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NHL Playoffs 2012- Last Night in the West (April 20)

The Red Wings became the first team out of the playoffs losing the series to division rival Nashville 4-1. Many thought the Red Wings strong midseason play would propel them to a possible Stanley Cup, but unfortunately, that was not the case for Detroit. They exited in the first round for only the second time in 16 years.

Nashville Predators 2 vs. Detroit Red Wings 1 (Nashville Wins Series 4-1)
For the second time in franchise history and against a team that knocked them out twice in the first round, the Predators are headed to the second round of the NHL playoffs. While he only had to make 21 saves in this game, Pekka Rinne had an answer for almost every puck Detroit threw at him. For the Red Wings, they leave the playoffs with a disappointed fan base that has to start worrying that longevity in the post season may not be possible with such an old team.

Alexander Radulov scored in the first period to put Nashville up in their home crowd. Jiri Hudler evened the game in the second period as the Wings desperately tried to find an answer to stay alive in the series. However, David Legwand scored what would be the game winning goal just 13 seconds into the third period. Leagwand, who also had an assist on the first goal, gave the Predators a small lead which they held for the victory. The Predators will now wait for the other three series to conclude.

Goalies Wanted
In looking at the four series in the west, the goaltending has really made the difference. Pekka Rinne far outplayed Jimmy Howard, who did not have his best series. Brian Elliott has been tremendous after coming in for an injured Halak with the Blues. The King’s Jonathon Quick definitely had an edge over Roberto Luongo, but Corey Schneider sustained the Canucks in their last game. Mike Smith and Corey Crawford have sent every game to overtime in the Coyotes-Blackhawks series, but Smith has seen more shots and has three of the four wins.

Previous Posts:
Last Night in the West (April 11) Last Night in the West (April 12) Last Night in the West (April 13)
Last Night in the West (April 14) Last Night in the West (April 15) Last Night in the West (April 16)
Last Night in the West (April 17)  Last Night in the West (April 18)   Last Night in the West (April 19)