And so the most incredible season in Nashville Predators history ends with a 2-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
In the first period, both teams traded a few solid chances, but nothing went in the net. Pekka Rinne looked sharp early on, despite some helter skelter action in front of him. Same for Matt Murray, who made a last ditch save on a James Neal shot that just barely grazed his glove. The Preds had a power play that went nowhere, but they did some good work at even strength to make up for it.
After 20 minutes it really looked like anyone’s game.
I don’t say this a lot in these recaps, but the refs completely screwed up early in the 2nd period. Colton Sissons was absolutely robbed of a goal when they blew the whistle way too early. The puck was sitting two feet away from Murray in the crease and Sissons poked it home. Still, no goal.
There’s a lot to say about how dumb it is that they can’t count that goal, but they can go back and review Forsberg’s goal from Game 1, but I will save it.
Aside from that nonsense, the 2nd period was one of the best periods of hockey in these playoffs. It was incredible. There were chances up and down the ice, followed by huge saves from both goalies. Craig Smith had a breakaway, Sissons did too. James Neal and Colin Wilson almost turned a turnover into a goal. The Pens had their chances as well, but the defense and Rinne were able to clean up the puck when needed.
It was scoreless going into the 3rd period.
It would stay that way until Patric Hornqvist scored with less than two minutes to go. It was a clean goal, much like the one that Colton Sissons scored earlier. Add an empty netter and it was a 2-0.
The crowd at Bridgestone Arena was amped up, as you’d expect. There were no fewer than six catfish thrown on the ice, including the enigmatic Hat Fish.
This place has been incredible all year long. Shame it had to end.
I love you Smashville.
- Ryan Ellis starting! There’s some good news.
- This one’s off to a raucous start. McLeod with some early hits, Sissons getting into it with Malkin. Josi with a slick wrister that Murray denies.
- I really don’t want to see the Preds stuck with a delay of game penalty because of these catfish. Throw them, fine, but pick your spots.
- David Legwand is here!
- Holy shit that is a terrible call on the Sissons goal. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a play so completely, mind-numblingly wrong in my life.
- There are way too many chances by the Preds going for nothing. Several breakaway 2-on-1s and wide open looks in the slot. Sissons and Smith both had breakaways. Murray is keeping the game scoreless, as is Rinne.
- 20 minutes to go: who will step up and keep the season alive?
- I cannot take my eyes off this game, sorry for the lack of discussion. This is just insane.
- Arvy is doing things again. He just keeps working.
- Wow. A 5-on-3 power play slips through their fingers. That is awful.
- I cannot believe how intense this is. It’s breathtaking.
- Breathtaking, I tell you.
- I cannot believe this team made it this far, but my god does it hurt to lose this.
OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Pekka Rinne: Crazy good tonight.
- Colton Sissons: Crazy unlucky tonight.
- Viktor Arvidsson: Just crazy.
Tweets of the Night
I'm making a "what is interference" tweet now and I'll just retweet it all night— Marya (@_marya_k) June 12, 2017
June 12, 2017
Good job by Rinne smothering this puck to stop play pic.twitter.com/JQCJPYRCnv— Filipovic Forsberg (@DimFilipovic) June 12, 2017
Holy puck that was some period of hockey.— MHH (@MileHighHockey) June 12, 2017
This is a solid sea of gold and blue up Broadway from Fourth to Seventh pic.twitter.com/zNrL28YbMn— Kirk A. Bado (@kirk_bado) June 12, 2017