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Published: 4/14/2008

Red Wings get call to go to Nashville

ASSOCIATED PRESS

NASHVILLE - The scenery and home-ice advantage have changed. The Nashville Predators' opinions on the officiating haven't, even as coach Barry Trotz insists they're not stewing over what they can't control.

Detroit grabbed a 2-0 lead at home in the Western Conference quarterfinals, leaving the Predators fuming about some calls and noncalls.

The winning goal in Game 1? An uncalled offsides, in the Predators' view. Then they had a goal disallowed at the start of the Red Wings' 4-2 win Saturday and believed interference should have erased a goal that gave Detroit the lead. A day later, Trotz still thought Nashville lost a goal it scored.

"I'm more disappointed in the league not getting it right," he said.

"The one reviewable way out of it is to say they blew the whistle. On audio, the whistle didn't go until the net basically hit the back end boards, so to me it's just from that standpoint we can get it right. That's all. That wasn't in our control, so we go forward."

Easier said than done for a team needing a win to avoid being swept for the first time in its playoff history.

The Predators have been in this situation before, coming home trailing Detroit 2-0. In 2004, they won twice at home to force a sixth game before losing to Detroit. Tonight, they might have some much needed offensive help in center David Legwand for Game 3.

Legwand has not played since March 7 after taking a shot off his left foot that still had him in a walking boot yesterday. But Trotz said Legwand, who had 44 points in 65 games, will be a game-time decision for a team outscored 7-3 in this series.

The Predators also are glad to be back home, where fans have provided a strong emotional boost for this team this season. Defenseman Shea Weber said they realize what they're facing.

"We kind of have our backs up against the wall. We're looking at this game like it's do or die. It's not the end of the world, but we don't want to go down 0-3 to a team like that," Weber said.

The Red Wings, who have gotten balanced scoring and strong goaltending from Dominik Hasek, will be ready.

"It's going to be, by far, the toughest game yet," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.

Detroit has clamped down on Nashville's top scorers so far. Jordin Tootoo, known for his physical hits and ability to draw penalties, has a team-best two goals. Captain Jason Arnott and J.P. Dumont, who each had 72 points in the regular season, have combined for four shots through two games.

The Red Wings aren't ready to claim victory. Center Kris Draper remembers last year when the Red Wings went up 2-0 over Calgary, only to be forced to double overtime in Game 6 before clinching the series.

"All we've done is put ourselves in a situation where we're halfway there," Draper said. "We really haven't done anything yet."

The Predators had to go 5-0-1 to clinch the last playoff berth. Trotz said his players have proven they're mentally tough and resilient enough to shake off the calls they feel they should have gotten.



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