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game recap

Predators shut out Blackhawks in Game 1

Pekka Rinne makes 29 saves, Viktor Arvidsson scores only goal

by Brian Hedger / NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Pekka Rinne doesn't have great memories of playing the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the Nashville Predators created one at United Center on Thursday.

Rinne made 29 saves, and Viktor Arvidsson scored a first-period goal to give the Predators a 1-0 win against the Blackhawks in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round. It was Nashville's first road shutout in its nine-year playoff history.

"We did a really good job messing up their systems and didn't give them too much flow," said Rinne, who got his second NHL postseason shutout. "They like to play with a lot of speed and puck possession, and we did the right things on the ice. I think that's a credit for us to interrupt their style of play."

 

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

 

Game 2 of the best-of-7 series is here Saturday.

Rinne and the Predators have twice been eliminated in the first round by the Blackhawks (2010, 2015).

"This is why they call it a series," Rinne said. "Now it starts. I'm expecting it's going to be a long series, and we've got to keep our foot on the gas pedal and focus on Game 2. But, obviously, it's a good position to be in on the road, to be up 1-0 with the next one on Saturday. That's going to be a big one."

Video: NSH@CHI, Gm1: Rinne knocks away Kane's high wrister

The Blackhawks outshot Nashville 29-20, including 23-9 in last two periods.

Corey Crawford made 19 saves for Chicago, which was shut out in a home playoff game for the first time since 2012 (April 23 against the Phoenix Coyotes, a 4-0 loss).

"We've just got to keep getting better in this series," Crawford said. "That was a pretty good game by us, but we have better in us."

The Blackhawks built a 5-1 edge in shots, but the Predators held them without one for the next 13:46. Arvidsson scored at 7:52, tipping a shot pass by Filip Forsberg past Crawford.

Video: NSH@CHI, Gm1: Rinne denies Hossa's shot from the slot

The Blackhawks had a 12-4 advantage in second-period shots and 11-5 in third. They failed to get a shot during a power play with 8:08 left in the third and failed to tie the game after pulling Crawford with 2:00 left.

"We know it's going to be a long series," Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said. "We knew we were not going to sweep them. It's a good hockey team. We just have to regroup."

 

Goal of the game

The Predators made the Blackhawks pay for a defensive miscue on Arvidsson's goal. Johansen got the puck from Arvidsson and drew three defenders to him before passing to Filip Forsberg, who sent the puck to Arvidsson.

"I figured Ryan would put it over there [to Forsberg]," Arvidsson said. "I just tried to get lost behind them, and [Forsberg] made a great shot-pass. I just tapped it in."

Video: NSH@CHI, Gm1: Arvidsson tips in Forsberg's sweet dish

 
Save of the game

Rinne kept it 1-0 at 4:24 of the third period by going left to right for a save at the left post, stopping a wraparound attempt by Patrick Kane. Anisimov got a shot off the rebound but missed wide to the far side.

 

Unsung performance of the game

Nashville defenseman Roman Josi played a game-high 28:24 and led the Predators with five of their 26 blocked shots.

 

Highlight of the game

Rinne's sprawling left-skate save against Anisimov kept the Blackhawks from tying the game with 8:15 left in the second period.

"Luckily it stayed on the ice, so it helps my job a little bit ... long legs and stuff," Rinne said. "I was able to reach it and got it away with my toe."

Video: NSH@CHI, Gm1: Rinne denies Anisimov's quick wrister

 
They said it

"If you are going to make a deep playoff run, everyone is going to have to be great, but your goalie is going to have to be your best player. There are going to be times where he is going to have to be the difference-maker, and tonight he was phenomenal." -- Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis on Pekka Rinne

 

"I don't think there's any excuse in the book that you can throw out there that would stand its ground. It's the first game of the playoffs. We should have a better start than we did tonight, but sometimes there's some nerves and you need to shake things off." -- Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews

 

Need to know

Anisimov returned after missing the final 13 games of the regular season with a lower-body injury. ... Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok returned after missing the regular-season finale with a lower-body injury. ... Predators forward Colin Wilson (lower body) missed his third straight game.

 

What's next

Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round at United Center on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports 2)

 

Video: Rinne's 29-save shutout powers Preds to Game 1 win

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