Predators vs. Blues – Game 4 Recap

Predators vs. Blues – Game 4 Recap

***All games here just scoll down accordingly….

Game 1

With the series opening up in Anaheim, the Ducks and Preds look to keep their hot streaks going. The Preds swept the first round and the Blues won in five games. Right away the Preds got back to doing what they do. They played tight in the neutral zone and did not allow the skilled Blues forwards to easily enter the zone. The Blues had to dump and chase to enter the zone. Rinne was great playing the puck behind the net in the 1st period. He was breaking up the Blues fore check all by himself. He even took a penalty midway through the first on a goalie interference. On that power play, the Preds would score the first goal of the series. Subban would control the puck and set himself up for a one-timed blast from the point and it would graze the stick of Colin Wilson in front…

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The Preds were the better team in the 1st period and it carried over into the 2nd. Their neutral zone remained tightly defended and the Blues were struggling to generate offense. Early in the 2nd, Subban would strike again. After Johansen forced a turnover, he dished it back to Subban who blasts another rocket, this time from the blue line, past Allen glove side. The Blues would answer later in the period. After they were finally successful winning a battle behind the net on the fore check, young star defender Parayko would show his skill and composure to get the Blues first of the series…

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A few minutes after, the Preds would quite the crowd again. The Preds were on a 5-3 power play, and shortly after it became 5-4 they capitalized. Subban, from about the same spot his first rocket produced a goal, he would produce another. Forsberg would be there to tap in the rebound….

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After being out shot 15-8 in the 2nd period and down 3-1, the Blues would not quit. They would score 2 unanswered goals within 3 minutes of each other halfway through the 3rd. The first was a great play by Schwartz attacking the net and sneaking one past Rinne 5-hole. Then Sobotka would go dink-dink-dink and get the second with an absolute snipe off three posts….

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The Blues were back. They controlled the game for a majority of the 3rd period. Until a strange play led to the tie being broken. A bouncing puck eluded the Blues defender and allowed the Preds 4th line to get their chance. Vernon Fiddler, who wasn’t on the roster for the first round against the Hawks, would make a great play…

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Subban would get an empty netter to finish the Blues off. Solid win from the Preds. A few good moves by the Preds coach Peter Laviolette. He last-second subbed Wilson in on the 1st power play goal and he added Fiddler to the roster for this series. Two good moves. They also looked like the better team for most of the game. I look for the Blues to bounce back and bring the heat in game 2. They do not want to go into Nashville down 2-0.

Game 2

After the Preds took game 1 in a physical battle, the Blues looked to even the series at home before heading to Nashville in game 3. They would come out hot and get Tarasenko a nice chance but Rinne would shut him down. The pace was back and forth until a Ryan Ellis blast from the point out muscles Blue goalie Allen. James Neal was able to tick the puck to get credit for the goal…

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With the last minute winding down and on the power play, Tarasenko would show why he is one of the best…

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Tied 1-1 after the 1st period. Defense would control the 1st, with only 9 total shots for both teams (6-3 Blues). The 2nd would be the same with the shots being 8-6 Blues. The tight neutral zone play proved to remain a problem for the Blue who like to skate fast entering the zone. Early in the 3rd, a brutal defensive turnover would get Ellis wide open for another blast. Nobody would touch the puck to take the credit from him… Just overpowering…

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Just a rocket past Allen top right. Later in the 3rd, shortly after a power play ended the Blue would strike to tie the game. A blast Parayko would pinball around in the crease until Lehtera was able to sneak it past Rinne…

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The remainder of the 3rd would be non-stop action. Both teams would trade chances. The Preds would out shoot the Blues 15-6 in the 3rd, but the Allen would stop every shot. The Blues would get the winner with 3 minutes off a great skill play by Edmundson to kick the puck to Tarasenko perfectly who was there to snipe on past Rinne….

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What a play. The Blues were very disciplined during the game, not going on the penalty kill. They would also block 24 shots, which helps Allen.

Series: 1-1 and headed to Nashville for two straight. Tarasenko is an absolute stud and he put that on display in game 2. The Preds cannot let him get open and get easy shots. The Preds have been great at home this year so if the Blues can even the series on the road that can help prevent an elimination game in Nashville in game 6.

