Mike Fisher showed off his deadly wrist shot, Pekka Rinne made a couple of spectacular saves, Shea Weber blasted his cannon, and even Kevin Klein got in on some of the action, letting Corey Perry know the Predators wouldn't be pushed around. By and large, Game 1 of Nashville's Western Conference Quarterfinals match-up with the Anaheim Ducks was everything us Preds' fans could ask for. We had fun with #danellisproblems, made fun of Corey Perry, and could breathe easy for most of the third period.
But when the puck drops tonight at the Honda Center, none of that will matter. It'll be 0-0, and a brand new game. A chance for Anaheim to even the series, and get revenge after getting completely embarrassed in front of their home fans, or for Nashville to head back to Bridgestone Arena with a huge 2-0 series lead.
Game 1 was won by playing Predator hockey to a T. Pekka Rinne said after the game, "We like to play solid defensively and then score when there's an opportunity. It's not complicated, but when we do it the right way, we're pretty good." And they'll need to continue doing just that in Game 2. Perry and the rest of the Ducks' high-flying offense will come out swingin'. If the Predators' defense can hold, Nashville should get some chances to capitalize in transition just like in Game 1.
And the Predators need their big guns to keep firing. Weber, Sullivan, and Fisher (x2) accounted for Nashville's scoring Wednesday night. Weber's goal gave him 13 playoff points, tied for first in franchise history. With so many young players getting their first glimpse of playoff action, the play of Nashville's veterans will go a long way in determining their postseason fate.
It's another late start, but Predator fans will be wide awake for this one (including a few extra rowdy ones in Cool Springs). Can Pekka Rinne continue to stand on his head? Will Anaheim find their scoring touch? Can Mike
Underwood Fisher stay hot? Buckle your seat belts, we're in for a wild ride.
Lineups after the jump:
Given how succesful it was, I would be shocked if Barry Trotz deviates from his Game 1 lineup:
|2010 - Pekka Rinne||64||3789||33||22||134||2.12||1905||1771||.930||6|
The only difference we'll probably see from Wednesday night is a new face starting in net:
|2010 - Ray Emery||10||527||7||2||20||2.28||272||252||.926||0|