With their backs up against the wall, the Nashville Predators must fight to stay alive in the second round of the NHL Playoffs. After a tough 4-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
Nashville is in desperate need of a series changing performance, or they could be booking tee times earlier than expected.
A major issue for the Predators, who are down 3-1 in the series, is the ability of Vancouver to block shots. This was highlighted in the last 6 minutes of tonight’s loss where a least a half dozen legitimate scoring chances were stoned, not by Vezina Candidate Roberto Luongo, but by the skaters.
Shea Weber, with just under 3 three minutes left, released a rocket bound for twine, or destined to be a rebound, that was instead snuffed by the pant leg of Sami Salo.
If the Predators cannot get shots through the wall formed around Luongo, they have no chance of continuing their playoff run.
Ryan Kesler has played fantastic throughout the series, and had the eventual game winner on a deft deke of Shea Weber, and a wicked wrist shot passed the blocker of Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne.
Rinne played fabulously in goal again tonight, keeping the Predators in the game by stopping a Sedin Twins two on one play in the final minutes. He needs another effort, and maybe even to steal a game for Nashville to have a legitimate shot to make a comeback.