Next step for Predators: Getting beyond second round

Kitchen spent 14 years as an assistant coach with Toronto and St. Louis before spending parts of three seasons as the Blues' head coach. But goalie Pekka Rinne is confident after this series.

"When you don't compete to the level that's necessary, I take that personally, and as a coach, we didn't find the "all-out" button and get the job done", Coach Joel Quenneville said after Thursday night's 4-1 loss in Game 4 in Nashville. They had nearly three minutes of power-play time in the first five minutes of the game, including more than a minute with a two-man advantage, but couldn't score.

"For a lot of us, this is probably the worst feeling we've had after any season", said star winger Patrick Kane, who likely will decide this weekend whether to play in the upcoming world championships. "They've been a terrific team for a long time". One of their depth forwards, Sissons scored in Game 2 and victimized the Blackhawks with a timely goal just when they were putting serious pressure on Rinne.

The Nashville Predators finally get a new opponent in the postseason after their surprising sweep of the Western Conference's No. 1 seed.

Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk was late getting back into the play, allowing Canadian Sissons to set up Josi with a nice feed to the left post as the crowd of 17,300 at the Bridgestone Arena raised the roof with a thunderous cheer. The Blues have a 3-1 lead heading into Game 5 on Saturday at Minnesota.

"We played our game", Wilson said.

St. Louis Blues celebrate a 4-3 overtime win over the Minnesota Wild in Game 3 of an NHL hockey first-round Stanley Cup playoff series, Saturday, April 22, 2017, in St. Paul, Minn. Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson shared the points lead in the regular season for the Predators with 61.

The defending NHL Stanley Cup Champions, Pittsburgh Penguins are through to the second round after ousting the Blue Jackets 4-1. He had a goal and an assist against the Predators. You have to give the edge to the Blues because they have home-ice advantage and experience winning in this round.

Even if the team doesn't complete the sweep, if they can close out the best-of-seven series in five or six games, I will still be ecstatic. I think they're a team that they capitalize well on mistakes and they can also create if you're not sharp in your game.

Nashville built one of its most talent-laden teams in franchise history after an offseason that included the blockbuster acquisition of P.K. Subban in a trade that sent Shea Weber to Montreal. The pair were the two highest-paid defensemen in the league and both were fixtures with their franchises. "But that said, I know that we're playing a great team with a ton of confidence". "We would get behind, start forcing offense and it seemed like every defensive breakdown or turnover we would have, they would come back our way".

  • Julie Sanders