In what ranks as one of the most surprising playoff upsets in years, the upstart Nashville Predators finished off the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.
The veteran Blackhawks were blitzed by a younger and hungrier team and unexpectedly found themselves on the wrong end of a three game deficit in a four game series.
Last night the Predators lived up to their nickname and administered the kill, dropping the hammer on a stunned Chicago squad 4-1 and sending the Hawks to trade in their hockey sticks for golf clubs.
DOWN GOES THE 1-SEED!
The Predators sweep the Blackhawks to move on to the second round. pic.twitter.com/ouhSHxN11S
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 21, 2017
What is even more shocking than the smackdown of the Western conference’s top seed and three time Stanley Cup winner is how Nashville pulled it off.
The Blackhawks scored a TOTAL of three goals in the abbreviated series. Not something that a team used to being an offensive powerhouse is accustomed to.
Hats should go off to Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne who was superb in the series. The Finnish phenom stopped 123 of 126 shots for a jaw-dropping save percentage of around 98 percent.
The one thing that every team in the NHL playoffs lives in mortal terror of is a hot goalie because a guy who isn’t letting the puck past him is the ultimate leveler of the playing field as the Blackhawks just discovered.
Now Nashville will get a few extra days rest as they await their second round opponent.