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(Friday, April 20th)
Final Score: Nashville 2, Detroit 1
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - For just the second time in team history, the Nashville Predators have won a playoff series thanks to a 2-1 win over Detroit on Friday.
Nashville won this Game 5 to take the series and has now won a first-round matchup for the second straight year. Last season, the Predators defeated the Ducks in the first round to win a series for the first time in six tries, but lost to Vancouver in the next round.
David Legwand scored the game-winner and added an assist while Alexander Radulov posted a goal and an assist for the Predators, who got 21 saves from Pekka Rinne to become the first team to advance in these playoffs.
"They have such a great organization with a lot of history so this is huge for us," said Rinne. "To beat them in five games shows what kind of team we have here and what we have going. This is a great feeling and we look forward to the next round."
Jiri Hudler scored the lone goal of the game for the Red Wings, who lost for the first time in the opening round since 2006 when they were upset by the eighth-seeded Oilers. Jimmy Howard made 23 stops in the loss.
"I thought we did tons of good things through four games," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. "I didn't like us tonight, I didn't think we had much depth up front and I thought it really showed in our scoring."
The first goal of the game went to Nashville with 3:50 to play in the first. Kyle Quincey grabbed a dump-in along the deep right boards and tried to move it behind the net, but Legwand stole it and quickly centered it where Radulov one-timed it home.
Rinne stopped eight shots in the first period, but Detroit got on the board in the second as a crash play to the net saw Henrik Zetterberg backhand it on net from the right wing and Hudler finish the play with 6:15 to go.
Just 13 seconds into the third, the Preds took a lead they didn't relinquish.
After the opening faceoff, a turnover in the neutral zone saw Nashville gain control and Radulov take it in. His turnaround pass from the left point went to the slot where Gabriel Bourque took it. He lost the puck, but it went back to Legwand and he snapped it in from the inside right circle.
From there it was all Rinne, but he didn't need to do too much as Nashville didn't commit a penalty in the third and allowed just eight shots to get through, all of which Rinne stopped for the win and series victory.
It might have been the last game for Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom as he just finished his 20th season and might retire...Rinne stopped 102-of-106 shots the past three games...Detroit had taken the previous two playoff meeting between these two teams in 2004 and '08, both six-game affairs...Radulov led all players in the series in points with five (one goal, four assists)...Detroit was in the playoffs for the 21st straight season.
04/21 00:38:39 ET