Nashville goalie makes 41 saves in shutout

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tomas Vokoun won't call his first

postseason shutout his most satisfying win. The Nashville goalie

will admit, however, that he's having lots of fun at the Detroit Red Wings'

expense.

Vokoun continued his suffocating play by stopping 41 shots and

shutting out the Red Wings 3-0 Tuesday night as the Predators

evened their first-round series at 2-2.

Steve Sullivan, Vladimir Orszagh and Greg Johnson scored one goal apiece,

and Dan Hamhuis had two assists. The six-year franchise ensured a

return visit to Music City for Game 6 on Saturday against the

10-time Stanley Cup winners.

Game 5 will be in Detroit on Thursday night.

"It's great. I was happy, ... and you want to stay down to

earth," Vokoun said. "It's 2-2, and I wish that was a 40[-save]

shutout in Game 7 and we won and you could enjoy it more. I'm going

to enjoy it. It's great. There's not much better you can do."

Nobody scored more goals in the regular season than the Red

Wings, who won the Presidents' Trophy, but they haven't been able

to crack Vokoun since the series shifted to Nashville.

The 27-year-old goalie also stopped 41 shots in a 3-1 victory Sunday.

Vokoun was better Tuesday night in his 13th career shutout -- even

with the Red Wings outshooting Nashville 41-20.

"I think he's got some kind of Plexiglas behind him no one can

see," Sullivan said.

Vokoun stopped Brett Hull early with a pad save among 16 stops

in the first period. In the final minutes, Detroit turned up the

pressure, but Vokoun answered. His last save came as he gloved a

long shot from the other end of the ice by Mathieu Dandenault in

the final seconds.

The goalie gave credit to his teammates for helping him see the

puck well.

"We give up a lot of shots, but a lot of shots I'm able to see

and they have got to be doing something right. It's all about that.

If you can see, you can stop it," Vokoun said.

Not even having the man advantage helped the Red Wings. They

went 0-for-5 and now are 1-for-20 in the series, and a team that

has talked about playing with desperation is much closer to that

emotion now.

"I certainly hope so," coach Dave Lewis said.

Remember, the Wings were swept in the first round last season by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, who also had a hot goalie in Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

Detroit forward Darren McCarty said that although the Red Wings might be a

little frustrated, they remain confident in their quest for a

fourth Stanley Cup in eight years.

"We just have to find a way to win a hockey game. The good

thing is we're going back to the Joe for Game 5. We've been here

before. It's not the way we would have wanted it to go, but it's

the way it's gone. We've got a series," McCarty said.

Even when it looked as though Robert Lang had scored for Detroit, at 3:41

of the third period, it was waved off for goaltender interference

on Tomas Holmstrom.

The Predators fed off the energy from their ecstatic fans once

again. Detroit had a few more supporters in the stands this time,

but when they tried to rev up the "Let's go Red Wings" chant,

it was quickly drowned out by "Chelios is a sissy."

Sullivan gave Vokoun all the margin he would need, ending his

own personal playoff drought at 10:44 of the first period.

He missed on a penalty shot in the opening minutes of Game 1 and

had gone nine shots without finding the net in the series. But with

the teams skating four-on-four, Scott Walker fed Sullivan for a

breakaway and Sullivan flipped a backhander high over a sprawling

Manny Legace.

Orszagh made it 2-0 in the second period when he redirected a

shot from Hamhuis, and the Predators chased Legace after he gave up

a goal off his glove to Johnson at 2:04 of the third period.

Legace had seven saves on 10 shots.

Game notes

Vokoun's last shutout was against Minnesota on Feb. 26 in

Nashville. ... This was the first game of the series in which

Detroit didn't score in the third period. The Red Wings have scored

five of their six goals in the third period. ... Pavel Datsyuk had

30 goals in the regular season for Detroit, but he has only one

assist in this series. ... Mathieu Schneider, Lang and Holmstrom had at least one point apiece in each of the first two games. They haven't had a single point in the last two games.