DETROIT – Chris Osgood helped the Detroit Red Wings eliminate Nashville.
Now, he’ll get a chance to keep the Red Wings rolling in the second round. The goaltender replaced Dominik Hasek in Game 4 and led Detroit to wins in the next two games, giving up only one goal.
“Ozzie’s obviously got the net right now and it’s his job to make sure Dom doesn’t get it back,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said Sunday night after eliminating the Predators in Game 6 of their first-round series. “But Dom’s going to do everything he can to be ready.”
Detroit earned at least a couple of days off before hosting the Calgary Flames or Colorado Avalanche in Game 1 of a Western Conference semifinal.
If the seventh-seeded Flames win at San Jose on Tuesday night in Game 7, they will play Detroit for the second straight post-season. The Red Wings eliminated Calgary in the first round last season, advancing for just the second time since winning the 2002 Stanley Cup.
If the Sharks win, the sixth-seeded Avalanche will renew a playoff rivalry with the Red Wings.
Detroit and Colorado matched up in the playoffs five times in 1996-2002, with the Avalanche advancing three times.
“It’s been a great rivalry for 10 good years,” Nicklas Lidstrom said. “Whoever we play, it’s going to be a tough series.”
The Red Wings seemed like they were going to breeze past Nashville in the opening round when they won the first two games at home. But then they lost the next two, leading to Hasek getting pulled and benched.
The NHL’s top-seeded team credited Osgood’s calming presence for helping it stunt the Predators’ momentum in the series.
“Osgood just showed some unbelievable composure,” Kris Draper said. “We said it all along, we are very fortunate to have two goalies who have won Stanley Cups.”
Osgood helped Detroit win a title in 1998, and Hasek did in 2002.
“I don’t get too excited, or look too far ahead or in the past,” Osgood said. “I play in the now.”