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Nashville Predators 1, Minnesota Wild 0: Preds Clinch Playoff Berth with Wild Shutout

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The Preds are headed to the postseason.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Minnesota Wild Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like the Wild and the Predators have played each other a bunch in the last month. They squared off in a final regular-season meeting tonight in Minnesota. The game heated up pretty quickly.

The Predators notched the first goal of the contest on an absolute laser from Ryan Johansen on a Wild power play right at the beginning of the period. Jared Spurgeon was whistled for tripping Viktor Arvidsson with 7:46 remaining for Nashville’s first power play of the evening. The Predators were unable to convert on the man advantage. The Preds went right back on the power play with just over 3 minutes remaining in the first period. No bones.

The second period saw both teams trade chances. With a little under 5 minutes remaining, P.K. Subban was whistled for holding Ryan Donato and the Wild went on their second power play of the evening. The Predators were able to kill off the power play and coast to the end of the period.

Brian Boyle took a trip to the penalty box for tripping and the Predators had to kill off another Minnesota power play. The Nashville penalty killers were successful. Marcus Foligno was whistled for holding, but Rem Pitlick accidentally cleared the puck over the glass for a delay of game. The teams played 4-on-4 for a wild sequence that featured Subban knocking the goal off its post and Wild goaltender Dubnyk skating to the bench for a free extra attacker while the Predators could not legally score a goal.

The Predators were subsequently unable to convert on their ensuing power play after Minnesota was whistled for having too many men on the ice once Dubnyk returned. With Dubnyk on the bench again with 2:22 remaining, the Wild couldn’t find a tying goal.

The Predators clinched a playoff berth with tonight’s win.

Random Observations

  • Happy first NHL game, Rem Pitlick!
  • Anthony Bitetto is scratched for Minnesota.
  • What a backhand pass by Roman Josi. Pretty.
  • RYAN JOHANSEN! That’s a statement goal.
  • Somebody call 911!!!! There’s a furious fire burning between these teams right now.
  • Brian Boyle and Jordan Greenway take a seat in the box—5 each for fighting.
  • The power play still sucks.
  • I forget sometimes how tall Boyle is until he stands next to someone of average height.
  • Stop giving the puck away to people in green!!!!
  • It’s really quiet in Xcel Energy Center.
  • THAT POST SHOULD GET A STAR TONIGHT!!!!!
  • Juuse Saros just dove for a puck. Give the kid a dub tonight, boys.
  • NBC Sports is talking about how Devan Dubnyk has worn the same neck guard since he was 17 and honestly...maybe he should get a new one?
  • Is it just me or does Brian Boyle seem like he’s always on the ice tonight?
  • JUUSE SAROS!!!!!
  • Rem Pitlick hasn’t looked half bad with Kyle Turris and Mikael Granlund tonight.
  • Some conversation about a puck possibly crossing the goal line and hiding under Saros’s pad...no goal for Minnesota.
  • What is happening????? All types of confusion ensues on 4-on-4.
  • That was such a weird and silly sequence.
  • Whatcha doing, Dubnyk?
  • The puck landed ON TOP of the cage and I died inside.
  • Dubnyk on the bench at 2:22.
  • Icing, icing, icing.
  • Shutout for Saros. This is his third of the season.
  • Hello, postseason.

Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Juuse Saros: I don’t know how you choose another player for the first star of the game. The unshakeable Saros made 29 saves in his third shutout of the season.
  2. The post and the crossbar of Saros’s net.

Tweets of the Game

Game Video