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Nashville Predators 4, St. Louis Blues 3: Vernon Fiddler Scores Late To Win Game 1

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Yep. The 4th line wins it for the Preds. Sort of.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Nashville Predators at St. Louis Blues Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Predators blew a 3-1 lead in St. Louis and yet still found a way to win Game 1. Vernon Fiddler scored the game winner with about four minutes left in the game to seal the victory for the Preds.

OH. MAN.

The Blues came out and dominated the first 10 minutes of the game, even earning an early power play, which the Preds were able to kill. Rinne made some key saves early on to keep the game scoreless. Then, with the Preds on the power play, P.K. Subban fires a rocket onto the net and Colin Wilson tips it home.

The Preds would hold off the Blues for the rest of the period and went to the first intermission up 1-0. Shots were even at 11.

An early 2nd period injury to Kevin Fiala changed the tenor of this game. Robert Bortuzzo sent Fiala hard into the boards behind the St. Louis net and Fiala’s leg buckled against the back wall. It was a bad injury and likely a season ender. The stretcher came out and everything.

Soon after, though, P.K. Subban scored to make it 2-0 and the Preds were firing on all cylinders. The Fiala injury seemed to fuel their skates for a little bit. The Blues answered, though, as Colton Parayko scored to make it 2-1.

But the Preds answered back! A couple of Blues power plays eventually led to a Filip Forsberg power play goal (off of a Subban shot) and it was 3-1 Preds. Rinne made some huge saves late in the 2nd period, including one on Ryan Reaves.

The Preds took a 3-1 lead into the 3rd period. It didn’t last.

Jaden Schwartz scored to make it 3-2 with about 13 minutes left in the game. Then Vladimir Sobotka scored to tie it up. It was a tie game with 10 minutes left to play and the Blues had all the momentum.

Ugh, it was bad. Things looked pretty gloomy.

But, never fear! It was 4th line time!

Full disclosure: I’ve pretty much done nothing but blast the 4th line (or, Fiddler & McLeod, as it were) all season long. And, well, they DID give up two goals tonight. But, hell, give ‘em credit. Fiddler stuck his stick out and poke checked the game winner by Allen and the Preds won the damn thing.

Boy howdy! Big win Preds!

Random Observations

  • So the lines are all different and everyone is freaking out, including me.
  • Cody McLeod is starting in an NHL playoff hockey game.
  • Pretty tentative start from the Preds. Looking a bit slow and not pressuring all that hard.
  • An early power play chance for the Blues. Preds looking a bit confused, but they kill it off. Phew! Also, Ellis back after going to the tunnel briefly following a blocked shot. Double phew!
  • PEEEEEEEE KAAAAAAAAY SUBBBBBBANNNNNNN!!!! What a goal! Rockets one on the left circle NEVERMIND! COLLLLLIIINNNNNN WILLSSSSOONNNNNNNNNN!!! WHAT A GOAL!
  • Man, Ryan Johansen has incredible reach with his stick. Incredible wing span.
  • Somehow this game will not end 1-0, I have a feeling.
  • Oh my god. Kevin Fiala just went down hard into the boards. Looks like a leg. It’s bad, bad, bad.
  • Stretcher is coming out. Unbelievable. Absolutely devastating.
  • BUT THE PREDS ANSWER. Subban gets a goal (for real this time) and makes it 2-0. The Preds look much faster now, fueled by the injury to Fiala maybe.
  • Oh man. The Preds leave Parayko wide open with the puck. He walks in and scores five hole on Rinne. It’s 2-1 now and a brand new game.
  • So many power plays. So many chances.
  • GOALLLLLLLLL!! Subban sent another shot on net and Forsberg deflected it in! 3-1!!!
  • This 3rd period is going to be a nightmare isn’t it?
  • Yep. A long shift in the defensive zone leads to a goal by Jaden Schwartz. Blues are right back in this thing.
  • Annnd it’s tied. Vladimir Sobotka scores on a laser shot. Rinne got beat bad. Whole new game now.
  • Ladies and Gentlemen:

Vernon Fiddler, member of the 4th line, has scored a goal.

  • The Preds have a 4-3 lead with about 4 minutes left and I’m out of words.
  • THEY HOLD ON TO WIN OH MAN HOW DID THEY DO THAT 4TH LINE I LOVE YOU

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. P.K. Subban: He was great tonight. 3 points including a goal. Looks like he is hitting his stride.
  2. Vernon Fiddler: I HAVE NO SHAME. GIVE IT TO HIM.
  3. Pekka Rinne: 27 saves and he did a lot to give the Preds a chance to win. Hell of a shot by Sobotka to tie it up.

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