Local NBC affiliate claims Predators advance to Stanley Cup Final

Sandy Mccarthy
May 19, 2017

I bet you halfway through the season not many people thought we'd be where we are today having this conversation.

When the Predators later received their own two-man advantage in the second period, forward James Neal was the recipient of a brilliant passing display, tying the game with a layup goal. Defensively, the Nashville Predators are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 80.9 percent of their opponents power plays.

Finally, the Blues had never scored the first goal in any of the first 4 games of the series and had only held the lead in a game once, for about 3 minutes in the third period of game 2. "Not only did he stop it then, he stopped it for the rest of the game".

The Blues came out and played the game they needed to play in order to send this series back to Nashville. Johansen is the big center the Predators brought in with their first big trade of 2016, lost in all the attention focused on the acquisition of defenseman P.K. Subban.

The Predators will need to step up their speed to keep pace with the Blues and finish out the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Whether the Blues can afford to get into another low-scoring goaltender's duel Sunday is a reasonable question.

NOTES: St. Louis RW Alexander Steen (foot) returned to the lineup after missing Game 5 and started on a line with LW Dmitrij Jaskin and C Patrik Berglund.

Was it flawless? No. They needed every one against Edmonton on February 26 (a 5-4 victory).

The disappointment was still resonating throughout the locker room on Tuesday during locker cleanout, but when all was said and done for the Blues, it was a feeling of accomplishment for a team that was touted to go through a transition period.

But perhaps most important realization from this postseason - the St. Louis Blues actually have themselves a playoff goalie.

The Predators have been the better team all series and only fell in Game 2 thanks to more than 20 penalty minutes on the road. I thought this year, this team, if they didn't max out, they were close and I think it shows you how close the National Hockey League is because I think Nashville has a chance to win the Cup. It's a place they don't get to without Johansen. The Ducks led each of those series 3-2 before back-to-back losses ended their seasons.

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The seventh and deciding game is in Anaheim on Wednesday.

So how do the Blues go about doing that?

What started out as a handshake agreement at a chance meeting at a dinner party in Nashville has turned into a lucrative and emotional investment that has long had the serial entrepreneur off to games in Music City with regularity.

Get some scoring from secondary players.

In the first period, it seemed like the Blues lacked the necessary offensive punch to outlast the Predators in a do-or-die game. "They definitely deserve to be moving on".

"Both of those goals came out of leaving a guy in front of me", Rinne said.

Otherwise, it has been one disappointing spring after another for one of the game's great gentlemen.

Because they couldn't stay out of the box in the first two periods.

Don't worry about wining the series and don't worry about wining two games in a row. These defensemen are proving that defense can win games.

Unfortunately for the Blues, not enough of them did what they do best.

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