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Nashville Predators fall to the Pittsburgh Penguins in controversial finish 6-4

 

Nashville PredatorsPittsburgh, PA – The Nashville Predators dropped the second game of a two game series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-4, after a controversial late game penalty against the Predators.

Nashville had dug themselves out of an early deficit to tie the game at 4-4, but with less than two minutes remaining, Austin Watson was called for goalie interference after being knocked into Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray. 

The ensuing power play was all the Penguins needed to seal the game as Jake Guentzel stuffed the winning goal past Pekka Rinne.  An empty netter by Bryan Rust gave us the final score, 6-4.

Nashville Predators fall to the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4. (Michael Strasinger)

Nashville Predators fall to the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4. (Michael Strasinger)

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Nashville Predators fall to the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, TN – The Nashville Predators showed the affects of the Christmas break tonight, as they were completely outplayed by the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-2. 

Pekka Rinne started in net for Nashville, but was chased from the game with a little over five minutes remaining in the opening frame. 

This is the first of a back-to-back series with the Pens, as the two teams will travel to Pittsburgh for tomorrow night’s game.

Dominik Simon got things started for Pittsburgh at 2:17 of the first period firing a shot that beat Rinne between the legs and the Pens took the lead, 1-0.

Nashville Predators Hockey

Nashville Predators fall to the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2  (Michael Strasinger)

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Nashville Predators hold on for home win against the Arizona Coyotes 3-2

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, TN – The Nashville Predators stormed out of the gate against the Arizona Coyotes tonight, taking a 2-0 lead, but had to hang on for the win, 3-2.

Predators Captain, Roman Josi and netminder, Pekka Rinne, put on quite the show tonight to lead their team to the victory.  Josi with the winning goal and Rinne standing tall in net to help their team to the win.

In a game with only three penalties, it was fast and furious hockey.  Nashville dominated play through the first two periods, out-shooting their opponent, 35-20.  The Predators out-shot the Coyotes 22-5 in the first period alone.

Nashville Predators defeat the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 (Michael Strasinger)

Nashville Predators defeat the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 (Michael Strasinger)

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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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Nashville Predators fall to the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, TN – The Nashville Predators fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-1 in a Bridgestone Arena shoot-out, with Sidney Crosby proving to be the difference.

The Predators were pedaling uphill all night long chasing the game after a whirlwind start where they attacked the Pens in the opening frame of the contest.  Once again, the story of their season so far, they have no power play.

The two teams traded punches during the first period with plenty of opportunities for both teams, but both Pekka Rinne and Matt Murray stood tall in net for their respective teams to keep the game scoreless.

Nashville Predators right wing Wayne Simmonds (17) attempts a jump screen on a shot from the point against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators right wing Wayne Simmonds (17) attempts a jump screen on a shot from the point against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators defeat Toronto Maple Leafs 3-0

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, TN – The Nashville Predators had their way with the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs tonight, pitching a shutout, 3-0.  Newly acquired forward Wayne Simmonds scored his first goal as a Predator and Pekka Rinne stood tall in net, as Nashville shutout the Leafs for the second time this season.

Brian Boyle got things started for Nashville at 4:47 of the first period when he and Craig Smith pulled off the classic “give and go” to perfection, ripping the puck past Toronto goalie, Frederik Andersen for the early 1-0 lead.

Nashville would take that lead into the first intermission.

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) watches the puck behind Toronto Maple Leafs center Patrick Marleau (12) during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) watches the puck behind Toronto Maple Leafs center Patrick Marleau (12) during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators Defeat The Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4 In Shoot-Out

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, TN – The Nashville Predators got a bit of revenge Saturday night, when they defeated the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-4 in a shoot-out.

This was the Predator’s fourth win in a row after a successful road trip, and it was quite a debut for newly acquired Kyle Turris who scored a goal and had an assist in his Smashville debut.

The Predators still had a bad taste in their mouth after falling to the Penguins in the Stanley Cup final, and losing to the Pens earlier this year.

Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) skates with the puck during the second period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) skates with the puck during the second period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

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My Two Cents: What a Wild Ride with the Nashville Predators

 

My Two-Cents with Hank BonecutterNashville, TN – Well it’s over.  The true “Cinderella” of the National Hockey League, our Nashville Predators, have bowed out.  Losing last night 2-0, the Penguins win the series and hoist Lord Stanley’s cup for the second year in a row.

I was there, and I didn’t like it one bit.

Honestly, I’m so exhausted I can barely hold my head up.  This playoff series, while exciting as hell, has taken me physically, mentally and financially.  I was ready for this to be over a couple of weeks ago. 

I’m going to try and put all of this in perspective as best I can, without mentioning the officiating.  I’ll leave that for another column.

Nashville Predators left wing James Neal (18) and center Mike Fisher (12) react after an empty net goal by Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Carl Hagelin (not pictured) in the third period in game six of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final at Bridgestone Arena. (Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators left wing James Neal (18) and center Mike Fisher (12) react after an empty net goal by Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Carl Hagelin (not pictured) in the third period in game six of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final at Bridgestone Arena. (Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)

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