Johan Franzen bails out Red Wings in OT
It took 54 shots in 62 minutes for the Detroit Red Wings to shake the pesky Nashville Predators in Game 5 of their Western Conference quarter-final on Friday night.
Johan Franzen scored a breakaway goal 1:48 into overtime to win it 2-1 for the Red Wings, who lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 heading back to Nashville for Game 6 on Sunday (CBC, 3 p.m. ET).
Detroit outshot Nashville in every period and 54-21 overall.
"We had many, many opportunities," Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said.
Valterri Filppula opened the scoring 4:20 into the contest for the top-ranked Red Wings, stickhandling down the wing and fired a rising wrist shot that found the mesh between the crossbar and the far post.
But Radek Bonk tied it 1-1 for the Predators with 44 seconds remaining in regulation, whacking in J.P. Dumont's centring pass with netminder Dan Ellis pulled in favour of an extra attacker.
It marked the first point of the series for Bonk, who was surrounded by a trio of Red Wings in the slot.
"One minute, you're on top of the world," Predators head coach Barry Trotz said. "The next minute, you feel real low.
"The biggest disappointment is we wasted that goaltending effort. But we forced it to overtime when we probably didn't deserve it."
Chris Osgood replaced Dominik Hasek in net for the Red Wings, but Ellis was the story in goal with 52 saves before Franzen fooled him with a backhand move on the decisive goal.
"Ellis played well," Babcock said. "But we have to be better when we're around the net."
"You cannot say enough about Ellis," Red Wings forward Kris Draper told CBC Sports. "We just kept putting pucks and more pucks on him."
Osgood posted 20 saves, and is the leader among active goaltenders in playoff games (35), playoff wins (24) and shutouts (6) at Joe Louis Arena.
"I can play good getting 16 shots or 40 shots, I don't care," he said. "It doesn't matter to me as long as you win."
Hasek, a two-time Hart Trophy winner as the NHL's most valuable player and a six-time Vezina Trophy winner as top goaltender, has struggled in the series and was yanked in favour of Osgood after giving up three goals on 14 shots in Game 4.
'This is Ozzie's time'
"Give Dom credit, he got us up 2-0," Babcock said. "But then, the puck didn't hit him in Nashville.
"The bottom line is we have done this all year long. Ozzie has been very good for us."
"This is not about fairness," Hasek said. "It is about the coach's decision and the coaches feel this is the best thing to do.
"Of course, I'm unhappy. But I understand.
"I just want to be ready when it comes to my time. But this is Ozzie's time now."
Niklas Kronwall, who sprung Franzen for the winning goal, contributed two assists in the win.
Nashville, which has never win on the road in its post-season history — losing all 10 games, including six at Detroit — was forced to replace ailing forwards Jason Arnott (sick) and David Legwand (bruised foot) with Brandon Bochenski and Josh Langfeld.
Arnott, Nashville's captain and leading scorer, was interviewed by Hockey Night In Canada about 90 minutes before the opening faceoff, but he was so ill that he remained in the dressing room at the drop of the puck.
"It seems like the flu or food poisoning," Trotz said. "Hopefully, he will be fine and ready to go.
"Leggy tried to skate before the game. I expect him Sunday."
With files from the Canadian Press