Nashville Predators 2, Chicago Blackhawks 3 (3OT): Seabrook Twists the Dagger, Hawks Take Commanding Lead

The Predators and the Blackhawks played almost two complete hockey games in one night, but Chicago broke the hearts of everyone in gold.

The Nashville Predators entered the unfriendly confines of the United Center, again being put in a position to tie the series. Without Mike Fisher and Shea Weber, it was going to be an uphill battle no matter what happened.

Colin Wilson and Antoine Vermette traded goals midway through the first period to keep everyone on the edge of their seats. James Neal used his deadly hands to put Nashville ahead for a long while, until Brandon Saad scored his second of the series. What order did they score? Neal before Saad.

The game couldn't be settled in 60 minutes, so for the second time this series they went to extra frames. It couldn't be settled in 80 minutes. It couldn't be settled in 100 minutes. After all that time past, and another 17 minutes of intermission, the game was ended a minute into the third on a Brent Seabrook shot from the point.

The dagger is in the Preds, and is being twisted as we speak. Chicago takes a 3-1 series lead.

Highlight of the Night

Random Observations

  • Many words were said about Colin Wilson and his disappearing act at the end of the regular season. Well I think all of us can shove a sock in it right now. Wilson opened the scoring on the power play with his 4th goal of the playoffs, when he somehow tipped a Ryan Ellis bomb from the point. For those of you keeping score at home, Wilson is now the leading goal scorer in the first round.
  • Quick strikes have been the theme of this series. It seems like every time one team scores, the answering tally is right around the corner. That was true tonight as less than two minutes after Wilson's goal, Antoine Vermette evened up the game for the Blackhawks. For a guy that was traded for a first-round pick, and was scratched for the first two games of the series, that's gotta feel good.
  • Kevin Fiala made his playoff debut tonight and... well, let's just say he made some plays like he was playing his second-ever NHL game. In 11:05 of ice time, he had 2 shots and one scoring chance. Not much more to expect from an 18-year-old who hasn't been indoctrinated to the system. He didn't see the ice in the overtime period.
  • James Neal played great through the first two games, but didn't get rewarded for it. He was completely shut down during Game 3. Peter Laviolette had to make an adjustment, and Neal had to do his best to step up his play while Duncan Keith and Michal Rosival worked to shut him down. Well, a Keith misplay in front of his goaltender (again) led to Neal's first of the playoffs. It broke the tie and kept the Predators from falling into another second period hole. Take that, narratives.
  • Pekka Rinne had a much better game than he's been having. Still, that Saad goal is one that you have to stop if you want to keep your team in the game. Blackhawks smelled blood in the water after that goal, and took the pressure to the Preds. Nashville did all they could to hang on and weather the storm, but they were playing like a team that wanted to survive, rather than one that wanted to win a game.
  • That said, the star netminder really came through in the overtime period. Though the Preds were getting their own chances, Chicago was shellacking Nashville at times, and the game could have easily been ended sooner than it was.
  • Let's just admire the whale of a game Seth Jones had tonight. Pairing him with Roman Josi didn't look like it was going to be a great idea, especially after Game 3. However, Jones was all over the ice, making great defensive plays, nad stepping up to create scoring chances as well. That's exactly what is going to make him such a stud in the coming years.
  • Jones, Josi, Ellis and Mattias Ekholm all logged well over 20 30 40 minutes tonight.
  • Let's all agree that Rinne losing the puck somewhere in his pads was one of the greatest moments of the playoffs so far.
  • We all freaked out when Forsberg put the puck over the glass, right?
  • Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
  • When the teams broke for the bazilyionth intermission, you knew it was going to be a dumb goal that ended things. You just hoped it worked out for the good guys. It didn't, because God is dead and there are no happy endings. /

OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • Seth Jones
  • Pekka Rinne
  • Scott Darling/

The series isn't over, but 3-1 is a hell of a deficit to crawl out of against a team like Chicago. It hurts even more knowing they were only one shot away from coming back to Nashville with the series tied. It's do or die now. There will be time for reflection later, but we all want to let sweet sleep take us away into a world where happiness happens from time to time. That isn't this world, so the more we can sleep, the more we can dream, the better.

Tweets of the Game

Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary - War-on-Ice - HockeyStats - Natural Stat Trick

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