The game may be 60 minutes long, but the Nashville Predators needed only four minutes to beat the Chicago Blackhawks by the score of 3 to 2.
“We play our games four minutes at a time.” That would be the paraphrased quote from The Fast and the Furious if the Nashville Predators were to describe their play. With the Chicago Blackhawks in town, action was certain to be fast and furious as well. Spoiler alert: it was.
The action was quick, up and down the ice the entire match. Shots kept pressure on the goalies all night. Both played well. But Pekka Rinne was just a bit better.
How it all went down
The energy and excitement were palpable whether you were in Bridgestone or sitting on your couch at home. The game between the Predators and Blackhawks felt like it was playoff time. The action started quick and never let up. Just three-minutes and 16 seconds into the opening period, Filip Forsberg jams his own rebound passed Blackhawks goalie Anton Forsberg (no relation).
But, just a minute and a half later, Tommy Wingels found a great angle and placed the puck behind Rinne. Through the first period, the Blackhawk had chances to score. Patrick Kane was denied three times by Rinne, and had another chance missed as the puck hopped over his stick.
The clocked moved to the second period, and the Predators scored within the first four minutes again. Matt Irwin fired a shot from the point and Austin Watson deflected it into the net. The Blackhawks would challenge for goalie interference, but coach Joel Quenneville would not be pleased with the result. The goal stood.
The second period saw plenty of action, but no more goals. But, in the first four minutes of the third period, Roman Josi found the net on a slap shot. It is his sixth goal of the year. Assist was given to Kyle Turris on the play. It was a great power play for the Predators ending with the Josi goal.
Was it enough
It is well documented the trials and struggles of the Nashville Predators in the third period. On the season, they are being out shot by 25 and out scored by 8 goals in the third. The Blackhawks would make their move. Nine and a half minutes into the period, Lance Bouma snuck the puck through Rinne. Score was now 3-2.
Action continued as the Blackhawks peppered Rinne with the puck. Even on a clear breakaway, Rinne stood tall. Josi was called for a penalty with just over four minutes left. Still, Rinne stood. The Blackhawks emptied the net, threw everything they had. Rinne stood.
And the Nashville Predators won, 3-2. They are 10-2-1 in November, and 7-1-1 since the Turris trade. With 33 points, the Predators are tied with Winnipeg in the standings. Chicago is now 5-4-1 in their last 10 games, and six points behind the Predators.
#1 – Pekka Rinne: Save after save, 37 to be exact. Chicago threw 39 shots at the goal. They had open goal moments. Rinne was just better.
#2 – Filip Forsberg: His opening goal set the tone for the Predators, but it was his defense that kept the Predators in the game. A hit, block, and takeaway help sustain the lead.
#3 – Penalty Kill: The Blackhawks had eight minutes on the power play; however, they only had six shot on goal.
The Vancouver Canucks make their first visit to Nashville on Thursday night. A hot Predators’ team looks to start a new win streak while the Canucks want to keep pace in the Western Conference Wild Card race. Broadcast on Fox Sports – Tennessee start at 7:00pm Central.