Predators move on to second round after sweeping Blackhawks
Predators move on to second round after sweeping Blackhawks
Predators beat Blackhawks 4-1 to complete sweep
21 Abril, 2017, 19:51
Before the start of the playoffs, Nashville Predators General Manager David Poile said his team's first-round matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks was reminiscent of 2012, when the Predators met the Detroit Red Wings for the third time in the postseason. The Rangers now lead the series 3-2 with a chance to clinch on Saturday night in NY.
The Hawks will head home to lick their wounds while the Preds will wait for the victor of the Blues-Wild series, which St. Louis leads 3-1. They just weren't good enough.
The Predators were billed as Stanley Cup contenders before the season after putting together arguably their most talented roster since the franchise launched in 1998-99.
"We're just, we're scratching the surface", Laviolette said.
But those 50 wins are for naught, and it may not be too much of a stretch to say this is the worst Blackhawks team since the dark days ended with Kane and Toews" arrival, worse than even the "08 team that missed the playoffs entirely.
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Bryan Rust scored twice for Pittsburgh, Phil Kessel added his second of the playoffs and Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 49 saves.
Pittsburgh will face the victor of the Toronto-Washington series in the conference semifinals starting next week.
The Blue Jackets responded with goals from William Karlsson and Boone Jenner to pull to within 3-2 before the end of the second period.
Josi snapped a scoreless tie at 9:41 of the second period, capping a long stretch of play in the Chicago defensive zone by ripping a slapper from the right wall through Crawford's legs for his first goal of the series.
Desharnais, in the slot, one-timed a Leon Draisaitl cross-ice pass past Sharks goaltender Martin Jones to cap an overtime session dominated by Edmonton.
Sidney Crosby scored on a one-timer from Evgeni Malkin for a power-play goal and some breathing room at 5:31 of the third before Scott Wilson scored 51 seconds later on a backward tip to give the Penguins an insurmountable lead. Arvidsson tacked on an empty-netter at 18:12, his second of the series, as the fans chanted "Sweep".
Chris Kreider's shot on a rush went off Alexei Emelin's stick right to Zibanejad for a shot into an open side.
The Oilers lead the best-of-seven series 3-2. A year ago they made it to a Game 7 vs. the St. Louis Blues.
The Rangers and Canadiens also play their Game 5 after NY held off Montreal at home in a close, one-goal contest. Pekka Rinne, who made 30 saves in the finale, virtually shut them down the whole series. Carey Price had 33 stops.
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