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Nashville Predators defeat Dallas Stars 2-1 to even playoff series

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, TN – The Nashville Predators evened their playoff series against the Dallas Stars tonight with an exciting, overtime win, 2-1.  Craig Smith drove the dagger in the heart of the Stars with his overtime winner.

Dallas won the series opener on Wednesday night, 3-2, to set the tone for a hard fought series between two teams that absolutely do not like each other.  

These are also the two teams that will be featured in the upcoming Winter Classic at the Cotton Bowl on New Years Eve.

Nashville Predators center Rocco Grimaldi (23) celebrates after the game winning goal by Nashville Predators right wing Craig Smith (not pictured) past Dallas Stars goaltender Ben Bishop (30) in overtime of game two of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators center Rocco Grimaldi (23) celebrates after the game winning goal by Nashville Predators right wing Craig Smith (not pictured) past Dallas Stars goaltender Ben Bishop (30) in overtime of game two of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators fall to the St. Louis Blues 2-0

 

Nashville PredatorsSt. Louis, MO – A frustrating night for the Nashville Predators as they completed the second game of a back-to-back series, falling to the St. Louis Blues, 2-0.

The Predators had NO offense against the Blues tonight, but still had a chance to win the game behind the amazing goaltending of Juuse Saros, who was a human punching bag for St. Louis.  The Blues outshot the Predators, 44-19. 

In what could be a first round matchup in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Predators failed to beat the Blues during the regular season with tonight’s loss.

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) defends the net against St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) during the first period at Enterprise Center. (Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) defends the net against St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) during the first period at Enterprise Center. (Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators win shoot-out thriller against the Edmonton Oilers 3-2

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, TN – The Nashville Predators pulled out the win in overtime tonight against the visiting Edmonton Oilers, 3-2.  The game went to a shoot-out where new acquired Brian Boyle scored the game winner to earn the Predators the valuable extra point.

In front of country superstar Garth Brooks and hockey legend Wayne Gretzky and a fired up Smashville crowd, the Predators did what they had to do and that was fight to the end.  

On a day that saw Nashville trade away Kevin Fiala and Ryan Hartman, for the services of Wayne Simmons and Mikael Granlund, the Predators are now set for a Stanley Cup playoff run.

Nashville Predators center Nick Bonino (13) loses control of the puck after being checked by Edmonton Oilers defenseman Matt Benning (83) during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators center Nick Bonino (13) loses control of the puck after being checked by Edmonton Oilers defenseman Matt Benning (83) during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators fall to Colorado Avalanche 5-0

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, TN – A disappointing day in Smashville today as the visiting Colorado Avalanche muscled their way through the Nashville Predators, 5-0.

This is the final regular season meeting between the two teams, and the Predators were just outmatched from start to finish.

It wasn’t that the Predators didn’t have plenty of opportunity with 38 shots on goal, it’s just that they couldn’t get the puck in the net.  Philipp Grubauer stood tall in net for the Avs, who beat the Chicago Blackhawks last night.

Nashville Predators right wing Viktor Arvidsson (33) passes the puck during the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators right wing Viktor Arvidsson (33) passes the puck during the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators fall to the Detroit Red Wings 3-2

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, TN – The Nashville Predators can’t seem to find a way to win games lately, falling tonight to the visiting Detroit Red Wings, 3-2.  

This is the third consecutive loss for the home boys, and Detroit comes away with a sweep of the two game series.

It wasn’t from lack of effort, which coach Peter Laviolette is pleased with, they just can’t seem to catch a break or get the puck to bounce in their favor.

Feb 12, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard (35) makes a save on a shot by Nashville Predators left wing Kevin Fiala (22) during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard (35) makes a save on a shot by Nashville Predators left wing Kevin Fiala (22) during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators drop second in a row to the St. Louis Blues 5-4

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, TN – The Nashville Predators dropped the second game of a back-to-back series to the St. Louis Blues today, 5-4.  The only good thing about the game was their ability to come back to earn a point.

Nashville was fighting their way out of a wet paper bag the entire contest, and never led the game.  Viktor Arvidsson was the bright spot scoring twice in the loss.

Costly turnovers and sloppy puck management has been the order of the day for the Predators and with a week power play, it doesn’t bode well for a deep run into the Stanley Cup playoffs.

 Nashville Predators center Kyle Turris (8) battles for a loose puck behind St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen (34) during the third period at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators center Kyle Turris (8) battles for a loose puck behind St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen (34) during the third period at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators defeat the Colorado Avalanche 4-1, Laviolette notches 600th

 

Nashville PredatorsDenver, CO– The Nashville Predators broke through with a much needed win today in the mile high city of Denver, Colorado, shutting down the Avalanche, 4-1.

Coming off of back to back losses, the Predators stood tall behind the unbelievable play of their Vicenza Trophy winning goalie, Pekka Rinne.

Rinne absolutely shut the Avalanche down in the first period and had it not been for his stellar play, Nashville could have easily been down 5-0.

Head coach Peter Laviolette had commented that he saw a lot of good things in his team over the last couple of games, but they needed to come better prepared to start the first period.  Nashville fell behind early in the last two games and couldn’t recover.

Jan 21, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche left wing J.T. Compher (37) attempts on Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) in the second period at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 21, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche left wing J.T. Compher (37) attempts on Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) in the second period at the Pepsi Center.  Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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Nashville Predators fall short in comeback against the Ottawa Senators

 

Nashville PredatorsOttawa Ontario, Canada – The Nashville Predators made a valiant effort to dig themselves out of a three-goal deficit tonight, only to lose in overtime against the Ottawa Senators, 4-3.

The Predators found themselves trailing 3-0 after the first period of play, causing coach Peter Laviolette to pull Pekka Rinne from goal to begin the second period. 

The move sent a strong message to his team that he wasn’t happy with their lazy play of the opening frame.

Nashville Predators left wing Austin Watson (51) battles for the puck in front of Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) in the second period at the Canadian Tire Centre. (Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators left wing Austin Watson (51) battles for the puck in front of Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) in the second period at the Canadian Tire Centre. (Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators defeat the New Jersey Devils in shootout thriller 2-1

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, TN – The Nashville Predators defeated the New Jersey Devils 2-1 behind the goaltending of Juuse Saros, and a nifty shootout goal from Ryan Johansen.  

Nashville sweeps their three game homestand before hitting the road next week, and continues to get solid play from up and down the bench with key players on the injury list.

Frederick Gaudreau scored for the Predators at 18:43 of the first period, sweeping up a fresh rebound that beat New Jersey goalie Keith Kincaid, for the early 1-0 lead.  Gaudreau netted the goal off of a Miikka Salomaki shot that bounced off the pads of Kincaid.  

Nashville Predators right wing Miikka Salomaki (20) has a shot blocked by New Jersey Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid (1) after a shot during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators right wing Miikka Salomaki (20) has a shot blocked by New Jersey Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid (1) after a shot during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators destroy the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, TN – The Nashville Predators started strong and never let up tonight against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks, winning 5-2.  Nashville got off to a 3-0 lead within the first five minutes of the game and Chicago could never recover.

After an embarrassing loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night, the Predators had a spirited practice session that lasted only thirty minutes to prepare for the Blackhawks.  Coach Peter Laviolette said that the leaders in his locker room “took care of business” to get this team ready to play Predators hockey, and it showed tonight.

Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) makes a save on a shot during the first period. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) makes a save on a shot during the first period. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

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