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Preds lay egg in front of sellout crowd, Hawks even series…

SPECIAL PREFACE:  We apologize for this post being made so late but, the good news is, all the computer issues have been resolved. This is the last of the late game recap blogs. Thank you for your patience.

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The Jeykll & Hyde Predators have been working overtime this playoff series.

Thursday night was Hyde.

You would think after such a flawless performance in Game 3, the Nashville Predators would know the formula for their success. Well, apparently they don’t as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the home town team 3-0 in front of a sold out crowd at Bridgestone Arena to event the best-of-seven series 2-2.

Pretty frustrating for a fan base who witnessed near perfection just 48 hours ago in the same building.

Pekka Rinne was absolutely spectacular once again. He finished the game with 27 saves and he can’t be faulted for any of the three goals.

His counterpart Antti Niemi has solid as well but, in all honesty, was helped out quite a bit by the Hockey Gods. The Preds couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn on this night as they had 15 missed shots. Kevin Klein, while on a 5-on-3 power play mind you, fired a shot several feet over the net from the high slot. Jerred Smithson, while in the crease creating havoc, found an empty net staring him in the face but shot it at least two feet wide of the post. And those are just a couple examples of “bad bounces” for Nashville.

Early in the third period, one fan told me “Chicago isn’t playing their best tonight and they’re still killing us.” And he was right. The Predators beat themselves tonight. A loss to a talented team who’s not playing up to their potential is absolutely unacceptable. In the biggest game in franchise history, if the Preds can’t overcome some adversity against a complacent Blackhawks team and force their own breaks, than they lost before they even took the ice.

In that third period, it seemed as though Nashville was just accepting that this wasn’t their night. There was no determination, no passion, no life. And that, my friends, was the difference tonight.

This series is now a best-of-three and, if Chicago decides to wake up and play up to their potential – and the Preds don’t play up to theirs – Music City will host a series clinching game alright. It’ll just be Chicago clinching.

GAME NOTES:
* Patric Hornqvist was scratched for the 3rd straight game.
* The only Predator still giving it his very best in the final 0:30 was rookie Colin Wilson. Gotta love that.
* The Blackhawks have only won games in this series where the Preds have failed to score. If Nashville puts a puck in the net, apparently that means they’ll win.
* Dan Hamhuis and Klein were regularly paired together once again tonight and, once again, it was a train wreck. Why this keeps happening, only God knows.
* Coming into this series without ever having won a road playoff game, now Nashville is forced to win at least one more if they want to advance to the 2nd round.
* Blackhawks fan Vince Vaughn was in the house tonight. He will not be allowed back in the building.
* Nashville has never won a Game 5 or a Game 6 in their history.
* Game 5 is on Saturday and the puck drops at 2:00pm Central. The official section303.com Viewing Party is at Bleachers in Franklin. Come join us!

One Comment

  1. Chris

    April 23, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I really would like to know what was going through the preds’ minds all game…. They had a 5 on 3 for almost 2 minutes (and Legwand STILL decided to cut it short with a penalty)!