NHL Playoffs 2012: 5 Memorable Moments from Game 1 of the Predators vs Red Wings
After Game 1 between the Nashville Predators and Detroit Red Wings, we can see that this series is going to be a good one. Somewhat lost in the shadow of Pittsburgh versus Philadelphia, the Wings and Preds stepped up their game last night and put on an impressive show.
The two teams are division rivals who faced each other six times during the regular season. They split those games evenly and after last night's game, it's easy to see why.
There was a lot of excitement in last night's game. There were also a lot of penalties. 17, to be exact. Both teams played hard, showing their desire to win.
In the slides that follow we look at the 5 most memorable moments from last night's game.
Gabriel Bourque's Game Winning Goal
Midway into the third period, Nashville held a one-goal lead. The puck was in behind Detroit's net, and the Wings were fighting to clear it from their zone.
The Wings and the Predators were both fighting behind the net for control when a quick turnover allowed Bourque to come up on the net and put away his second goal of the night.
This goal was all about the timing of Bourque, who managed to get into position quickly when Patric Hornqvist passed the puck to Nick Spaling at the side of the net. The puck was quickly let go and Bourque did the rest.
It was a nice goal, and turned out to be the game-winner.
Zetterberg Ties It Up
Nashville held a lead going into the second period, when at 1:10 into the period, Roman Josi went to the box for cross-checking.
With the man-advantage, Detroit put the puck on the net through some traffic in front of the goalie. Rinne made a great save that had him down on the ice. What looked like an attempt to clear the puck by Rinne ended up being taken by Zetterberg.
The left winger went high on Rinne who was still low and was unable to get up and across in time to save it.
It was a goal that put life back into the game, showing a one-goal lead would not be enough to keep the Red Wings down.
Paul Gaustad Scores, Sort of
This goal was memorable, but not for the reasons that Red Wings defenceman Brad Stuart would like.
Nashville had gained control of the puck in Detroit's zone, Gaustad took the puck around the net and looked like he made an attempt to pass the puck in front of the crease. Fortunately for Gaustad, Brad Stuart was there and the puck took a bounce off the Wings' defenceman's skate and ended up in the net.
It may not have been a flashy goal, or even an attempt to score, but the goal gave the Predators the first goal of the game and the series.
It may not have been as humiliating for Stuart as shooting the puck into his own net, but it's one of those moments that people will remember.
Pekka Rinne Robs Zetterberg
Having faced 37 shots on net during the game, Pekka Rinne had to make some impressive stops. It showed Nashville fans that his $49-million contract was indeed a wise investment.
Early in the third, the Preds were desperately trying to hold onto a one-goal lead, and Detroit had a power play.
Zetterberg took a shot on what looked to be a wide open net. Seconds before, Rinne had made a stop pulling him to the other side of his net, and he had to dive across to stop it. Zetterberg couldn't even tap in the rebound as Nashville's goalie saw the puck the whole way.
It was by far the most impressive and crucial save of the night for Pekka Rinne.
Shea Weber vs Henrik Zetterberg
This moment of the game will probably overshadow any other and be the most talked-about going into Game 2.
In the dying seconds of the third period, Detroit needed to score a goal to tie the game and send it to overtime. Instead, a scuffle along the boards between Nashville's Shea Weber and Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg ended the game with a penalty.
Weber took offense to Zetterberg tying him up along the boards. He threw a punch at the Detroit Forward before he grabbed Zetterberg by the back of the head and slammed his face into the glass.
A penalty was called at the 20-minute mark of the third, and Weber was fined a mere $2,500. His actions will most definitely have repercussions in Game 2.