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game recap

Predators finish sweep of Blackhawks with Game 4 win at home

Nashville scores twice in third period, advances to second round in back-to-back seasons

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Predators completed the first Stanley Cup Playoff sweep in their history with a 4-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday. 

The Predators advanced to second round for the fourth time and will play either the St. Louis Blues or Minnesota Wild. 

"It's definitely a great feeling," Nashville defenseman Roman Josi said. "I thought we played a great series. That's a great team over there, and we've got a lot of respect for them. They've got some world-class players, and I thought we played really well in all of those four games."


[WATCH: All Predators vs. Blackhawks highlights | RELATED: Complete Nashville vs. Chicago series coverage]


Chicago clinched the top seed in the Western Conference on an off day April 1. The Blackhawks did not win another game, losing eight in a row (final four of regular season, four in playoffs).

"Give them credit," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "They played great. I still think we didn't push in a lot of areas. We could have had the puck a lot more in a lot of situations, lost lots of those 1-on-1 or those individual battles, relentless around the net, missing shots, missing pucks. I think that was contagious. We had to be better."

Video: CHI@NSH, Gm4: Rinne keeps puck out through scramble

Predators goalie Pekka Rinne made 30 saves and allowed three goals in the series. He made 123 saves for an 0.70 goals-against average and .976 save percentage.

"I'm feeling good," the 34-year-old said. "I felt confident throughout the series. I thought that Games 1 and 3 especially, [were] huge wins momentum-wise. Getting the first road game and then the first game at home, that overtime game (a 3-2 win Monday), I think that was a difference in the series. We found a way to win a game every single night." 

Josi gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 9:41 of the second period on a one-timer from above the right faceoff circle. His shot got through traffic and beat Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford five-hole. 

Colton Sissons gave the Predators a 2-0 lead at 8:52 of the third period on a shot from the slot. It hit the post, bounced off Crawford's back and into the net. 

Josi gave the Predators a 3-0 lead at 10:21. Sissons took a pass from Austin Watson and slid the puck to Josi, who beat Crawford for his second goal of the playoffs.

Video: CHI@NSH, Gm4: Josi wires a one-timer past Crawford

"When you start something, you don't sit there and plan to sweep," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "You don't sit there and plan a shutout. You plan a game plan to go out and how you want to play. I thought our guys played really well. I thought they executed it really well." 

Jonathan Toews scored on the power play at 14:42 of the third period make it 3-1, before Viktor Arvidsson made it 4-1 on an empty-net goal with 1:48 left. 

St. Louis leads Minnesota 3-1 in their best-of-7 series with Game 5 on Saturday.

Video: CHI@NSH, Gm4: Rinne on his performance in the series


Goal of the game

Josi's second goal was a tic-tac-toe play he finished off a pass to Crawford's blocker side by Sissons. Josi joined the rush and beat Toews to the puck.

Video: CHI@NSH, Gm4: Josi finishes passing play for second


Save of the game

Patrick Kane tried to beat Rinne through the five-hole from the left faceoff circle in the third period, but Rinne squeezed his pads in time and controlled the rebound. 


Unsung performance of the game

Filip Forsberg blocked a shot attempt by Kane in the second period to prevent a goal into an open net and keep the score 1-0. 


Highlight of the game

The puck got caught in Crawford's pads on Sissons' goal and went into the net when Crawford moved laterally across the crease.

Video: CHI@NSH, Gm4: Sissons' wrister banks in off Crawford


They said it

"It's tough to lose a series and fall short. It's a whole different story to lose four straight and get swept like we did. I think we've got guys in this room that have experienced the highs of going all the way. I think aside from what it would feel like to miss the playoffs, especially with the potential in this room, this has to be the next worse feeling for sure." -- Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews


"We're only concerned about one thing right now, honestly. Guys played some great hockey. There's so much belief in our room, really. We believed we could beat that team. I don't think hardly anyone else did, but that didn't matter. Now it's just what's next, focusing on that, and just keep getting better through these playoffs and worry about that next team." -- Predators captain Mike Fisher


Need to know

The Blackhawks are the third team in NHL history to be swept in the first round of the playoffs after having the best record in their conference during the regular season (1981 Montreal Canadiens, by Edmonton Oilers in best-of-5 preliminary round; and 1993 Blackhawks, by St. Louis Blues in division semifinals), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The 1993 series was the last time Chicago was swept. … Kane had an assist to finish with two points (one goal, one assist) in the series. He was tied for second in the NHL during the regular season (89 points).


What's next

Blackhawks: Season over

Predators: Western Conference Second Round, TBD


Video: Preds complete sweep of Hawks with 4-1 victory

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