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Tale of the Tape: Red Wings vs Predators

Apr 15, 2012, 2:19 AM EDT

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NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 13: Pavel Datsyuk #13 of the Detroit Red Wings skates past Paul Gaustad #28 of the Nashville Predators 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 Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) Getty Images

On Sunday, the Detroit Red Wings will host the Nashville Predators in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal (12:00 pm ET, NBC). The series is tied at 1-1; here’s a look at recent history between the two clubs.

Leading scorers

Detroit: Tomas Holmstrom (1G-1A-2PTS) | Nashville: Gabriel Bourque (2G-0A-2PTS), Nick Spaling (0G-2A-2PTS), and Paul Gaustad (1G-1A-2PTS)

Starting goalies

Detroit: Jimmy Howard (1-1, 2.53 GAA) | Pekka Rinne (1-1, 2.52 GAA)

Head-to-head

(Reg. season series tied 3-3)

Nov. 26: At Detroit 4, Nashville 1
Dec. 15: At Nashville 4, Detroit 3
Dec. 26: Detroit 4, at Nashville 1
Feb. 17: At Detroit 2, Nashville 1
March 10: At Nashville 3, Detroit 2
March 30: Nashville 4, at Detroit 1

Game 1: Nashville 3, Detroit 2

The Predators started strongly, outshooting Detroit 13-5 in the first period. One of Nashville’s many midseason acquisitions, Paul Gaustad, beat Jimmy Howard to provide the Predators with the first goal of the series.

From that point on, the Red Wings did a much better job of putting pressure on the Predators, outshooting them 32-13 over the final 40 minutes. However, Pekka Rinne, as he was so many times in the regular season, proved to be the difference.

Although Detroit beat him twice with the man advantage, Rinne kept Nashville in the contest despite Detroit’s best efforts. Rookie Gabriel Bourque did the rest, scoring two goals for the Predators to help them claim Game 1 of the series.

The end of the contest was marked with Shea Weber shoving Henrik Zetterberg’s head into the glass. Weber’s actions resulted in a $2,500 fine, but no suspension.

Game 2: Detroit 3, Nashville 2

Frustration over Weber’s shove spilled into Game 2, when Todd Bertuzzi fought Weber 1:36 minutes into the contest. After that point, both sides were focused on the present rather than the past.

Detroit got some offense from unusual sources in the first period, namely Ian White and Cory Emmerton. Thanks to their efforts, Detroit had a 2-0 lead going into the first intermission.

After that, the Predators struggles with the man advantage – odd, give the excelled on the power play during the regular season – became apparent. Detroit was tagged with five minor penalties in the final 40 minutes of play, but Nashville was never able to capitalize.

Nashville did get goals from Andrei Kostitsyn and Weber when the teams were at even strength, but they are still searching for their first power-play success of the postseason. That’s perhaps the biggest reason this series is now tied going into Game 3.

Injuries

Detroit: Darren Helm (forearm), Joey MacDonald (back), Patrick Eaves (concussion)

Nashville: Hal Gill (lower body), Brian McGrattan (upper body)

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