Preds ready for playoffs with 2-0 win over Stars…
The Nashville Predators defeated the Dallas Stars 2-0 at Bridgestone Arena to close out the home portion of the regular season schedule. Pekka Rinne returned to the lineup after missing one game with the flu & turned in an outstanding performance stopping all 28 Dallas shots on the way to his 5th shutout of the season.
The Stars are now eliminated from playoff contention & can begin planning for next season, while the Preds are locked into the 4/5 Western Conference Quarter Final Series. The Preds can lock up 4th place & home ice advantage in the 1st round with 1 point in their final regular season game or Detroit losing in any way to Chicago. That Detroit Vs Chicago game will determine who the Preds face in the 1st round. Last night, the Preds came out & played a solid game against a team that was desperate to save their playoff lives. This game was tightly played for 2 full periods with neither team gaining an advantage.
At 4:28 of the 3rd period, D Francis Bouillon (scoring machine) crashed the net & found a loose puck for his 4th goal of the season, all of which have been scored in the last 13 games. F Patric Hornqvist then sealed the deal with his team leading 26th goal of the season with 2:00 mins remaining in the game. A bad penalty by Mike Fisher with 55 seconds remaining made things more interesting than necessary, but Rinne stood tall & finished off the shut out.
The Preds played a solid game in all aspects & appear to be ready for the playoffs beginning next Wednesday. Depending on the outcome of Det/Chi on Sat at noon, the Preds will be able to plan accordingly & will know exactly what they need to lock up home ice for only the 2nd time in franchise history. Fellas, it’s time to get those beards growing!
F Colin Wilson has been listed as a healthy scratch for the past couple games as he recovers from a groin strain.
The bottom line…
The Nashville Predators are 47-26-8 (102 Pts) with 1 game remaining and sit 2nd in The Central Division, 5 Pts behind St Louis (2 GR).
-In the Western Conference the Predators are in 4th, with the chase pack: 5 Detroit (101 Pts 1 GR), 6 Chicago (99 Pts 1 GR), 7 San Jose (94 Pts 1 GR) & 8 Phoenix (93 Pts GR 2).
-The Predators complete the regular season schedule in Colorado on Sat 8 CT.
-F Alex Radulov has recorded 6 points in 8 games since returning from the KHL.
-F Patric Hornqvist scored his team leading 26th goal of the season Vs Dallas.
-D Francis Bouillon scored his 4th goal of the year Vs Dallas (all in last 13 games).
-F Patric Hornqvist led the Preds in shots on goal with 7, followed by Andrei Kostitsyn & Kevin Kline with 5 each.
-G Pekka Rinne leads the NHL in wins with 43 & has now played in 72 games (previous high 64 last season).
Leg-watch 500- With 2A Vs Chicago, David Legwand now has 500 points (franchise scoring leader) in his career (187 G 313 A) with the Predators.