The Nashville Predators went into the United Center last night looking to steal game 1 and that is exactly what they did. The stellar play of Pekka Rinne allowed the Preds to end the night with a 1-0 win. Two firsts happened last night as well, it was the 1st time Nashville shutout an opponent on the road in the playoffs and the 1st time they won a playoff game while only scoring 1 goal.
The Blackhawks came out strong, controlling play early on and jumping out to a 5-1 early shot on goal advantage. However, the tide began to turn with about 15:00 to go in the period. Nashville would outshoot Chicago 10-1 the rest of the period. At the 7:52 mark the Predators would break through to grab the lead. Viktor Arvidsson made a good play to enter the zone and chip the puck back to Ryan Johansen, who managed to get the puck cross ice to Filip Forsberg. Forsberg wheeled around and sent the puck to the net, where a charging Arvidsson tipped it home past Corey Crawford.
The Blackhawks would take over the game in the 2nd and 3rd periods, outshooting the Preds 23-9 over the final 2 frames. The Predators held on by playing solid defense in their own end. They struggled to get the puck out at times and struggled to keep possession. However, they did keep the Hawks out of the danger area, as many of their chances were from the perimeter. Also, they did a great job blocking shots and getting in the passing lanes to keep the puck out of that area.
The Predators had a golden chance to open it up about midway through the 3rd, when Ryan Ellis chipped the puck up the boards, sending Arvidsson in on a breakaway. Arvidsson would beat Crawford on the backhand, but not the crossbar. From there, Pekka Rinne brought it home, earning his 2nd career playoff shutout.
Game 2 is Saturday, April 15th at 7 pm CT time in Chicago.
Follow me on Twitter at danieljones@dj_puckplanet