Predators Playoff History
The Nashville Predators have made it to the Conference Semifinals for the fourth time in the last five playoff appearances. This time around Nashville looks to advance past the Conference Semifinals and move on to the Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history.
This time last year the Predators were facing the San José Sharks and after the first two games it wasn’t looking good. The Sharks had won game one in dominating fashion by a score of 5-2. Game two was a little different however as it was neck and neck with 2:07 left in the game. Sharks Captain Joe Pavelski received a cross ice pass and put it past Pekka Rinne. San José would then score an empty netter with 55 seconds left to extend the lead. With 3.6 seconds left Predators Ryan Johansen scored to make it a respectable 3-2.
Predators Answer The Call At Home
When the series head back to Nashville it looked like Nashville’s playoff run might end early. The Predators idea was different dominating San José 4-1 in-game three giving them momentum headed into game four. Game four was one for the ages with James Neal scoring for Nashville with 4:21 left in the game to force overtime. With 12:26 left in the first overtime the puck slide into Nashville’s goal looked like it was giving San José the win. However the goal was disallowed after it was ruled that the Sharks Pavelski ran into Nashville’s Rinne on the goal. Predators Mike Fisher got the game winner in triple overtime to tie the series at two game apiece.
Game five was more like game one as Nashville tied the game at one late in the first period. After that goal the Sharks quickly regained the lead and never looked back scoring four straight. After a 5-1 loss at San José the Predators had their backs against the wall needing a win at home. Game six was just like game four Nashville scored late in the third period to force overtime. The Predators would win game six 4-3 and force a game 7 in San José.
The Sharks would prove to be too much for the Predators in-game 7. The Predators were never able to get anything going; they were shut out in the game. Rinne gave up five goals to the Sharks in the loss. It’s the closest the Predators have been to advancing to a conference final.
Blues Playoff History
The St. Louis Blues are looking to make it back to the Conference Finals after losing last year to the San José Sharks. St. Louis started out the series on a rough note being outplayed in-game one. Even though the Blue were out played by the Sharks St. Louis won the first game of the series 2-1. The second game the Blues became undisciplined committing five penalties allowing two power play goals. The Sharks shutout the Blues in-game two while allowing four goals in the process.
Game three did not get any better for St. Louis even though they did out play the Sharks in-game three in the offensive zone. However the Blues could still not get the puck past San José goalie Martin Jones. While on the other side of the ice Blues goalie Brian Elliott could not stop anything. Elliott gave up 3 goals on 14 shots and eventually replaced by Jake Allen. San José won game three with ease 4-0 and took the 2-1 series lead.
Change is Coming
After being dominated in games two and three Head Coach Ken Hitchcock decided to make a change. Allen would now be the starting goaltender and Elliott would be on the bench. The change seemed to work for the Blues offense came to life. The Blues scored six goals that game earning a 6-3 victory and tying the series.
The undisciplined Blues that showed up in-game two reappeared in-game five. While the Blues did not commit as many penalties, it proved just as costly. The Blues allowed two power play goals which played a big part in the Sharks 6-3 win. That win gave the Sharks a 3-2 series lead with the series heading back to San José.
In game six the Blues defense again failed to help them giving up five goals this time. The Five goals were to much for St. Louis`s offense to overcome as they could not keep up. The Sharks moved on to the Stanley Cup Finals after defeating the Blues 4-2 in a best of seven series.
The Predators and Blues have never met in the post-season, but a trip to the Conference Final would be quite the way to start their story.