Predators

The Nashville Predators are playing some unbelievable hockey at the moment.

Everyone knew what Game Two was going to hold on Saturday night. The Blackhawks were going to come out as hungry as ever and the world was going to see what the Predators were truly made of. What the Predators showed on Saturday was that they don’t only belong in this series, but they are here to make a very serious statement as they earned a 5-0 win in Chicago.

Pekka Rinne was absolutely dominant for the second straight game stopping all 30 of the shots he faced for his second straight shut out, plus he had two assists on the evening. On the goal scoring front, four, yes four, Predators scored their first ever playoff goals. Nashville made a statement on Saturday night.

The first five minutes or so was going to be big for both teams. The ‘Hawks could put on some early pressure with an early tally and Nashville could put on even more pressure with an early goal. The latter happened via a Ryan Ellis goal from the point.

The bearded wonder’s first shot attempt was blocked, but the puck fell right back to him and he zipped a puck through traffic and past Corey Crawford to give Nashville a 1-0 lead.

Chicago of course pushed back, but it was the Predators who looked stellar in the opening 20 minutes of play as they out shot the ‘Hawks 12-7 in the opening frame.

Nashville held the momentum heading into the first intermission and that momentum carried over into the second period in a major, major way.

Just 2:51 into the period Harry Zolnierczyk, who was playing in just his second career NHL playoff game, doubled the Nashville lead. Mattias Ekholm converted a ridiculous pass to Zolnierczyk and the Toronto native went top-shelf in fine fashion.

The Preds continued to keep their foot on the gas as they controlled play for the most part in the middle frame and with seven minutes left in the frame Colton Sissons made it a 3-0 contest.

Craig Smith made an unbelievable play controlling and feeding the puck, and Sissons was there to clean up the mess in front of the net.

Chicago ended up out shooting Nashville 14-10 in the second period, but it was Nashville who was absolutely dominating the contest.

The game was certainly going Nashville’s way as the Predators played nearly a perfect first two periods. Then, things got even better for the Preds in the final frame.

While the first half of the final period was a bit of a battle, the Predators made it a 4-0 game with just over six minutes left in regulation. Filip Forsberg made a smart play and flipped the puck on net and Ryan Johansen was there to beat Crawford.

Nashville wasn’t done. The Predators foot was on the gas in a major way and it was clear they wanted to make the biggest statement as possible as they made it 5-0 with Kevin Fiala scoring on the man advantage.

Nashville waited to play its best game of the season on Saturday night and what a time to play the best hockey of the year.

Game three will be in Nashville on Monday night with puck drop set for 8:30 p.m. CST.