Game 3

With both teams splitting the games in St. Louis, the series headed back to Smashville for a YUGE (trump voice) game 3. The 1st period would be a battle for the first score. Both goalies were good controlling rebounds. Both teams would trade chances. There were 5 penalties but no power play goals. However, soon after a Preds power play ended they would open the scoring to take the lead midway through the 1st. Ryan Ellis continues to kill the Blues, sniping one 5-hole past Allen…

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Early in the 2nd, another decision by Preds head coach Peter Laviolette pays off. In game 1, Fiddler who did not play in the first round would get the game winner. Wilson also didn’t play in the first round and would score a power play goal. Now in game 3… Cody McLeod (who did not play in the first round) would score off a tip in to put the Preds up 2-0 early in the 2nd. Nashville would absolutely own the 2nd period, holding the Blues without a shot until the 7 minute marker… where they would score on their first shot…

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After the 2nd, the Preds would be out shooting the Blues 29-14. After the Preds owned the 2nd, it seemed like they were winning big but the Blues would survive to keep it close. Allen was fantastic. He made many great saves to keep them close, like this one…

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Later in the 3rd with about 5 minutes left, another Laviolette move would pay off. Harry Zolniercyk, who did not play in games 1 or 2, would do a great job in behind the Blues net. The Preds were changing line and he made it able for them to execute a change on offense. They would keep it in and line Josi up for a blast from the blue line…

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This would end up being the game winner. The Blues would get their chances to but Rinne and the solid Preds defense would shut them out. The Preds would win 62% of the face offs and win one late to finish the Blues off. The end of the game got very chippy between Pietrangelo and some Preds to set up game 4.

Series: 2-1 Preds with game 4 at home in Nashville. The Preds did a great job winning the face off battle which helped them control the pace of the game and run the neutral zone. Their depth remains an x-factor with 13 different goal scorers (most in the playoffs). Props to Pietrangelo who battled his ass off. He took a Subban slap shot to the chest and did not come out. He was the one defending his team at the end of the game. Beast. Game 4 should get physical right away and be a good one.

Game 4

The series remained in Nashville for a big time game 4 match up. The Preds have been great at home this season (24-9-8 during the regular season and 3-0 in the playoffs) and look to continue that. Defense, goal tending and physical play would dominate the first two periods. Check this Rinne save on superstar Tarasenko early…

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Ryan Ellis who has been great this series would help Rinne out late in the 2nd period with this heads up play to dive and protect the net…

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Gotta love those chaotic plays around the net. Neiher team was able to get 10+ shots in the first two periods. The Blues would have 18 and the Preds would have 15 going into the 3rd. Allen would show his goal tending skills with this amazing kick save early in the 3rd…

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The entire 3rd period would be chaos with both teams fighting for the critical game 4. Five minutes into the 3rd, the Preds would strike first. They would go on the power play, move the puck around and set Forsberg up for wrist shot. His shot would bounce around and makes its way out from the scrum in front and roll out to Ellis who is crashing to bury the puck in the back of the net…

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The crowd was roaring after that and their home ice advantage was kicking in. The Blues would fight back and give themselves some good chances to tie the game. Later in the period, James Neal would would go on an agressive forecheck and cause a turnover in the Blues’ zone. He would win the battle for the puck and take a ridiculous shot, just admire this play…

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Just a great veteran play to be aware that the bouncing puck would be trouble sum for the skating defender. Plus he just won the battle for the puck and the rest is just skill (maybe luck). The Blues would answer shortly after when Edmundson goes bar-down off a long offensive attack…

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The Blues would not be able to muster up another goal to tie the game. They would win almost every statistic except the most important one, goals scored.statGM4.PNG

The Preds have just capitalized on more of their chances essentially. Their defenders have been so reliable on both ends of the ice. Ellis has 9 points and is +5. Josi has 3 goals and is +3. Subban has 6 points and is +7. Ekholm is +6. When you have consistent defensive play along with a reliable deep offensive lineup (they have the most different goal scorers) this recipe will produce wins.

Series: 3-1 Preds. The Preds remain perfect at home, 4-0. They are getting production from everyone which killed the Hawks and is causing trouble for the Blues. The consistent defense makes Rinne’s job easier plus he has has been fantastic. Peter Laviolette has made great roster moves that ended up producing critical scores. Enough cant be said about their performance these first 8 games of the playoffs. All around amazing efforts from top to bottom on the roster. The city of Nashville is fully behind this team. Pierre Mcguire described their crowd was the loudest he had heard in a long time. After Ellis scored the first goal of the game, the crowd was definitely a factor. Game 5 heads back to St. Louis

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