The Nashville Predators made quite a statement in the first two games of their first-round series against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Nashville Predators came into Chicago and took two wins, putting the Blackhawks into a hole that they must now dig themselves out of.
But did they truly "steal" the win?
The Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators meet Monday in game three of the National Hockey League playoffs first round at the Bridgestone Arena.
By beating the Blackhawks at their own game and playing the same way its played against Chicago all season. Losing by five goals on home ice the next game is something representative of a team that's hasn't been there before instead of one that has. What gets interesting, though, is how and where the Predators are targeting their shot selection. The assist would be credited to Ryan Johansen and Roman Josi.
Let's break these four goals down even further.
Even with all of that it is still probably the right call to stick with Crawford because there is a strong likelihood that he is going to bounce back.
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But this one was all Nashville, right from the start. Colton Sissons battled his way to the front of the net and took advantage of a rebound chance off a shot from Pontus Aberg. Ryan Johansen scored the first and was assisted by Filip Forsberg and Pekka Rinne, while Kevin Fiala scored the second and was assisted by Ryan Johansen and P.K. Subban.
"Maybe try a little deception or try to change the lane a little bit", defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk. He capitalized with another shot that zipped through traffic and past Crawford's glove. Two of these targeted his high-glove side.
Headed into Game 3, the Hawks said they had to find a way around the blocks. Nashville has been out-chancing Chicago and finishing when it matters.
Since clinching the NHL's Central Division and the top spot in the Western Conference with a handful of games to spare in the regular season, the Blackhawks have not been exactly roaring into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Not known as a goal scorer, Toews often creates offense quickly for his line mates and keeps them involved throughout the sequence of a game.
59 Chicago shots, 59 Rinne saves.
What none of this shows, though, is the unheralded work of the Predators in the checking and faceoff departments.
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Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson and Nicklas Backstrom scored for the top-seeded Capitals, who are now feeling the heat going into Game 3 Monday in Toronto.
You should be perturbed at what transpired on Saturday night.
But when the Predators didn't have the puck, they just forced it back onto their sticks - out-hitting Chicago 48 to 31.
Nashville is headed home, where they have, historically, been significantly better than on the road.
Rinne not only shut the Chicago Blackhawks out for the second straight game, he also contributed offensively. It was a 60-minute effort where everything clicked and all the bounces went its way. Chicago has the both the talent and experience to come back in this series; would anyone be surprised if they won four straight?
Want more in-depth features and expert analysis on the game you love? . It's uplifting to have a few hundred fans meet you at the airport and tell you how great you've been so far. Should that continue, Nashville is in pretty good shape offensively. Even the healthy Capitals saw the wear and tear take its toll, and the teams combined for 24 shots in the first overtime.
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