In Game Four, the Red Wings were dominant, but were stonewalled by Pekka Rinne and let down by Jimmy Howard. That meant that instead of going back to Nashville tied 2-2, they went to Nashville down 3-1 and facing elimination, and when Game Five ended, the Red Wings' season was over. So was this another Rinne robbery, or were the Predators full value for the win? We'll take a look at the scoring chances after the jump.
|Period||NSH / DET||EV||NSH PP||5v3 PP||DET PP||5v3 SH|
I've never seen the Nashville Predators look so good in a hockey game. Things were pretty even for the first half of the first period, but after that, Nashville took over and never looked back. Even when they had the lead, they were rolling over the Wings, getting both more official chances, and getting more "chances at chances" too (passes that just missed, a defender that just barely nudges a puck away from an attacker, that kind of thing).
Alexander Radulov had his most impressive game of the series, registering a goal and an assist, winning the chances battle +5 -0 at evens, and generally looking dangerous on every shift. As you might expect with such lopsided team totals, Radulov wasn't alone, but he really stood out in a positive way.
By contrast, Detroit's big guns didn't get anything done. Henrik Zetterberg was probably the most dangerous Red Wing (and nearly tied the game with 0:30 to go in the third period), but he was still +4 -6 at evens as far as scoring chances go (and that includes his chance with the net empty).
Detroit obviously didn't have their best game, but this was a really impressive showing for the Predators. Their possession results through the season weren't that strong, but with the significant late-season additions, it's easy to see why they should be a good team, and in this five-game series, that's exactly what they were.