The Nashville Predators had no business competing in Game Five in Chicago, none. After two periods they were outshot 24-8, and headed into the 3rd period down 3-2. Despite all that, they took a 4-3 lead midway through, and when Marian Hossa pushed Dan Hamhuis into the boards from behind with just over a minute left (more on that later), it looked like the Preds would head back to Nashville with a critical lead in this series. There was 1:03 left to play, and the Predators were on the power play. Lock it up, right?
It all fell apart, however, thanks once again to that pitiful Predators power play. They gave up a shorthanded goal to Patrick Kane with just 14 seconds left to send the game to OT, and failed to score early in the extra session with almost four minutes more PP time. Just seconds after the Blackhawks killed off Hossa's major, he scored to give Chicago the 5-4 win.
Game Six comes up Monday in Nashville, with the Preds needing a win to stay alive and force a Game 7 in Chicago.
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- The power play has become an absolute embarrassment to the Predators. They stand 0-for-21 on the series, and gave up a shorthanded goal that cost them this game. At this point, they might as well put out a fivesome of Tootoo-Spaling-Boyd with Bouillon and Belak on the points.
- Was a 5-minute major for Boarding on Marian Hossa the right call? Could it have been called Checking From Behind, which carries with it an automatic Game Misconduct? Will the NHL review this hit for possible suspension? At the time, NBC analyst Eddie Olczyk (who works the Blackhawks games) compared it to the Ovechkin-Campbell hit, calling it even worse. Ovechkin got two games for that one.
- For the record, Ovechkin got 5 minutes and a Game Misconduct for Boarding on Campbell back on March 14.
- Jason Arnott still hasn't registered a point. He had a few flashes in the offensive zone, but his production is desperately needed.
- Denis Grebeshkov played over 11 minutes, and was a +1 with two assists. I'm glad to see him (finally) playing.
- Martin Erat had his best game of the series, scoring twice. I really don't like the way he gets too close to the points on the PP, making it easy for one guy to defend both he and the Nashville defenseman.
- Pekka Rinne was OK, but had another bumbled pucked that almost led to a shorthanded goal by John Madden.
- Did anyone catch word on Dustin Boyd? He didn't play after taking just one shift in the second period.
- As massively disappointing as this game was, we know that the Preds can bounce back with a determined effort in Game 6 at Bridgestone Arena on Monday. Can the fans do their part as well? If you haven't gotten your tickets yet, there's a way to save on those tickets...