The Nashville Predators were out-shot by nearly a two-to-one margin tonight as the Chicago Blackhawks pulled away for a 5-3 win, driving one more nail into Nashville's playoff hopes. According to SportsClubStats, this loss reduces the Preds' post-season chances to just 1.5%.
On the bright side, the Predators fought back from a pair of deficits to take a lead early in the third period, but three straight Chicago goals concluded the scoring and allowed the Blackhawks to officially clinch their spot in the playoffs, the first NHL team to do so.
The Preds return home for a four-game stretch with games against St. Louis, Dallas, Detroit & Vancouver, beginning Tuesday.
- Austin Watson got right to work in his first NHL game, killing more than half of the team's penalty kill in the first period. He looked good out there, using his length to cover a huge amount of space.
- Yes, I know Spaling got a goal out of the play towards the end of the first period, but that was another classic example of SK74 passing up a golden shooting opportunity. He'll never change.
- Talk about pouring salt in the wound... during the first period intermission Barry Trotz talked about the need for the Predators to just break out of their own zone "with poise". Like clockwork, the next goal came off a poor breakout pass from Klein to Watson which allowed the Blackhawks to set up a counterattack.
- I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Yes, these Preds are short on talent, and are suffering from injury issues, but you don't have to worry about the effort level. Things looked pretty good once they took the 3-2 third period lead, at least for a moment...
- What? You're not listening to the post-game show on 102.5? Flip over there now, I'm in studio with Willy!
Roll the video highlights...