Friday, April 16, 2004

Wings a win from moving on

The Associated Press

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings suddenly figured out a way to create enough space to let their skill shine.

Pavel Datsyuk's dazzling passes set up two goals before seven minutes elapsed and the Red Wings went on to beat the Nashville Predators 4-1 to take a 3-2 series lead.

The home team has won each game in the first-round, best-of-seven series and the Predators hope to keep up the trend in Game 6 on Saturday in Nashville.

Henrik Zetterberg, Brett Hull and Brendan Shanahan scored in the first period for the Red Wings, who are determined to avoid a second straight first-round flop following another successful regular season.

After Nicklas Lidstrom's power-play goal midway through the second period gave Detroit a 4-0 lead, Nashville's Sergei Zholtok scored on the power play with 37.2 seconds left in the period.

Detroit's Curtis Joseph made 19 saves in his first playoff start since the Red Wings were swept by Anaheim in the first round last season. Joseph, who has been hobbled with an ankle injury for much of the season, replaced Manny Legace.

The Red Wings - playing with a sense of urgency - scored on their first, fourth and ninth shots. They did not score in the first period in the first four games.

Canadiens 5, Bruins 1

BOSTON - Saku Koivu had a goal and two assists, and Jose Theodore made 43 saves Thursday night, helping Montreal stay alive with a victory over Boston.

The Canadiens trail the best-of-seven series 3-2 and will host Game 6 on Saturday night.

Montreal scored two power-play goals, but the Bruins continued to struggle with the man advantage. Boston was 0-for-4 on Thursday and is 2-for-22 in the series.

Koivu had a hand in both of Montreal's power-play goals. He scored on a rebound at 8:44 of the third period to make it 4-1 when the Canadiens had a two-man advantage.

Koivu also assisted on Craig Rivet's power-play goal at 6:34 of the third that made it 5-1. Rivet beat Bruins goalie Andrew Raycroft with a long slap shot.

MAPLE LEAFS: Toronto could be missing Joe Nieuwendyk and Mats Sundin for Game 5 of its first-round series today against Ottawa.

"I don't know what the chances are. Neither one is 100 percent at this point so we'll have to see," Leafs coach Pat Quinn said.

Nieuwendyk returned home with a sore back before the Maple Leafs' 4-1 loss in Ottawa on Wednesday. Sundin left in the third period with a left leg injury.

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Wings a win from moving on

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