He’s BAAAAAACK! Rinne Returns TOMORROW!
Pe-kka Ri-nne! *clap clap clapclapclap* Pe-kka Ri-nne! *clap clap clapclapclap* Three weeks and two days since suffering a sprained knee against Vancouver, Rinne will return to game action tomorrow, just in time for a tilt against crowd ‘favorites’ Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Mr. Chickenwing himself, Ryan Kesler.
The news of Rinne’s return was a foregone conclusion once the team announced Marek Mazanec was being sent back down to Milwaukee. He saw action in only 2 games while he was up with the club as goaltender Carter Hutton held down the fort.
Hutton got the courtesy start Tuesday for his shutout performance vs the Pittsburgh Penguins on Super Bowl Sunday, and will now forever be remembered for a potential save of the year candidate with his twisting swipe of the puck to preserve the 4-3 victory against Toronto. Perfect timing really as that will be our lasting image of Hutton for the immediate future. As much grief as the majority of PredNation has given Hutton since Rinne’s absence, the team went 4-1-2 in his 7 starts, and held off a smoking hot Blues team that has gone 11-0-1 in their last 12, to remain atop the central division standings.
If you don’t think both the Preds and Ducks were looking past their competition Tuesday night, you’re fooling yourself. Anaheim, much like the Preds, struggled against another eastern conference doormat, the Carolina Hurricanes, before rallying late in the third to pull off the victory in OT.
The only other meeting between Nashville and Anaheim was at the Honda Center, with Hutton again drawing the second of back to backs, in an eventual 4-3 shootout win by the Ducks. This time, both teams will have equal rest, Laviolette will have the matchups he wants, and the 17,113 at Bridgestone are sure to make it a raucous atmosphere.