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Nashville Predators 3, Dallas Stars 5: Nashville Is One Game Away From Elimination

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Nashville has one more opportunity to keep their post-season alive.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

With the series tied 2-2, if there was a game the Nashville Predators needed to dominate to swing the series momentum in their favor, it was Game 5.

After Filip Forsberg took a slashing penalty early in the first period, it seemed like we were in for a long afternoon. The Preds managed to kill the penalty and Rocco Grimaldi followed it up with a goal to open up the scoring. Bridgestone absolutely came to life in true playoff fashion after that.

The Dallas Stars wasted no time putting the pressure back on Nashville. Jason Dickinson put the Stars on the board to tie things up in the first. Despite shots on goal being fairly even, Dallas was seeing the better chances and the Preds seemed to be fighting for...well, everything. Pekka Rinne managed to keep this one from getting out of control in the first, a much better start than Game 4.

With frustrations mounting, Alexander Radulov netted one early off a feed from Tyler Seguin and you could hear a pen drop in Bridgestone. The atmosphere was definitely changing with the mood of the game. A huge hit by Dan Hamhuis on Mats Zuccarello seemed to wake the team up a little bit, but it was short-lived as Radulov netted his second goal of the game. If the Preds had another level, half-way through the second was where they needed to find it.

Ryan Johansen was able to pull the Preds within one halfway through the second, but it wasn’t enough to stop the bleeding. Tyler Seguin scored the Stars’ fourth goal, further driving home the fact that Dallas’s top line was running the show.

Going into the third, Nashville needed to throw everything but the kitchen sink (and maybe even the kitchen sink) at Ben Bishop to stay alive in this series. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case when Dickinson tallied his second goal of the game just over a minute into the period. Just when things started to look really dark early in the third, Kyle Turris emerged from whatever hole he’s been stuck in this season to keep the momentum alive.

The Preds finally got a power play opportunity in the third, and if there was ever a time for the power play to come together, that would have been it. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen all season, the power play can’t be fixed, and the Preds missed the perfect chance to pull within one of Dallas. The Preds continued to push through the third trying to wrangle this game back into their favor, but the effort came too late. They were able to hold Dallas off for the rest of the period, but weren’t able to find the win.

If this is it for hockey at the Bridge this season, it’s been a ride folks. Game 6 is on Monday in Dallas.

Random Observations

  • Staying out of the penalty box should be a priority for the Preds after Game 4, but alas...Forsberg takes an early penalty.
  • Penalty killed, but let’s not make this a habit today.
  • Holy all the swear words, Rocco Grimaldi! That’s how you start a game, what a goal!
  • I know it’s been said many times, many ways but Pekka Rinne is not a human being.
  • When you let Dallas stay in your zone for that long, eventually they’re going to score.
  • I need less frustration and more goals from Forsberg.
  • Every time Ben Bishop takes a stroll outside the crease he ends up sprawled across the ice. He should maybe stay put.
  • Dallas’ top line is putting in work. Wish I could say the same about the Preds’ top line.
  • P.K. Subban is not having a great game.
  • Dan Hamhuis just destroyed Mats Zuccarello in open ice. He came down on him like Thor’s hammer Mjolnir.
  • The Stars are about to run away with this game.
  • Ryan Johansen doesn’t score goals, they said!
  • Just as I was thinking it’s been a while since we’ve seen a penalty...four-on-four hockey. My bad, guys!
  • And Dallas widens the gap again. The Preds should really consider putting some defense on the Stars’ top line.
  • Ekholm taking a penalty after Dallas scores is really just pouring salt in the wound.
  • My prediction before the start of the third period...if Nashville loses this game, they will lose this series.
  • Letting Dallas score a little over a minute into the period does not bode well for my prediction.
  • Kyle Turris...welcome to the party...I guess.
  • The power play fails Nashville yet again. Just fire it into the sun.
  • The empty net is the worst thing. I get it, but it’s awful.
  • Welp. Game 6 is Monday.

OTF Super Duper Stars of the Game

Pekka Rinne — He deserved/deserves better.

Rocco Grimaldi — He might be the only light in this otherwise very depressing series.

Tweets of the Night