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Nashville Predators at St. Louis Blues
Tip: Nashville WIN ($2.00)
After defeating powerhouse Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville seemed to be the team to beat – and it’s only the second round. However, the resilience of St. Louis proved they could hang with the undefeated Predators. Nashville has never made it past the second round, meaning the Predators could be on the brink of history. This also marks the first time in history Nashville and St. Louis will square off in the playoffs. It’s been a disappointment for St. Louis since 1970. That year, the Blues reached the Stanley Cup Finals before being swept. In the two previous seasons, they were also swept in the finals 4-0. They haven’t reached the Finals since 1970.
Game 1 Recap
With the series starting at home, the Blues looked to capitalize on home ice advantage. Unfortunately, the undefeated Predators had different plans. Nashville opened the scoring thanks to defenceman P.K. Subban’s shot on net that was tipped by Colin Wilson. Nashville would strike again, going up 2-0. From there, the Blues went into extra gear. They got one back before the Predators would take the two-goal lead once again. Then, the Blues scored two unanswered goals to tie Nashville. However, Vernon Fiddler would strike twine and improve Nashville’s playoff record to 5-0, as the Preds dropped the Blues 4-3.
Players to Watch
P.K. Subban may be the star in this series. Already with 3 points, Subban should be on everyone’s radar. Pekka Rinne was once again stellar for Nashville. Rinne is currently 5-0 with a 1.14 GAA. Rinne has also picked up two shutouts from the previous round. Joel Edmundson was on the scoresheet last night, tallying 2 assists. Defenceman Alex Pietrangelo will need to be the answer to Nashville’s scoring talent. Jake Allen now sits at 4-2 in the playoffs with a 1.88 GAA.
Stats You Should Know
Both teams were able to put the puck on net, with Nashville recording 32 shots. St. Louis threw 30 shots towards Rinne. Colton Parayko led all players with 33 shifts and was second in total ice time with 25:16. Blues’ backbones Bouwmeester, Pietrangelo, Perron, Berglund and Steen were all minuses. Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis were minuses for Nashville. P.K. Subban and Roman Josi led the Predators with 5 shots each, while Colton Parayko led the Blues with 5 shots as well.
Although the Blues pushed the Predators to the brink of their first loss, Nashville is still the team to beat. Right now, the Predators are looking solid. Talented on the blue line, coupled with multiple scorers on their roster will make for a tough opponent. The Blues did a good job of sticking with the high-octane offence, which makes this a series to watch. However, you need to ride the hot hand, meaning the Wolf is sticking with Nashville.
UPDATE: Results are in and it looks like our resident tipster was once again on the money!
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