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Nashville Predators 1, Dallas Stars 5: Preds Special Teams Crash in Ugly Loss

“The City of Hate” describes my feelings about this game pretty well.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Nashville Predators at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After defeating the Dallas Stars in game three, the Nashville Predators knew that their opponent would be hungry for a win to even the series. After all, a Nashville win would give the Preds a 3-1 series lead, with a impending game five in Nashville. Pekka Rinne got the start in goal but was replaced by Juuse Saros, as the Predators were defeated by the Stars, 5-1.

It is hard to think of ways that the first period could have gone worse for Nashville. Within the first five minutes, Mattias Ekholm and Filip Forsberg had both committed penalties, giving Dallas two power plays. The Stars capitalized on both of those man-advantages, with goals credited to Roope Hintz and Alexander Radulov. With the home crowd electrified after two early power play goals, Nashville couldn’t seem to get a single thing going on offense.

The Preds had two power plays during the period, but if you have watched any of the playoffs for Nashville so far, you can imagine how the power plays went. Andrew Cogliano had another goal for Dallas around the midway point of the period, but it was the third power play goal from Dallas (courtesy of Mats Zuccarello) that sent Rinne to the bench, and brought Juuse Saros into the game. That would wrap it up for scoring in the first period, so the Preds would hobble to the locker room down four.

The second period, despite having much less Dallas scoring, was not productive for Nashville. They didn’t have any power plays to squander, and Dallas took their foot off of the gas pedal, so Nashville had the puck for quite a bit. However, they could not generate a single thing, and ended the period still scoreless. Dallas got another goal from Hintz, and that was the only scoring play of the period.

The third period was, for most of the time, more of the same. With the exception of one slick Roman Josi goal, there were no goals in the period, and basically no real substance. Nashville wrapped up the loss with a final score of 5-1, and serious improvements will be needed over the next two (or three) games if Nashville wants to advance to round two.

Random Observations

  • Another penalty for Ekholm in this series, and an early power play for Dallas
  • Dallas scores on the man advantage. 0-1 Stars.
  • Another early man advantage for Dallas, a delay of game call on Forsberg. Another goal here would be catastrophic.
  • Dallas converts again. Radulov. 0-2.
  • Radulov goes in the box. If there was ever a time for Nashville’s power play to do something, now would be that time.
  • The power play is over, so now the Preds can get back to trying to score.
  • Another goal for Dallas. 0-3.
  • Järnkrok commits a dumb penalty, and Dallas has ANOTHER power play.
  • Power play killed. Still plenty of time, just need one.
  • Ekholm gets called for a high stick. I’m starting to think that he should be the one in the Dunkin’ Donuts commercial instead of David Pastrnak.
  • A goal from Zuccarello on the power play, and that will be it for Rinne.
  • After a pitiful sequence during the delayed penalty, Nashville goes on the power play again.
  • No goal on the power play.
  • There’s technically still plenty of time, but Dallas is content with just parking the bus and Nashville can’t figure out how to beat it.
  • Another Stars goal. 0-5.
  • Subban just rocked Jamie Benn on the board. Potential “message sender”?
  • And, unsurprisingly, a “Subban Sucks” chant is soon to follow
  • Saros sends it over the glass, and another power play for Dallas.
  • No goal for Dallas on the power play
  • Goal... for Nashville!!! Roman Josi snipes one in from the blue line, and the shutout bid for Bishop is ended.
  • Another power play for Dallas, if it’s of any significance

Three Stars of the Night

  1. Juuse Saros — Stopped the bleeding in Rinne’s absence.
  2. P.K. Subban — Bought some real estate inside the head of every Stars fan in attendance.
  3. Roman Josi — In a game filled to the brim with sadness, the captain’s goal was pretty nice. And it ended the shutout bid.

Tweets of the Night

Game Video