Nashville Predators Make History with First Stanley Cup Finals Berth
The miraculous playoff run of the Nashville Predators will continue for one more series.
The never say die bunch from Music City pulled off a 6-3 victory over the desperate Anaheim Ducks and will face the winner of the Pittsburgh-Ottawa series for the hardware.
The Predators survived a wild Game 6 to advance to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final. https://t.co/RhZDOqn5RE pic.twitter.com/jG96y2rMlE
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) May 23, 2017
The Ducks pounded Predators goalie Pekka Rinne with rubber all night long, holding a 41-18 advantage in shots. In addition, Rinne was harassed and hit at every opportunity by Anaheim players, many of which were borderline cheap shots.
After scoring early in the third period for a 3-1 lead, the Predators seemed to begin their celebration prematurely and then gave up two quick goals to the Ducks.
Not only was the game suddenly tied, giving the capacity crowd at Bridgestone Arena an ominous sinking feeling, but the Predators then took a penalty giving the swarming Ducks a golden opportunity to take the lead.
But Rinne and the penalty kill held up and unlikely hero Colton Sissons scored the third goal of his hat trick giving Nashville a lead that it would never relinquish.
The Predators closed out the scoring with two empty net goals and the building exploded.
The Nashville Predators are your Western Conference CHAMPIONS!!! 🎉👏🎉👏🎉👏🎉 @PredsNHL pic.twitter.com/PhhK5uJr0M
— Nashville Scene (@NashvilleScene) May 23, 2017
This was a gutsy effort by a determined bunch despite a boatload of injuries. In addition to Rinne, some of the credit for the Predators history making win was coach Peter Laviolette who became the fourth coach to take three different teams to the finals.
Laviolette played it off by saying that only meant that he’d been fired a lot but this may have been his best coaching job ever.
Now the Predators get some time to rest and heal. The Senators and Penguins meet in game six tonight and after being clobbered 7-0 on Sunday, look for Ottawa to put up one hell of a fight.
The first game of the Stanley Cup finals is scheduled to be on Monday with the Western Conference team being the lower seed.
Will the magic continue in Nashville?