Wings look to take series stranglehold on TSN

The Sports Network

4/14/2008 11:30:53 AM

(Sports Network) - The top-seeded Detroit Red Wings will shoot for a commanding three games to none lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinals tonight on the NHL on TSN, when they visit the Nashville Predators for Game 3 at the Sommet Center.  The action gets underway at 7:30pm et./4:30pm pt. and is available on TSNHD.

The Red Wings did their part at home in the first two games of this set, posting victories in both contests. Detroit opened the series with a 3-1 win on Thursday and followed with a 4-2 decision Saturday at Joe Louis Arena.

Kris Draper's second-period goal proved to be the game-winner in the second test as the Red Wings skated to the win on Saturday afternoon.

Tomas Holmstrom had a goal and an assist, while Darren McCarty and Nicklas Lidstrom also scored for Detroit. The club was backed by another solid effort from veteran goaltender Dominik Hasek, who made 25 saves.

The 43-year-old Hasek, who helped the Red Wings to their last Stanley Cup title in 2002, continues to deflect criticism of being too old or too injury prone to carry Detroit through the postseason. Despite a .902 save percentage in the regular season, he has thrived against Nashville and is now 65-47 in 117 career playoff games. Backup Chris Osgood also has 87 postseason games under his belt.

Alex Radulov and Jordin Tootoo each tallied for Nashville, which couldn't fully recover from an early two-goal deficit. Dan Ellis stopped 34-of-38 shots in the loss.

In contrast to Hasek's experience, Ellis is playing in his first-ever playoff series and the 27-year-old had seen action in just one NHL contest prior to the 2007-08 season. Despite Nashville's 2-0 deficit in this series, Ellis has played well, stopping 71-of-77 shots for a .922 save percentage.

On the injury front, Predators centerman David Legwand has been out since March 7 with a deep bone bruise in his left foot, but is a game-time decision for tonight's test. Legwand recorded 44 points (15 goals, 29 assists) in 65 games this season.

The Red Wings were the winners of this year's Presidents' Trophy as the league's best team in the regular season. Detroit has won the award in three of the last four years and six times overall.

Detroit also won the Central Division for a seventh straight season and hit the 100-point mark for a record-tying eighth campaign in a row.

The Red Wings didn't exactly own the Predators this year, going 5-3-0 against them in the regular season. Detroit and Nashville have met once in the postseason, as the Red Wings defeated the Preds in six games during the 2004 conference quarterfinals.

Nashville posted a solid 23-14-4 record in the Music City this year, while the Red Wings were an impressive 25-12-4 as the visiting team.

Game 4 of this series will also take place at the Sommet Center on Wednesday night.