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Nashville Predators lose to the Dallas Stars 2-1, season over

 

Nashville PredatorsDallas, TX – The Nashville Predators lost to the Dallas Stars tonight to end their season, 2-1.  The pivotal game six was a must win situation for Nashville to force a game seven in the Music City on Wednesday night.

It was not to be.  Nashville lost the last three games in a row to end the season on a thud.  Dallas now advances to play the St. Louis Blues.

The Predators got off to a good start, scoring the first goal of the game at  5:47 of the opening period when Austin Watson found a rebound in front of the Dallas net to give Nashville the early 1-0 lead.  

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) stops a shot by Dallas Stars center Jason Dickinson (16) during the second period in game six of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) stops a shot by Dallas Stars center Jason Dickinson (16) during the second period in game six of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators fall to the Dallas Stars 5-3, face elimination

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, TN – The Nashville Predators have been backed into a corner by the Dallas Stars, losing at home, 5-3 and now facing elimination in their first round playoff series.

Dallas was all over the Predators right from the puck drop in today’s matinee game.  The Stars now lead the best of seven series, 3-2, and can capture the series on Monday night in Dallas.

Nashville got on the board first, which is usually a good omen, when Rocco Grimaldi scored at 6:25 of the opening frame.  Grimaldi captured a bouncing puck while driving to the net and netted the goal past Ben Bishop to take the early lead, 1-0.

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) is unable to stop a slap shot from Dallas Stars center Jason Dickinson (16) during the third period in game five of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena.  (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) is unable to stop a slap shot from Dallas Stars center Jason Dickinson (16) during the third period in game five of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena.  (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators manhandled by the Dallas Stars 5-1

 

Nashville PredatorsDallas, TX – The Nashville Predators were dominated by the Dallas Stars tonight, 5-1.  Every aspect of the Dallas attack was on point as the Stars evened the series 2-2.

The two teams head back to Nashville for a Saturday afternoon matinee at the Bridgestone Arena.  Puck drop is at 2:00pm.

The Predators never knew what hit them as the Stars scored three goals within the first ten minutes of the game.  Nashville didn’t help their cause any with four penalties in the first period, putting Dallas on the power play.  

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) defends against Dallas Stars right wing Alexander Radulov (47) and center Tyler Seguin (91) during the third period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) defends against Dallas Stars right wing Alexander Radulov (47) and center Tyler Seguin (91) during the third period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

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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 drop the Buffalo Sabres 3-2, move back into a tie for Central Division lead

 

Nashville PredatorsBuffalo, NY – The Nashville Predators move back atop the central division with a win tonight against the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2.

Ryan Johansen scored the game winner and the Predators now sit atop the division, tied with the Winnipeg Jets in what looks to be a real dogfight to the finish, with two games remaining on the schedule. 

At presstime, the Jets were trailing the Minnesota Wild, 4-1.  The Nashville win puts them two points up on the St. Louis Blues who have been breathing down Nashville’s back for the last week.

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) looks to make a save during the second period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) looks to make a save during the second period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

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My Two Cents: The Nashville Predators race to a photo finish

 

My Two-Cents with Hank BonecutterClarksville, TN – The National Hockey League is racing to the finish line of their regular season schedule.  The “second” season begins next week with the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Nashville Predators have a spot in those playoffs, yet as of this writing, we don’t know who or where they will play.  It doesn’t matter, because Predators fans are RABID about their team even though their play of late hasn’t been too consistent.

Nashville Predators center Rocco Grimaldi (23) and Montreal Canadiens left wing Paul Byron (41) battle for the puck in front of goaltender Juuse Saros (74) during the first period at Bell Centre. (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators center Rocco Grimaldi (23) and Montreal Canadiens left wing Paul Byron (41) battle for the puck in front of goaltender Juuse Saros (74) during the first period at Bell Centre. (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators downed by Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, TN – The Nashville Predators were thumped by the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight in Nashville, 5-2.  Columbus is fighting for a spot in the playoffs and played like their hockey lives depended on it tonight.

Scoring just fifty seconds into the contest, the Blue Jackets set the tone early and went on to dominate the Predators on their home ice.

Nashville is still tied with the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the central division of the Western Conference, but the St. Louis Blues posted a win tonight and inch to within two points of the leaders.  The final week of the regular season is going to be a doozy. 

Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59) passes the puck from behind his net during the first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59) passes the puck from behind his net during the first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1

 

Nashville PredatorsPittsburgh, PA – The Nashville Predators defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins behind some stellar goaltending from Pekka Rinne tonight, 3-1.

The win avenges a loss to these Pens last week at Bridgestone Arena, as the Preds fell in a shootout. 

Combined with a loss last night by the Winnipeg Jets, and a loss tonight by the St. Louis Blues, the Predators are still very much alive to win the central division of the Western Conference.

All facets of Nashville’s game were on point tonight, with exceptional defense and a power play goal by Viktor Arvidsson.  

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray (30) makes a save against Nashville Predators right wing Craig Smith (15) during the second period at PPG PAINTS Arena.  (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray (30) makes a save against Nashville Predators right wing Craig Smith (15) during the second period at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators defeat the Minnesota Wild 1-0 clinch Stanley Cup Playoff spot

 

Nashville PredatorsSt. Paul, MN – The Nashville Predators punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup playoffs tonight with a win over the Minnesota Wild, 1-0.  Ryan Johansen scored the game winner, just 4:32 into the opening period.

The Predators were coming off of a humiliating loss to the central division leading Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night and with the St. Louis Blues breathing down their neck, they desperately needed a win tonight.

Winnipeg lost to the Dallas Stars, but the Blues beat the Vegas Golden Knights to stay within two points of the Predators.  The final few games of the regular season will determine how these teams shake out for the playoffs.  Nashville still has a chance to win the division, but they could also fall to third place by seasons end.

Nashville Predators goalie Juuse Saros (74) makes a save in front of Minnesota Wild forward Luke Kunin (19) during the second period at Xcel Energy Center. (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators goalie Juuse Saros (74) makes a save in front of Minnesota Wild forward Luke Kunin (19) during the second period at Xcel Energy Center. (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators humiliated by Winnipeg 5-0

 

Nashville PredatorsWinnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – The Nashville Predators were no match tonight for the central division leading Winnipeg Jets, getting shutout 5-0.

There will be a lot of soul searching in the Predators locker room after this one, and it will be interesting to see which direction this team goes from here. 

Nashville was hoping for a chance to take over the division with a win, and now they’re looking over their shoulder at St. Louis making a charge for second place.

Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine (29) skates towards Nashville Predators right wing Viktor Arvidsson (33) in the first period at Bell MTS Place. (James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports)

Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine (29) skates towards Nashville Predators right wing Viktor Arvidsson (33) in the first period at Bell MTS Place. (James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports)

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