Rinne, Predators Shutout Blackhawks 1-0, to take Game 1
By Randy Holndoner (@bhawkschatter)
Game One between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Nashville Predators was a defensive battle as the Predators stole home ice advantage from the Blackhawks with a 1-0 victory.
Nashville goalie, Pekka Rinne stated he looked forward to getting the chance to play the Blackhawks again, who had bounced he and the Predators twice in the first round the previous two times these two teams met (’10, ’15).
Rinne proved that by being the star of the game as he stopped all 29 shots he faced. Viktor Arvidsson scored the lone goal in the first period on a nice redirect near the front of the net.
Corey Crawford stopped 19 shots in the loss. The Blackhawks did not play poorly, but they did have poor shot selection as for when they did get shots off, no one was in front of the net to screen Rinne. The Predators had 26 blocked shots. The Blackhawks need to find better lanes and be smarter with the puck. They had good puck possession, but not good shots or net presence.
Artem Anisimov returned for his first game since an injury side-lined him for the last three weeks of the regular season. He looked good, and did have good net presence, which resulted in some good chances. He was the only person in front of the Predator net to create those scoring chances.
Notable Mentions: It’s the first time the Blackhawks have been shutout at home in the playoffs since the 2012 playoffs. Dating back to last year’s playoffs, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have combined for one goal. That is not the “One Goal” Blackhawks fans or management were thinking when stating that phrase.
3 Stars Of The Game
1 – NSH – Pekka Rinne – 29 saves, 1.000 SV%, SO
2 – NSH – Viktor Arvidsson – 1G
3 – CHI – Corey Crawford – 19 saves, .960 SV%
Next Game: Saturday, Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks, 7PM
Pictures provided by NHL.com