Saturday, April 23, 2011

Preds Capitalize; Win Biggest Game in Franchise History

Wow. That is the only thing you can say if you watched Game 5 between the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks on Friday night. The Preds defeated the Ducks by a score of 4-3 in overtime to take a 3-2 lead in the series.

This was such an emotional win for the Predators. After last year's Game 5 against Chicago, the Preds found themselves facing adversity in this year's rendition of Game 5. This time, Nashville responded.

Nashville got the scoring started in the game when Jordin Tootoo created a beautiful play and fed Kevin Klein for the goal to put them up 1-0 in the 1st period.

In the 2nd period, Anaheim got themselves back in the game. Jason Blake got another power-play goal for the Ducks and tied the game at one apiece. What followed would be a 3rd period of epic proportions for Nashville.

Early in the 3rd period, Bobby Ryan scored one of the best goals that I've ever seen in my life. David Legwand made an extremely stupid play and turned the puck over to Ryan at the blueline, and then got flat out embarrased. That gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead. Joel Ward would tie the game at two after he got his own rebound off of the back wall. At 14:16 of the 3rd, Blake scored again for the Ducks to give them a 3-2 lead.

Then, the most timely goal in the history of the Nashville Predators happened. Shea Weber wristed one from the point and beat Ray Emery with 35.3 seconds left. The game would move into overtime, where the Predators would make history.

Just 1:57 into the overtime period, Jerred Smithson scored the winner for the Preds in the overtime to give the Predators the win. This is the first 3-2 series lead in franchise history. This is the first postseason overtime win in franchise history. And, it's the first Game 5 win in franchise history. Needless to say, this game was the most important game in the history of the Nashville Predators.

Nashville will be looking to close out the series on Easter Sunday for Game 6, where Bridgestone Arena is sure to be rocking like it never has before. The puck will drop at 5:00.

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