Apr 15, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right winger Patrick Kane (88) is checked by Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis (4) during the first period in game one of the first round of the the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
#1: The Predators Gave Them A Wake-Up Call
The Predators did the Blackhawks a favour, sort of, when they scored three straight goals in the first period of the series in Game One. Corey Crawford was yanked to begin the second period, and with Scott Darling leading them out, the Blackhawks were a completely different team in the second period, and for the rest of the series.
The Predators could have scored one goal, and hung on for a close Game One victory. Instead, they dug a hole for the Blackhawks, and handed them the proverbial shovels to dig themselves back out of it. They did just that, scoring three goals of their own in the second period, and then scoring three periods later in double-overtime to end the game with a huge road win.
The Blackhawks never let that happen to them again in the series, sans a gutsy Game Five win by the Predators back at home in Nashville. When the Predators went up 2-0, and 3-1 in Game Six, the Blackhawks responded immediately, and the Predators never carried a lead into the intermission. In fact, they would never have one again in the series, as Duncan Keith’s late goal was the only one for the rest of the night.
The Blackhawks were rudely re-introduced to playoff hockey in that brutal Game One first period, by a team that hadn’t even been in the playoffs last season. After that, veteran experience took over, and the Blackhawks showed the rest of the league just why they are a serious contender to take home the Cup this spring.
Thanks for reading! For more Blackhawks’ conversation follow us on Twitter: @Blackhawk_Up.