The Predators and Sharks kicked off their Western Conference Quarterfinal series with a bang in front of a sellout crowd at the Sommet Center, playing the longest game in franchise history – a barnburner that lasted more than 88 minutes. San Jose claimed a 5-4 victory to take a 1-0 advantage in the series, but not before a valiant third-period comeback by the Preds that saw them erase a two-goal deficit.Alexander Radulov
scored on a beautiful goal at 13:05 of the third, and J.P. Dumont sent the game to sudden death with the first of four goals he would score in the series with just 51 seconds remaining in regulation.
“We battled through,” said Radulov, who had two goals in his first career playoff game. “Of course, we're not happy about the loss in the second overtime, but I think we are a good team. It's a best of seven, not one game, so we just have to regroup, play more disciplined and not take a lot of penalties.”
Goaltender Tomas Vokoun kept his team in the game as they fought through early penalty trouble, stopping 13 shots in the first period and a total of 33 in the game.
“I thought Vokoun was real good tonight,” head coach Barry Trotz said. “I mean in the first part of the game we took a lot of penalties. He had to be real good for us and he kept us alive.”
Despite the heart-breaking loss, the Predators would bounce back in Game 2, receiving two goals each from Dumont and Peter Forsberg for a convincing 5-2 victory, sending the series out to San Jose tied 1-1.