Preds Return To Phoenix For Game 5
9 pm CT (radio pregame starts at 8 pm CT
NBC Sports (National Broadcast)
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Tom Callahan's Game Day Update
PEKKA IN THE POSTSEASON
On Friday night, Pekka Rinne
recorded the franchise’s longest postseason home shutout streak (100:40) with his last goal against at Bridgestone Arena coming in the second period of Game Five vs. Detroit (Jiri Hudler). The previous record for longest home shutout streak was 76:05 posted by Tomas Vokoun from April 11-17, 2004. Rinne also posted the second-longest overall postseason shutout streak in Nashville’s history (90:49). That span includes the first playoff shutout of his career – and second in Predators postseason history – in Game Three. Prior to Shane Doan’s first period goal (14:25) on Friday, Phoenix had not scored since the 3:36 mark of the third period in Game Two (also a Doan goal). The Kempele, Finland native sits atop nearly every postseason goaltending category in Nashville’s history, including wins (13), goals-against average (2.43), saves (734) and games played (27). He ranks second to only Chris Mason in save percentage (.916).
ROAD POWER PLAY PRODUCING
Nashville’s road power play ranks third in the postseason (35.7 percent) behind only St. Louis and Philadelphia. The Predators have collected a franchise-record five goals on 14 road power play opportunities this postseason, including three goals on seven attempts at Jobing.com Arena (42.8 percent) thus far. Ryan Suter
leads the team with three points (1g-2a) on the power play this postseason – all three points have come against Phoenix.
PREDS IN GAME FIVE
The Predators have seen some thrilling Game Fives over the past two playoff seasons. A little more than two weeks ago, Nashville downed Central Division rival Detroit, 2-1, in Game Five of the 2012 WCQ. That victory gave the club its second playoff series win and second consecutive WCQ victory. In Game Five of the 2011 WCS against Vancouver, Joel Ward played the hero for Nashville as the team staved off elimination for the first time in franchise history. Ward tallied an assist on David Legwand
’s shorthanded goal, then scored twice in the final frame as the Preds defeated the Canucks, 4-3, and secured a Game Six back in the Music City. Earlier in the 2011 playoff year, Nashville won an overtime thriller in Anaheim in Game Five of the WCQ, as Jerred Smithson tallied the Predators first-ever playoff overtime goal just 1:57 into the extra frame. The series returned to Nashville for Game Six as the Predators defeat the Ducks to record the franchise’s first ever series victory.
PLAYOFF QUICK HITS
• This is the Predators second consecutive trip to the Western Conference Semifinals. They fell to Vancouver in the 2011 WCS (4-2), after defeating the Anaheim Ducks in the WCQ to advance in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
• Defenseman Francis Bouillon
is tied with Los Angeles’ Dustin Brown and Washington’s Roman Hamrlik for the playoff lead in plus/minus rating (+8).
• Alexander Radulov
has six points (1g-5a) in seven games this postseason. Radulov set a playoff franchise record with assists in four straight games from Game Two thru Five of the WCQ vs. Detroit.
• Ryan Suter
(38gp) and Shea Weber
(38gp) have each taken the ice in every Predators’ playoff game over the team’s last four trips to the postseason – they are the only players to do so. The duo also ranks first and second respectively among all NHL blueliners still alive in the playoffs in shots.
FOUR PREDS NAMED AWARDS FINALISTS
Nashville will send four representatives to the 2012 NHL Awards in Las Vegas on June 20. President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile has been nominated for the General Manager of the Year Award; goaltender Pekka Rinne
has been nominated for the Vezina Trophy, which is awarded “to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position;” defenseman Shea Weber
has been named as a finalist for the Norris Trophy, awarded “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position;” and forward Mike Fisher
, who has been nominated for the NHL Foundation Player Award, which “recognizes an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community.”