It should come as no surprise that game one of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Vancouver Canucks and the Nashville Predators was pretty much offensively silent, with the Canucks pulling out a 1-0 victory.
The two goaltenders – Roberto Luongo and Pekka Rinne – are Vezina Trophy nominees and the Predators were 22nd in the league in goals for per game and third in goals against per game during the regular season.
It also shouldn’t take too much of a head scratch to come of with a reason as to way Nashville was even in the game as they only managed to fire 20 shots on Roberto Luongo.
Look no further then between the Predator pipes.
Pekka Rinne, put up career high numbers this season, back stopping the Predators to a 99-point season and a franchise first playoff series victory, fending of the favored Anaheim Ducks in six games.
But while his play was spectacular for much of the regular season, for parts of the first round you couldn’t help, but notice Rinne’s “humanness” as he gave up three or more goals in four of the six games against the Ducks.
Tonight however, he seemed back to his regular season form fending off 29 of 30 shots. For a while it even looked as though the Canucks wouldn’t have an answer for him especially after he put together a 16 save first period. That is until Chris Higgins took a pass from Max Lapierre in the slot and roofed it on Rinne with just over seven minutes left in the second period.
“I thought it went in off the back bar, but when everyone continued playing I had a bad feeling in my stomach,” Higgins told CBC. “[Rinne] played phenomenal. He made a lot of hard saves look easy.”
Low Scoring Affairs
Tonight’s low scoring game is becoming a common occurrence in Predator/Canuck meetings. In their four games this season neither team scored more than three goals in the game with the Preds prevailing twice 3-0 and 3-1 and the Canucks winning 2-1 and 3-1.
• While neither picked up a point, Henrik and Daniel Sedin combined for 12 shots on goal.
• Both teams went 0 for 5 on the power play.
• Predators defenseman Ryan Suter led the game in ice time with 29 minutes