Nashville Predators 5, Chicago Blackhawks 2: Comeback Win Boosts Preds To Central Division Title

The OTF crew dug deep to bring you a recap, just like the Preds dug deep to bring us all a win. Teamwork!

After some help from the Winnipeg Jets, the Nashville Predators felt great about their chances of winning the Central Division after their comeback win over Vancouver on Thursday night. However, a shootout win for the St. Louis Blues meant that to win the division, the Predators had to win their final game of the season. Saturday night in Bridgestone Arena against the Chicago Blackhawks with the Central Division on the line: it doesn’t get much better than that.

The game got off to a rough start, with Pekka Rinne allowing goals on two of the first three shots he faced. The Predators took the game’s first penalty, but the Blackhawks’ power play was ineffective. The period ended with the Preds leading in shots and zone time, but trailing 0-2 on the scoreboard.

The second period saw the Predators close the deficit, thanks to a strong penalty kill and a power play that almost scored a goal. Dante Fabbro got the Preds on the board with his first NHL goal, then Filip Forsberg tied the game just as the Preds’ power play ended.

Early in the third period, the power play was back, and this time Viktor Arvidsson scored on it to tie the franchise record. A few minutes after that, Dan Hamhuis was sent to the penalty box, but the Preds were able to kill off the penalty and went back on the attack. Cam Ward has been surprisingly good tonight, and continued to make great saves as the period continued. With under five minutes left in the period, Ryan Ellis made a save of his own to preserve the Preds’ lead. The Blackhawks pulled Cam Ward for the extra attacker and Colton Sissons added an empty-net goal, then Nick Bonino added a fifth Preds goal past Ward.

With a comeback win, and a home Saturday win, your Nashville Predators are the Central Division Champions (regular season) for the second consecutive season.

Random Observations

  • JOFA looks red hot to start the game, and the crowd is loving it. If Arvy breaks the record, the roof just might come off.
  • First shot of the night for Chicago goes in. 0-1 Hawks.
  • Plenty of chances for Nashville, but still nothing.
  • Another Chicago goal. 0-2.
  • Hayley A tagging in here as Carson’s had some technical difficulties.
  • Dante Fabbro just scored his first NHL goal and iasdfasdjfiasdglsdajf it was everything!!!!
  • Smashville is here for Dante.
  • The Bridge is awake. I don’t think it’s been this loud in here all season.
  • Preds to the power play.
  • It wasn’t terrible.
  • Oh, another power play...
  • Kate R tagging in here as Hayley has also had some technical difficulties. I seriously think this game is cursed, and if my laptop melts I’m invoicing the Wirtz Corporation, Stan Bowman, and Jeremy Colliton.
  • Oh no, another power pl—
  • Ew. Kill this penalty.
  • Puck is dropping in Jets-Coyotes.
  • Cam Ward needs to take a nap. (I typed this right before that save on Forsberg, but that just proves my point.)
  • Stars are up 2-0 with eleven minutes to go. At least one point tonight will put them into the Central bracket and send the Avalanche to the Pacific.
  • Coyotes just scored.
  • Dante Fabbro wants the Preds’ goals-per-season record to be higher. Good for him.
  • Stars up 3-0. I don’t think the Wild are going to manage the comeback; Preds are playing now for the right to play the only playoff-bound Central team they had a winning record against this regular season.
  • Backup goalie Ryan Ellis is my favorite Ryan Ellis
  • Why even bother pulling the goalie? Is spite really worth worsening your own draft odds?
  • Sissons! Frosties!
  • Bonino! Frosting!/

Three Stars of the Game

  1. Viktor Arvidsson: So long, Jason Arnott. Thanks for all the points.
  2. Filip Forsberg: Points on both the goals that stopped the bleeding and evened up the game, as the Preds found their way back from an unpleasant deficit.
  3. Dante Fabbro: Not bad for a rookie.

Tweets of the Night