DETROIT – Shea Weber knew he wouldnt be popular in the Motor City.
The star defenseman didnt really care, he just wanted to win.
Weber turned boos into silence with a goal early in the first period and the Nashville Predators held on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 Sunday to take a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.
I guess were more focused on the game, he said.
Weber was jeered every time he touched the puck for smashing Henrik Zetterbergs face into glass at the end of Game 1.
We talk about great players when theres a little bit of controversy stepping up, Nashville coach Barry Trotz said.
When he came to the rink, he knew he wasnt going to be the most likable player in the arena.
Webers goal snapped Nashvilles 0-for-12 streak on the power play against the Red Wings in the series and helped the franchise end its 0-for-6 skid in playoff games against them on the road.
We havent been around for 100 years, so this was just another thing we had to get done, Trotz said.
Just when it looked like the Red Wings were finished off for sure in Game 3, Zetterberg scored with 54 seconds left to pull the Red Wings within one, but they couldnt force overtime.
Detroit will need to win Tuesday night at home to avoid facing elimination in Game 5 at Nashville.
Kevin Klein gave the Predators a 2-0 lead early in the second and Pavel Datsyuk pulled the Red Wings within one midway through the period.
FLYERS 8, PENGUINS 4: In Philadelphia, Danny Briere, Matt Read and Max Talbot each scored two goals to lead Philadelphia in a fight-filled Game 3 in the opening-round series.
Wayne Simmonds and Claude Giroux also scored to help the Flyers take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series. Game 4 is Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
The goals might be hard to find on a highlight reel. This one was all about the brawls more suitable for a UFC card. Three players were tossed in the first period. There was a rare fight between superstars when Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby squared off against Giroux.
PANTHERS 4, DEVILS 2: In Sunrise, Fla., Stephen Weiss scored the first two playoff goals of his 10-year NHL career, Jose Theodore stopped 23 shots and Florida got its first playoff victory in nearly 15 years to even the first-round series at a game apiece.
Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk scored in the first 2:02 of the third period, and Martin Brodeur made 20 saves for New Jersey.
Tomas Fleischmann had an empty-net goal as time expired and Florida fans littered the ice with hundreds of toy rats – a tradition that dates to the Panthers run to the 1996 Stanley Cup finals.
Game 3 is Tuesday night in New Jersey.