NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 24: David Legwand #11 of the Nashville Predators celebrates after scoring an open net goal against the Anaheim Ducks in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on April 24, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Earlier this summer we reviewed the Top 10 Moments of the Regular Season, and now seems a fine time to look back at the team's playoff run...
On April 24, 2011, Nashville Predators finally fans got to enjoy one of those rare experiences that stick with you forever.
Thanks to Nick Spaling's goal early in the 3rd period (his second of the game), the Preds enjoyed a 3-2 lead late in Game 6 of the opening round against Anaheim, and were trying to melt the clock to close out the win. In times like those, the seconds seem to tick away with painstaking deliberation, and each break in the action is met with surprise as to how much time actually remains.
The Bridgestone Arena faithful developed something akin to tunnel vision in those final minutes, with increasingly vocal reaction to every development, no matter how minor, which helped push the team towards victory. Every loose puck which a Predator got to first, every time the defensive zone was cleared, every faceoff won... they were all met with a growing chorus of cheers from a crowd that began to boil over with anticipation.
I was up in my perch in 324, with my daughter alongside; although her brothers were more diehard hockey fans, she knew the stakes involved, and was pretty much screaming her head off in the final minutes, eager to see history made.
How fitting it was, then, that the Original Predator scored the empty netter to seal the win with 10 seconds left, setting off the greatest party in Nashville's hockey history.
Where were you when the Preds closed out their first playoff series win?