The second weekend of the IIHF World Championships in the Czech Republic was quite eventful, especially for some of your Nashville Predators. Here’s some of the big highlights from Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in Europe:
Pekka Rinne Sets Record For Shutout Streak
If you hadn’t already known, Finland has a lot of good goaltenders. Going into Monday’s game against Belarus, they hadn’t given up a goal in four games. Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne got the majority of ice time during the streak, but Predators prospect Juuse Saros also saw a game. The two goalies combined for the longest shutout streak in IIHF Worlds history at 231 minutes at 56 seconds after Saturday’s game against Slovakia, breaking the previous record set in 1957. But, they weren’t done. Midway through Monday’s game against Belarus, Rinne earned himself the individual record for longest shutout streak at 211:56, busting the record previously set in 2004.
It took until about five minutes into the third period for Belarus to finally beat Rinne, ending the record-setting streak. Yevgeni Kovyrshin rifled a one-timer from above the face-off circle to put the Belarusians up 1-0. However, Rinne shook it off quickly, robbing Artur Gavrus on the doorstep a few minutes later.
The game would go to a shootout tied at two, and Rinne was pretty solid again, stopping former Predator Sergei Kostitsyn in the first round en route to a 3-1 shootout score.
Forsberg, Sweden, beat Josi, Switzerland
In a battle of Predators budding superstars, Team Sweden took down Team Switzerland 2-1 in overtime on Saturday. Filip Forsberg scored the overtime winner three minutes in on the power play to win the grudge match for the Tre Kronor.
Sweden got the scoring started early in the first period with Elias Linholm cleaning a puck up in front of the net. The second period was relatively quiet. But, in the third period, Eric Blum’s point shot was tipped in by Simon Bondemann to tie the game up at one just 34 seconds into the third period.
In overtime, the Swedes were on a power play when Forsberg cleaned up a rebound in front to put the game on ice. Both Forsberg and Roman Josi had thrown shots off the post earlier in the game.
Other News and Notes
Team USA Stays Hot
The red, white, blue only played one game over the weekend, on Sunday against Slovenia. They were able to take care of business, winning 3-1 after suffering their first loss of the tournament on May 7th to Belarus, then rebounding the next day with a 1-0 win over Denmark.
Predators defenseman Seth Jones and prospect Jimmy Vesey were not that involved in the game. However, top NHL Draft prospect Jack Eichel found the score sheet in this one, deflecting in a third-period goal that gave the Americans some insurance.
Canadians Thrash Switzerland
Just a day after falling to Sweden, Le Suisse had to take on the best team in the tournament, Team Canada. It wasn’t very fun for the Swiss, as they fell 7-2.
After tying the game at one in the first period, Switzerland didn’t stand a chance, as Aaron Ekblad, Jordan Eberle, and Cody Eakin all scored in the second period for Canada to put the game out of reach.
Sweden Tops France
The Tre Kronor started the week with a takedown of the bleu, blanc, and rouge of France 4-2. Both French goals came from Damien Fleury, a standout in Sweden and Finland.
Forsberg had himself another phenomenal game, scoring two goals, including the game-winner on a beautiful breakaway wrist-shot that beat former NHLer Cristobal Huet.