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By Mitch Gatzke
The spillover from game one didn't take long to boil over in game two of the Detroit- Nashville NHL playoff series. Just a minute and a half into the game Todd Bertuzzi engaged Shea Weber and soon enough the two were throwing punches at one another.
The Red Wings did not take too kindly to Weber slamming Detroit's leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg's head into the glass at the conclusion of the first game on Wednesday. There was sure to be a consequence awaiting Weber courtesy of his opponents. Bertuzzi did what a good teammate and tough guy does, protect his team's stars from the other teams goons.
Not long after play continued, Pavel Datsyuk got himself a great chance on net following a turnover by Matt Halischuk in his own zone. Pekka Rinne again showed why he is considered one of the best in the game though, keeping the score locked at zero.
Ian White started off the scoring for the Wings with just under twelve minutes to go in the first. He displayed the same craftiness for Detroit as he did against them in the playoffs last season while playing for the San Jose Sharks. Instead of blasting a wild shot from the blue line like most defensemen in the league do, White skated in toward the goal and got himself a much better shot because of it.
White's goal seemed to really energize his side as goalie Jimmy Howard made some great saves to keep his team on top. Then with under five minutes to go, Cory Emmerton found the back of the net on a two on one opportunity he had with teammate Gustav Nyquist. The goal was the first of Emmerton's NHL playoff career and gave the Wings a two goal advantage going into the first intermission.
As the second period began, Nashville found themselves on a string of power plays leading to many scoring chances but resulting in no goals. That is until the eleven minute mark of the second when Andrei Kostitsyn was able to beat Howard on a quick wrister from in between the circles.
Less than a minute later, Detroit answered with one of Johan Franzen's patented tip-in's from in front of the net, putting the Wings back in front by two goals.
The game became quite uneventful for both sides until under five minutes remained in the third when Weber put one past Howard on the backhand. This goal set up the game for another great finish in the four minutes and change that were left.
Howard's stop with just over four minutes to play would be the last good chance the Predators had as the Wings were able to get the victory.
With the series tied at two, the Wings and Preds head to Detroit for game three at noon on Sunday. Expect a loud group of fans to pack Joe Louis Arena so they can support their team in their first home game of the playoffs.