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2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Red Wings vs. Predators

Analyzing round one of the 2004 Stanley Cup tournament

By

Game Five: Red Wings 2 – Predators 0
Red Wings Win Series 4-2
The Detroit Red Wings displayed the complete game that saw them through the regular season. They were the better team in every zone on almost every shift, negating Nashville’s speed by staying on the move and being in the right place at the right time. Ray Whitney and Steve Yzerman put Detroit in the driver's seat by scoring in the first two minutes.
  • Curtis Joseph stopped 15 shots for the shutout, and Detroit coach Dave Lewis says Joseph is the starting goaltender for the next series.
  • Goaltender Tomas Vokoun was Nashville’s best player. He kept his team in a game that could have easily ended 4-0 or 5-0.
  • Yzerman scored his 68th career playoff goal, passing Gordie Howe for most in Red Wings’ history.
  • Red Wings’ defenseman Jiri Fischer did not play after the midway point of the second period, but there was no word on his status.

    Game Five: Red Wings 4 - Predators 1
    (Red Wings lead series 3-2)
    After watching Nashville skate rings around them for two games, the Red Wings got moving. Their first two goals were created by two of their zippier forwards, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, along with Brett Hull. Brendan Shanahan tucked in a short-handed goal from behind the net to give Detroit a 3-0 lead going into the first intermission, and that was the game.

  • Most importantly for Detroit, Nashville goaltender Tomas Vokoun was ordinary.
  • Curtis Joseph got his first start of the series, making 19 saves. Nashville rarely made him sweat.
  • All the Detroit players, even the slowest and oldest, were quicker than in the previous four games. The Predators had a hard time completing passes throughout the night, and their now-famous high-speed attack was nowhere to be seen.
  • The Predators could really use their playmaking defenseman, Marek Zidlicky. He has not played since suffering a suspected concussion in game one.

    Game Four: Predators 3 - Red Wings 0
    (series tied 2-2)
    The Red Wings came out flying to begin the game: the shots on goal were 9-1 in Detroit's favor before Steve Sullivan scored the first goal. Overall, the Red Wings outshot Nashville 41-20. The Predators scored once in each period, all the goals coming at even strength. Their goalie, Tomas Vokoun, has stopped 82 of 83 shots in the last two games.

  • Manny Legace made some good saves for the Red Wings. But after allowing three goals on 10 shots, Legace was replaced by Curtis Joseph.
  • Steve Sullivan burned Red Wings' defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Mathieu Schneider for his breakaway goal to open the scoring.
  • The Predators did a good job of cutting off Detroit's finesse play, as the Red Wings' great passing and set-up skills did not generate much offense. Most of Detroit's scoring chances came from crashing the net.
  • The Red Wings were 0-for-5 on the power play, and are now 1-for-20 in the series.

    Game Three: Predators 3 - Red Wings 1
    (Red Wings lead series 2-1)
    Nashville finally broke through for its first ever playoff victory. David Legwand scored a short-handed goal in the first period, taking advantage of a terrible giveaway by Red Wings' defenseman Derian Hatcher. Adam Hall gave the Predators a 2-0 lead 1:22 later.

  • Held to 19 shots in the first 40 minutes, Detroit poured 23 shots at Tomas Vokoun in the third period, with a goal by Brett Hull to show for it.
  • Scott Hartnell sealed the win for Nashville when he scored with 3:57 left in the game.
  • Nashville owned the second period, when Detroit looked sluggish and a step short . Detroit owned the third, when the Predators looked disorganized.
  • Darren McCarty, the Red Wings veteran checking forward, did not play a shift in the third period.

    Game Two: Red Wings 2 - Predators 1
    (Red Wings lead series 2-0)
    Detroit got lucky with 2:45 left in the third. Predators' goalie Tomas Vokoun overplayed Mathieu Schneider's point shot. The puck bounced off the back boards, hit Vokoun's leg and dribbled in for the game-winner.

  • Schneider's goal was the first power play goal of the series. The teams are a collective 1-for-19.
  • Based on the play, Nashville was unlucky not to emerge from the first two games with at least a split.
  • Robert Lang scored his second goal in two games for Detroit.

    Game One: Red Wings 3 - Predators 1
    (Red Wings lead series 1-0)
    For 40 minutes, it looked like an upset in the making. The Predators scored 16 seconds into the game, skated faster, checked harder and got remarkable saves from Tomas Vokoun.

  • Detroit was lucky not to be down 2-0 after Steve Sullivan missed the net on a first period penalty shot.
  • The Detroit goals resulted from Kris Draper's speed, Tomas Holmstrom's big, ugly butt in front of the net, and Robert Lang's breakaway moves.
  • Defenseman Marek Zidlicky, vital to the Predators' offense, played one shift after Kirk Maltby nailed him in the first period.

    Red Wings vs. Predators: Series Preview

    Stanley Cup 2004: Analysis and Recaps of Every First Round Series

    Stanley Cup 2004: First Round Schedule and Results at a Glance

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