Pekka Rinne recorded 41 saves and Sergei Kostitsyn scored a crucial goal in the third period as the Nashville Predators came through with a 3-2 victory against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 3 of their first-round Western Conference series at Joe Louis Arena.
The Predators gained 2-1 advantage in their best-of-seven opening round series as Rinne once again asserted his command between the pipes to foil the Red Wings high-powered attack.
The visiting team controlled the game early on as Shea Weber slapped in a powerplay goal 2:48 minutes into the opening period while Kevin Klein followed it up with another tally 3.50 minutes into the second period.
But the Red Wings won't go down easily as star skater Pavel Datsyuk scored an unassisted goal to move them within a single goal at 15:03 mark of the second period.
With their backs against the wall, Kostitsyn stepped up just in time as he delivered a crucial goal to give the Predators a 3-1 advantage at 16:30 mark of the third period. Henrik Zetterberg added another tally with 54 ticks left for the Red Wings but it was too late to mount a comeback.
Detroit fired 43 shots and recorded seven takeaways and 34 hits, while Nashville collected 22 shots and won 32 face-off duels.
Goaltender Jimmy Howard stopped 19 shots but Rinne was busier throughout as he stopped 18 shots from the Red Wings in the third period alone.
With all games ending in a 3-2 score, Game 4 of the series is expected to intensify as the Red Wings try to avoid a 3-1 deficit at home Tuesday.
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