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Nashville Predators 1, Chicago Blackhawks 0: Rinne, Arvy Help Steal Game 1

Arvidsson had the only goal and Rinne stopped 29 shots in the shutout win.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Predators just stole Game 1 from the Blackhawks. Getting an early goal from Viktor Arvidsson, Pekka Rinne stopped 29 shots for just his 2nd career playoff shutout.

What a huge win.

It got off to a nice start for the Predators, as they went up 1-0 midway through the 1st period. After weathering some early pressure from the Hawks, the Preds settled in towards the middle of the period and started using more speed to gain the zone. As soon as they did that, Viktor Arvidsson struck. A nice play by Joey, led to a nice pass by Forsberg, and Arvy was in front to tip it home.

The Preds slowed down the Hawks—they only finished with six shots in the period—and were able to end the period up 1-0.

The 2nd period was a root canal. A quick power play was followed by tons of offensive zone time for the Hawks, who generated shot after shot. Rinne was really big when he needed to be, but the Preds also got in front of nearly everything. The problem was that they didn’t generate anything offensively. Still, it was 1-0 Preds after two periods.

Of course, the trend continued into the 3rd period. The Hawks out-shot and out-possessed the Preds for nearly the entire final period. A mid period power play came up empty, but the Hawks kept coming. It was an onslaught of chances, but none of them went in.

The Hawks had 23 shots in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Rinne stopped all of them.

For a team that was without Colin Wilson and that threw together some lines over morning coffee, this was a pretty unbelievable win.

So the Preds take back home ice advantage and look forward to Game 2 on Saturday.

Random Observations

  • So these forward lines aren’t the worst case scenario. Colin Wilson is out, but certain other players are too. I’m ok with it. It’s only Game 1.
  • Early on, the Preds look a bit timid and the Blackhawks haven’t really turned on the pressure yet. It’s coming, I’m sure.
  • So much red, so much hatred.
  • Johansen drew all sorts of traffic, but somehow got the puck Forsberg, who found Arvy in front. JOFA LINE.
  • Great 1st period. GREAT 1st period.
  • Well that’s not ideal. Johansen with a delay of game penalty.
  • Big penalty kill on that penalty. Yooge.
  • Holy cow. So many chances by the Hawks this period. So many. But Rinne stands tall. He had a huge stop on a semi breakaway by Marian Hossa.
  • This second period has been not ideal, but somehow the Preds escape still up 1-0. Going to need more offense in the 3rd period.
  • The Fisher line has not been great, but I don’t hate them as a group. They’ve gotten hemmed into their own zone a bit. They haven’t generated much offense either. Plus, they’ve had some turnovers. Ok, maybe I do hate them as a group.
  • The first two shifts at the start of this 3rd period are so important. Come out strong, then hit them with a second wave.
  • Well they didn’t really do that, so.
  • Playing with so much fire right now. All the fire.
  • This is just so aggravating. It’s like the Preds are just pretending to try to attack. They gain the zone and just dump and change. I mean, I like that they are playing defense, but for crying out loud go get another goal.
  • This is insanity. The defense has been stellar, but my goodness. Go get a goal.
  • Arvy just hit the post. Got a breakaway, had Crawford beat, struck iron.
  • Minute left.
  • 30 seconds left.
  • 7.2 seconds left.
  • OVER!

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Pekka Rinne: 29 saves and the shutout. Probably the best playoff game of his career. Now go get three more.
  2. Viktor Arvidsson: Huge goal to get it started. We need a GoFundMe campaign for this kid’s contract.
  3. The entire defense: All of them were great. Ellis, Subban, Josi, Ekholm, Irwin, Weber. They played phenomenal hockey. Great, great, great.

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