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Predators in post-season!

Hello, Friends!

Well, here we are—the final week of the NHL season! Our beloved Nashville Predators have secured a spot in the post-season….woohoo! As of now, they are poised in the #2 Wild Card position with three games remaining. Let’s get right to what’s been going on.

Tuesday night, it was the New York Islanders in town to take on Nashville in our final home game of the regular season. N Y needs wins to secure playoff position, so they are in it to win it. Pekka Rinne was our starter in goal. There was only a single power play and no scoring in the initial period. However, Mike Fisher sent a snap shot into the Islanders’ net on a feed from Colin Wilson to get the Preds on the board about midway in the 2nd. Then only a couple of minutes into the 3rd, N Y got on the board knotting the score at 1 each. From there it was all defense, and 60 minutes was not enough to decide this one—we were off to overtime! A minute or so into the 3-on-3 OT period, the Islanders sneaked one by Pekka, who had played a solid game during regulation, making 30 big saves. The Preds would have to settle for collecting a single point for their final regular season game in front of their home crowd.

On Thursday night, Nashville traveled to Dallas to take on the Stars. The Preds and Stars have split 2 wins apiece for the season. Our guys were in need of a win to keep moving up in the standings for a better seeding in the post-season, so this one is still important. Our #2 goalie Juuse Saros got the start in goal for the Preds; James Neal was back in the lineup after missing two games due to injury. Less than 2 minutes into the game, Viktor Arvidsson, (love him!!!) sneaked one into the Stars’ net for his 30th goal this season! Craig Smith was next to shine with a goal, giving Nashville an early 2-0 lead. Then with 1:44 left in the opening period, the Predators took a 3-zip lead on a shot by rookie Kevin Fiala….and 65 seconds later, Arvy picked up his second goal on a shot that was deflected in to make it 4-0—–lookin’ good so far! As the 2nd period got underway, the siege continued when Henry Zolnierczyk lit the lamp only about a minute in to make it 5-0, Preds. But the Stars responded with a goal of their own shortly afterwards, to get onto the scoreboard. Midway through the 2nd, Dallas tallied goal #2 and then #3 a few minutes later…5-3, Preds. With about 2 ½ minutes left in this “scorefest,” Nashville took its lead back to 3 with a power play goal by Roman Josi—6-3. Then Craig Smith scored his second goal of the night, (his 12th of the year,) extending the Predators’ lead to 7-3. With that, Nashville took the victory, soundly defeating Dallas in a game which showcased their offensive talent in the 1st and 3rd periods, and gave them a shot of confidence that will surely be helpful down the stretch to post-season time.

Then on Saturday night, Nashville traveled to Winnipeg to face the Jets in the final regular- season game. Needing at least one point from this game to go ahead of Calgary in the points race (depending on the outcome of Calgary’s game this same night.) Nashville started Pekka Rinne between the pipes. Period #1 was scoreless, but then with 11:31 remaining in the 2nd, Ryan Ellis got the Predators on the scoreboard with an unassisted short-handed goal. They maintained that lead until halfway into the 3rd, when the Jets tied things up at 1 apiece. With no other goals, it looked as if an overtime was looming. But then, on a Jets infraction, the Predators went on a power play for the remaining regulation time, giving them the man advantage and high hopes of a game-winning goal. But it was not to be. With 45 seconds left, Winnipeg scored a short-handed goal to put them ahead 2-1, and send the Predators home empty-handed…ugh!

The regular season ended with that, and now we cast our attention forward to post-season time. When next the Predators take the ice, it will be in Round 1, Game 1 of a best-of-seven series vs. rivals the Chicago Blackhawks. Be sure to stay tuned as our guys in gold begin their quest toward the ultimate hockey goal….Lord Stanley’s Cup. It’s the most exciting hockey of the year; I can’t wait!

Go, Preds!

Predators

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