RED WINGS!

  6. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    I hope the Wings win the next 3 and this send Suter packing out of town…. and then joining the Wild this summer :) I can dream cant I LOLOL

    good luck Wings!

    • hockinj25 - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:37 AM

      They’ll win in 6, not 5. Suter won’t even make the trip back to Nashville because Detroit will be his new home.

  7. jburrell4 - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    The wings fans are imitating the preds fans? How long has your franchise been around? Forget about cups – how many playoff series wins do you have? Anyway, the irony will be that after another early exit at the hands of the Wings, Suter will be wearing a sweater with the winged wheel next year after he agrees to replace Nick on the roster (IF he decides to hang them up). Suter and Kronwall in 2013!

  8. klownboy - Apr 15, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    I love this series, perhaps the most intense thus far in the first round. God bless the NHL playoffs…

  9. shulk - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    believe it or not it’s not the refs that are pissing me off the most this year, although they are calling some shoddy crap…still, i can’t help but wonder if NBC recruits the homeless to comentate these games…it’s like they know 2 players from every team that may be opposing detroit and they can only talk about them…not sure if maybe there’s some weird “intimacy” happening between them or if NBC just hires random writers to pen what they’re supposed to say but either way, claiming Engblom was a defenseman in the league and then listening to his constant ranting idiocy leaves one quite confused on the origin of all his supposed “knowledge” of the sport…sounds like he just needs to give Weber an old-fashioned or something…oh yeah and btw, the Preds only seem to be holing their own because they play dirty as hell and the refs must’ve been payed off, saw several crosschecking calls on us that were never reciprocated when it was done back…don’t get it…Go Wings! and Screw Engblom and all of NBC’s lame ass know-nothing comentators :)

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