Originally posted on Fang Faction  |  Last updated 4/6/13
(Photo by: John Russel/Getty Images) Nashville played in front of their 18th home sellout crowd of the season this afternoon, although because if cheap SouthWest airlines flights (I'm told), it was a healthy mix of Red and Yellow in the stands. With their playoffs hopes on the line, Preds didn't show nearly enough spark to compete with the very good Blackhawks. Nashville played okay through the first two periods, but unfortunately against the very good Chicago Blackhawks, okay just didn't cut it. An early goal by Bryan Bickell, his 7th on the season, was the only scoring news through two periods. The Predators did manage some good efforts, forcing a nice save out of Emery once or twice. The goalie only looked partially confident. The rest of the 40 minutes was nothing less than a Pekka Rinne highlight reel. Seriously, you could make a Youtube video featuring 11 of his 22 first period saves. He was even within an inch of the cross crease pass that led to Chicago's goal. He acrobatically got across the crease and was just shy from getting his big paddle on the puck.  Nashville got a golden opportunity early in the third, when Carcillo was assessed a double minor for high sticking. But Chicago replied with a very good, very aggressive, penalty kill effort that got a big ovation from the "home" fans.  The Predators efforts picked up after that, but, as the story of this season goes, it was too little too late for the team. The absence of Bourque, Wilson and, to a lesser extent, Erat, was felt as many close chances went unfinished. Beck, Mueller and Halischuk all had many attempts that they could not bury. Beck especially could have put at least a few in but was just unable to set his stick right.  Almost as soon as Rinne was pulled, with 1:40 left, the puck sprung ahead to a racing Blackhawks player with a 2 on 0, but amazing hustle by Yip slowed down the Hawk enough for Hornqvist to sprawl in front of the shot and keep the hopes alive. Nashville continued the pressure with a man advantage, but it wasn't enough, as the game ended 1-0 thanks, in part, to some late Emery magic.  The Preds were 0 for 3 on the powerplay Still mathematically possible, but playoffs are all but out of reach The Preds play the Blackhawks again tomorrow, and a third time on the19th. They also face the Red Wings twice and the Blues once in their remaining 9 games. They will need to leap-frog 4 teams to get that 8th playoff spot. 6 Points back with two games more than most of the opposition, the playoffs are just about impossible.  With that on his mind, it will be interesting to see how Trotz operates his team. Will he try to get Forsberg in the lineup, or maybe call up Austin Watson? It will need to be a delicate balance, sine Milwaukee finds themselves in a playoff push of their own.  Rinne, phenomenal, but unimpressed You have to think that the star goalie is getting frustrated in this final stretch. He played his heart out, but just the one goal was enough to incur a loss in a very important game. His opposing goalie, Emery, also had a solid outing, but Rinne is one of few players still meeting fan expectations this season. He is proving that he is worth the money we spent on him, and that the long contract won't effect his attitude. This season the team owes Rinne an apology. He has been there almost every game, except for his Canadian road trip, that he will want to forget. Hopefully the guys are inspired next season and Rinne doesn't regret signing a lengthy contract extension in Nashville.  Mason will likely get the start tomorrow night in Chicago. Goals and Assists 1-0 CHI: Bryan Bickell – Michal Handzus, Marcus Kruger, 5:31 in the first My Three Stars of the Game 1. Pekka Rinne:29 saves on 30 shots 2. Ray Emery: 20 Save Shutout 3. Patric Hornqvist Predators’ scratches: #4 D, Ryan Ellis #57 W Gabriel Bourque (upper body) and #28 C Paul Gaustad Blackhawks scrathes: J Mayers, B Bolland, M. Rozsival  
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin

Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Report: Police recommend charges against LeSean McCoy

Heat interested in Kings’ 3-point specialist Omri Casspi

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

Terrell Owens says Cris Carter 'begged his way' into HOF

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker