Originally written on Inside Smashville  |  Last updated 9/8/14

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators looks on against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center on November 5, 2009 in Anaheim, California. The Ducks defeated the Predators 4-0. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators shut out the Dallas Stars 2-0 on Thursday night. With the win, the Predators move into fourth spot in the Western Conference standings, one point ahead of the Detroit Red Wings.  Nashville now controls its own destiny in the fight for home ice advantage in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs with one game remaining on the schedule.

Francis Bouillon and Patric Hornqvist scored for the Predators. Rinne made 28 saves.

“It is better to start [the playoffs] here. It is nice to be home in front of our fans. But it doesn’t matter who we play against or where we play. We just want to be ready to play anybody,” Bouillon said after the win Thursday night.

Nashville’s final game will be played away from Bridgestone Arena. The Predators close out the regular season against the Colorado Avalanche. One year ago, the Predators had an opportunity to finish in fourth place but lost on the second to last day of the regular season, being shutout 2-0 by the St. Louis Blues. Nashville will try to avoid repeating that outcome with a win in Denver.

“Saturday night’s game is going to be huge. We are great at home and the fans have been great the whole year. Hopefully we can come up with a big win in Colorado and start the playoffs at home. Everyone in this room wants to start at home. We have a chance to do it. I am really looking forward to it,” Hornqvist said.

For Bouillon, the key to winning Saturday night’s contest is for no one on the team to take off any shifts.

“It is going to be an important game,” he said. “We want to play the best hockey right now. It is important for us to play 60 minutes.”

Detroit’s 2-1 loss to New Jersey was announced at the game. But the Predators were concerned with their own performance on the ice, not with what Detroit or Chicago were doing elsewhere.

“We didn’t know much. I didn’t know the score in Detroit. We were just worried about winning the game and putting it back in our court. We were just hoping that New Jersey would do us the honor of giving us a chance to get the home ice. We’ve got to go in there [on Saturday] and see if we can get it,” Predators head coach Barry Trotz explained.

Chicago also lost on Thursday night by a 2-1. The Minnesota Wild went to extra time for their fifth straight game, edging the Blackhawks in a shootout. There are a number of scenarios that would result in the Predators claiming home ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs, including picking up a win or an overtime/shootout loss in Colorado or a Detroit loss of any sort. Detroit plays Chicago on Saturday.

With the Predators win, Rinne picked up his fifth shutout of the season and first since a 3-0 win over Columbus on January 19th.

After scoreless first and second periods, Bouillon opened scoring at 4:28 into the third period.  Picking up his fourth goal of the season, Bouillon says jumping into the play created more offensive chances for Nashville.

“Hornqvist did a great job putting the puck in front of the net. I was in the right place at the right time. It is always nice when the defensemen jump into the play. The forwards like it. It is nice to create a 3-on-2 instead of a 2-on-2,” he said.

With just over 15 minutes left in regulation, the Stars had their season on the line, but the Predators would go up by two goals when Hornqvist picked up his 26th goal of the season with 2:00 minutes remaining in regulation. Despite an empty net as well as being on the man advantage in the final minute of play, the Stars were unable to break Rinne’s shutout with a tally of their own and were eliminated from post-season contention.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Pacquiao: I was blocked from getting shoulder injection

Chris Paul ruled out for Game 1 against Rockets

Stephen Curry thanks father in touching MVP speech

Lawrence Taylor's son pleads guilty to statutory rape

49ers FB Bruce Miller charged with vandalism


Report: Winston snubbed ESPN out of draft interview

Report: Some Colts players unhappy with first-round pick

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff: Focus is on Julio Jones contract

Irvin on Seahawks not picking up option: ‘F— that option’

Brandon Prust rips referee, accuses him of on-ice trash talk

LeBron James ditched headband to look more like teammates

WATCH: Chris Johnson wants to play for the Cowboys

WATCH: Chewbacca throws out 1st pitch at Red Sox game

WATCH: Kyrie Irving carves up Bulls' defense for layup

WATCH: Metallica goes Jimi Hendrix for national anthem

Brandon McCarthy shares disturbing info about himself

Ole Miss fan got pregnant because of upset over Alabama

Willie Cauley-Stein legally changes middle name to 'Trill'

Marcus Mariota welcomed to Tennessee with billboard

Five takeaways from the first round of the NBA playoffs

NFL has a Los Angeles Rams webpage

10 undrafted free agents who could become NFL stars

WATCH: ESPN reporter calls first First Take a 'train wreck'

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Pacquiao: I was blocked from getting shoulder injection

Cauley-Stein changes middle name to 'Trill'

NFL has Los Angeles Rams webpage

10 undrafted free agents to watch

Report: Winston snubbed ESPN

Life without Love: The new-look Cavs

Drafted player changes Twitter name to ‘Pick 245′

Floyd Mayweather Punch Out mock video game is great

Report: Steph Curry to be NBA MVP

Kelly: Tebow here to compete for job

Tony Allen booed for being rude?

Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods break up

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.