Pekka Rinne, all anyone can say about this goalie is “wow”.
That could only mean one thing Sunday: a history-making day for the Nashville Predators.
“The mentality that we had to be able to bounce back from that, really impressive”, Mike Yeo said. It’s a great feeling.
Nashville now move on to the Western Conference Finals to play the victor of Anaheim/Edmonton.
Nashville will play either Anaheim or Edmonton in the next round.
On Friday night, the Oilers scored three goals in the second period to open up a 3-0 lead, a lead was still completely intact with under four minutes to play in regulation.
After the Predators closed out their second-round Stanley Cup playoffs series with a 3-1 victory over the Blues, Nashville television station WSMV showed footage of happy yellow-clad fans leaving Bridgestone Arena. Slowing the Preds, of course, is exactly how Jake Allen and St. Louis eked out a win to avoid elimination earlier in the series.
“It was a big addition at the time“, head coach Peter Laviolette said Tuesday as the Predators prepare for either the Ducks or Oilers in round three. “There were a lot of shots and a lot of zone time for them”. The Blues are pushing the pace and Nashville knows they can’t turtle this last period.
It’s another win-or-go-home game on Sunday, and it gets tougher in less friendly confines than Scottrade Center-the Blues, especially offensively, will have to pull out all the stops. Ellis is tied for the team postseason lead with nine points; Ellis, Josi, and Subban are all in the top five; Ellis and Josi lead the Preds with four goals apiece.
“It’s part of our system”, Josi said. We believe that we have a group that obviously we can build with and we can build it internally with our young players and we can build internally with the competition of those young players. The ability to silence a crowd with a big goal was sustenance to his soul.
He will go down and slide into the boards or slam his entire body into them if the puck is off the ice, and it cuts many opposing forechecking opportunities short before they even get started, allowing the Predators’ mobile defense to start moving the puck the other way. After dominating the Chicago Blackhawks in a first-round sweep, the trio had played decently in the second round but hadn’t earned the desired results on the scoresheet.
And both Ryan Johansen and Calle Jarnkrok scored in the third despite the Predators finishing with just 18 shots on goal.
The Predators and Blues were tied through the first 40 minutes for a third straight game and fourth overall in this series when Johansen skated up the slot for a pass from Viktor Arvidsson and beat Allen with a backhand. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim’s captain, is 31 years old and is second to Draisaitl with 15 playoff points. “He actually called that I’m going to score”. “We’re gonna have a huge test Sunday”.
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Blues are a slight favorite at home, as St. Louis is getting odds of -115 to win tonight.
Rinne’s best stop came halfway through the final period when he made a pad save in the goalmouth off Canadian Kyle Brodziak, allowing the Predators to go on and advance to their first National Hockey League semi-final series in the team’s 19-year history.
“It was right there for us all game long, but a couple of mistakes wound up in the back of the net”, Yeo said. Luckily for Nashville, he’s playing some of the best hockey in his career. St. Louis LW Alexander Steen (foot) was scratched from Game 5, with RW Dmitrij Jaskin drawing into the lineup in his place.