NASHVILLE, Tenn. ó The Detroit Red Wings are very talented. In Game 6 against the Nashville Predators, they were also lucky.
It was an unbeatable combination.
Nicklas Lidstrom bounced in a short-handed goal over goaltender Dan Ellis in the second period, and the Red Wings closed out their opening series with 3-0 victory over Nashville on Sunday
“I’m just trying to float one in there,” Lidstrom said. “I took some off the shot just to see if I could land in front of him, just go for a bounce or just create something in front of him.”
Ellis had been the biggest reason why the eighth-seeded Predators had a chance in this series. He came out to the edge of the crease to stop Lidstrom’s long-distance lob.
“It just took a wicked bounce to the top corner. It’s a situation you really can’t do much about it. I thought I was close enough to stop it from going anywhere,” Ellis said.
Jiri Hudler added a goal in the third with Brian Rafalski adding an empty-netter with 4.8 seconds. Goalie Chris Osgood stopped 20 shots for the shutout in his second straight playoff start as top-seeded Detroit became the first road team to win in this series.
More importantly, the Red Wings earned a couple days of rest before the Western Conference semifinals, and nixed any chance of a repeat of 2006 when they won the President’s Trophy only to lose in the first round.
“I had no idea you had to carry the losses of a franchise around with you everywhere you went in the playoffs when you got to the playoffs,” said coach Mike Babcock, who was in his first season in 2006.
With the victory, Detroit also passed Toronto for second on the list of playoff series won with 59.
Sharks 2, Flames 0.
CALGARY, Alberta ó Miika Kirpusoff made 21 saves, Owen Nolan and Daymond Langkow scored, and the Calgary Flames beat the San Jose Sharks 2-0 on Sunday night to force a Game 7.
Nolan, a former Sharks star, opened the scoring midway through the first period and Langkow made it 2-0 with 57 seconds left in the second. Evgeni Nabokov made 23 saves for the Sharks.