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Nashville Predators 3 , St. Louis Blues 1: Preds Make History, Advance to Western Conference Final

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Nashville is now just four wins away from playing in its first ever Stanley Cup

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

This. Is. It.

Fun fact: the Preds come into this game undefeated in closeout games at Bridgestone Arena.

The Blues come out clicking on all cylinders. This feels like Game 5 all over again. Paul Stastny chips in the first goal of the game to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead. Rinne was out of position, and man if Austin Watson had only cleared that puck.

Just 35 seconds into the second period, Roman Josi ties it up. That is how you start a period. Johansen with an assist, and if the Preds are going to win they will need the JOFA line to produce points. Ryan Reeves has been lit up, by the way. First P.K. Subban takes him out, then Colin Wilson knocks him to the ice, then Austin Watson steamrolls him along the boards (legally).

Could you ask for any more drama? The Blues are pushing the pace and Nashville knows they can’t turtle this last period. Viktor Arvidsson with a gorgeous pass and who else but Johansen finishes it off, 2-1 Preds. The theme of this series has been: Preds stake the lead, Blues play defeated, Preds win. It looks like this one is following suit. Nashville is just playing harder and they seem to want it more. Jake Allen is pulled with a little over two minutes left. Calle Jarnkrok buries an empty netter and its 3-1 Nashville.

For the first time in franchise history, the Nashville Predators will play in the Western Conference Final.

Random Observations

  • The atmosphere inside Bridgestone Arena is insane
  • Bad start for the Preds
  • Why Laviolette decided a fourth line of McLeod-Fiddler-Watson was a good idea is beyond me. If you ask me, Salomaki should be out there, and the way Harry Z has been playing he deserves to be out there too.
  • The Preds look like they picked up right where they left off in Game 5
  • Roman Josi, that’s how you start a period!
  • Pekka has saved Nashville’s bacon quite a few times tonight
  • That Arvi pass to Johansen, my God. JOFA line coming up big!
  • Jarnkrok empty netter! Stick a fork in the Blues, WCF here we come!

OTF’s Super Duper Playoff Stars of the Night

  1. Pekka Rinne - he saved 23 of 24 shots and stifled the Blues, yet again. He is the leading candidate for the Conn Smyth.
  2. Ryan Johansen - A goal, an assist, and the kind of game that shut down Jonathan Toews in the first round. This is why David Poile went out and got him.
  3. Roman Josi - He responded with a huge goal when the Preds were facing adversity. Once he scored, the crowd came to life and it really swung the momentum back in Nashville’s favor.

Tweets of the Night

Game Extras

Game Stats

HockeyStats

Natural Stat Trick

Game Video