Found April 03, 2012 on
The playoffs are almost here and Smashville can feel it. It's time for winning playoff hockey to be played.
On Tuesday night, the Nashville Predators played well enough defensively to escape from the Minnesota Wild with a 2-1 victory, which means two much-needed points in the standings. Nashville is currently playing a game of back-and-forth with Detroit and Chicago for the four seed in the West (which would mean home-ice in the first round).
Minnesota has already been eliminated from playoff contention, but you couldn't tell from watching them play on Tuesday. They hustled down ice and still haven't quit on the season. We all know that a team in their position simply relishes the opportunity to play spoiler to playoff-bound teams.
Therefore it came as no surprise that this was a hard-fought game, featuring defense and toughness. Things got ugly early.
The first period featured a combined 10 penalty minutes between both teams. Despite this, the period ended up remaining scoreless. For the Predators, Ryan Suter got two minutes for cross-checking, Brandon Yip got two minutes for roughing and David Legwand got two minutes for interference.
In the second period, however, was an about-face: multiple goals were scored, and there were no penalties. At 12:31 Gabriel Bourque gave Nashville the 1-0 lead in the game with his seventh goal of the season, with an assist from Nick Spaling.
The lead would not last for too long, as Minnesota tied the game 1-1 with just over two minutes remaining in the period with goal number 23 on the season by Dany Heatley, which was assisted by Nate Prosser and Mikko Koivu.
While there was no scoring in the third period, there was another rash of penalties, including another six total minutes by the Predators alone. The most egregious penalty by Nashville was the tripping penalty on Andrei Kostitsyn that occured at the 19:48 mark in the period...which meant the penalty would carry over into overtime.
Thankfully Nashville was able to survive the penalty, although there were a couple of shots on goal that came close, and the overtime period also played out to be scoreless.
Enter one of this season's most popular players for the Predators: the recently added Alexander Radulov. After two misses from Minnesota on shootout attmepts, Radulov hit the lone score in the shootout that would propell the Predators to victory after Minnesota missed one last time.
Anders Lindback had an outstanding game, getting 25 saves on 26 attempts, while Nicklas Backstrom had a great game for Minnesota, getting 23 saves on 24 attempts.
The Nashville Predators will face the Dallas Stars in Nashville on Thursday night. Currently the Predators are sitting in fourth in the stadings, one point ahead of Detroit and two points ahead of Chicago. Nashville has just two games remaining in the season and Detroit and Chicago will face each other to end the season.
BEST OF MAXIM
NASHVILLE As the story goes, Pekka Rinne played so rarely back in his native Finland that the Predators' scout who found him based his opinions solely on what he saw in warm-ups.
The Predators drafted the goalie in 2004 four years after he became eligible, meaning that for four years no other team saw anything in him that made him worth gambling a pick on, even in the eighth...
With the Cincinnati Cyclones’ ECHL season over, the Nashville Predators have elected to call up goaltender prospect Chet Pickard.
Don’t read too much into this move, however. If they wanted to get Pickard playing time, they would have assigned him to the AHL Milwaukee Admirals. Instead, they called him up to the big club so that the 2008 first round pick can work closer with...
The Nashville Predators are in a three-way battle for fourth place in the Western Conference standings with Detroit and Chicago. With fourth place comes home ice advantage during the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Some Predators admit to watching scores from around the Central Division
On Tuesday night, Nashville’s 2-1 shootout win over the Minnesota Wild temporarily...
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Alexander Radulov scored the lone goal in the shootout, and the Nashville Predators edged the Minnesota Wild 2-1 Tuesday night to reach 100 points for the second time in three seasons.
The Predators, who have two games left, moved back into fourth place in the Western Conference -- one point over idle Detroit and two over Chicago. Detroit will finish the...
Dallas Stars 42-33-5
Nashville Predators 46-26-8
The Nashville Predators wrap up the home portion of their regular season when they host the Dallas Stars on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena.
Nashville has been consistently strong at home over the last several seasons. Since the beginning of the 2005-06 season, the Predators have picked up 180 home wins and rank...
The Nashville Predators have assigned Chet Pickard to the NHL. Pickard will back-up Anders Lindback, Tuesday night. Pekka Rinne is sick, per Joshua Cooper. Here is the Press Release.Nashville, Tenn. (April 3, 2012) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that goaltender Chet Pickard (CHEHT PIH-kuhrd) has been assigned to...
By Seth Lake
Heading into their final three games of the regular season in the midst of a fight for the fourth seed in the Western Conference and home-ice advantage in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs beginning next week, the Nashville Predators took to the ice at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night facing a Minnesota Wild club that had fallen out of the playoff race, but...
The Minnesota Wild have won three straight games against teams looking to better their seeding in the upcoming Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Wild has played the role of spoiler in the last three games.
Predators forward Patric Hornqvist says as long as Nashville sticks to playing its own game, the Predators should come away with two points.
“We just have to out-work them. We need a...
The Nashville Predators' spot in the postseason is secure, but their recent spotty play means they won't want to take their final regular-season games lightly.
The Minnesota Wild are out of contention, but relishing their role as a spoiler.
Possibly needing to win its final three games for a chance at home-ice advantage in the first round, Nashville on Tuesday night will...
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mike Strasinger
With 4th place on the line over the course of the current week, Nashville knew they couldn’t afford a loss if they wanted to secure home-ice advantage in at least the first round of the playoffs.
With Pekka Rinne apparently under the weather per multiple reports, it would be Anders Lindback that would have to navigate the ship for the Predators...