Rascal Flatts Deliver National Anthem at 2018's First Nashville Predators Playoff Game

VGK first round playoff schedule announced

VGK first round playoff schedule announced

Colorado's skaters have been whistled for penalties 3.9 times per game in total this season, and 2.5 per game over their past ten match ups.

"The way (the players) handled that and responded there. starts making you a believer", Bednar said.

A fan even tossed a catfish onto the ice during the Predators' first Stanley Cup Final game in Pittsburgh.

"After consulting numerous weather models, as well as the Metro Office of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service, we believe it is in the best of interest of public safety to cancel Saturday's outdoor viewing party", said Butch Spyridon, President and CEO, Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp.

There's zero question that the Predators win the battle when it comes to which team has the deeper lineup, featuring six players with 50 or more points in the regular season and boasting a top-six that serves as one of the deadliest in the league. Rascal Flatts handled the anthem as the Predators continued their tradition of big stars stepping in for the postseason, and two catfish hit the ice nearly as soon as the last note ended.

In the second, Rinne got help from Matt Irwin clearing J.T. Compher's shot, and the Predators tied it on a wrist shot from Watson that squeezed over Bernier's left shoulder at 3:14. Unless Colorado's other players can take advantage (which they didn't do too well in the regular season), this one should be over soon. "They've been through a lot going far in the playoffs past year so they know what to expect", Bernier said. If MacKinnon can penetrate the defense it gives Colorado at least a fighting chance in the series.

It's virtually impossible to find a weakness in Nashville, one of the favorites to hoist the Stanley Cup trophy.

P.K. Subban is a dark horse Norris Trophy candidate.

How They Lose: Nashville is one of the most penalized teams in the league, albeit its penalty kill is solidly above average.

The Wild limp into their sixth straight playoff appearance with defensemen Ryan Suter (broken right ankle) and Jared Spurgeon (torn right hamstring) sidelined, though Spurgeon is expected back from a 17-game absence in this series. Secondary weapons such as Alexander Kerfoot have to step up. Filip Forsberg simply took over the game. Meanwhile, the Predators field the opposite - almost unrivalled depth at forward. Colorado is 1-4 in its last five games against teams with a winning record. Rinne finished 42-13-4 this season.

Whatever happens, a competitive matchup is much better for all involved than a non-competitive matchup. Only eight of 32 Presidents' Trophy winners (25 percent) have gone on to win the Cup. The Preds are going to be focusing a ton of effort on that line.

Starting this week, the two teams whose last two seasons have been defined by defying expectations will square off. Avs star center Nathan MacKinnon was whistled for slashing at 8:40 - it was Colorado's first penalty - and Preds forward Craig Smith made him pay 10 seconds later.

Jonathan Bernier knows how it feels to hoist the Stanley Cup high above his head in victory.

Game 1 between the Avs and Preds will start at 7:30 p.m. MST on Thursday. Johansen has been more of a B+ than an A+ since coming to Nashville - though he was excellent in the 2017 playoffs.

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