Offense disappears in first-round loss

The Sports Xchange

When Red Wings coach Mike Babcock looks back on his team's first-round playoff loss to Nashville, it's easy to spot where the club went wrong: It couldn't score enough goals.

The Wings scored only nine goals in five games against goaltender Pekka Rinne, just four during five-on-five play. They were eliminated after Friday's 2-1 loss in Game 5 at Bridgestone Arena.

Secondary scorers failed to deliver. Johan Franzen had just one goal, a shot that deflected off his leg in Game 2. Valtteri Filppula, Todd Bertuzzi and Danny Cleary had no goals as the Wings were ousted in the first round for the first time since 2006.

Babcock said his team simply wasn't as deep up front as Nashville. Henrik Zetterberg's line, with Filppula and Jiri Hudler, created most of their scoring chances. Pavel Datsyuk got little support from his wingers, Franzen and Bertuzzi.

"I thought Zetterberg's line was good in the series, I didn't think we had enough other pieces," Babcock said. "We tried lots of combinations. I don't think we had a lot of help for Pavel."

It was a disappointing end for a team that through it was primed for good things following an NHL-record 23-game home winning streak during the regular season. Even after the Wings stumbled down the stretch, going 7-11-4 in their final 22 games, due mainly to a rash of injuries, they felt confident they could turn it around in the playoffs.

But their lack of offense (18 goals in their final 11 games, regular season and playoffs) prevented them from overcoming their defensive mistakes against the opportunistic Predators.

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