A pair of teams from the Central Division will square off on Saturday evening in the first round of the NHL playoffs as the Dallas Stars invade Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee to grapple with the Nashville Predators. The Stars took game one of this best-of-seven series by a score of 3-2. Nashville won three of the five games between these teams in the regular season.
Stars Surprise The Preds In Game One
There have been a few game one upsets in the postseason this year and the Stars pulled one of them as they won game one by a score of 3-2. Dallas was a dog of +140 in the contest and now they will look to grab a commanding 2-0 lead and take it back to Dallas. The Stars trailed 1-0 after the first period, but they scored the next three goals to take a 3-1 lead and held on from there. Scoring in the win was Miro Heiskanen, which was his 13th of the year, Alexander Radulov, which was his 29th and Mats Zuccarello, which was his 13th. The Stars have been playing well of late and they have now won six of their last eight games. Dallas has allowed just 2.13 gpg over that stretch.
Snatching up the win was Ben Bishop, who stopped 30 of the 32 shots that he faced in the contest. Bishop was 27-17 with a 1.98 GAA during the regular season, including 10-8 with a 2.09 GAA on the road and 0-1 with a 4.80 GAA against the Preds. In his career, he has gone 21-13 with a 2.09 GAA in postseason play and 2-7 with a 3.75 GAA against the Preds (Reg Sea). The Stars have gone 20-22 on the road and they have averaged 2.26 gpg and have allowed 2.62 gpg in those games. During the regular season, Dallas ranked 11th in the league in power play conversions at 21.0% and 5th in penalty kill at 82.8%.
Preds Look To Knot Things Up
The Nashville Predators played well down the stretch of the regular season as they won five of their final six games, but they could not carry that momentum over to game one of this series. The Preds will now look to get the series evened up at one game apiece as they do not want to go to Dallas down 2-0 in the series. Nashville did have a 1-0 lead after the first period, but Dallas scored the next three goals to take control. The Preds did score one late in the 3rd, but couldn’t get the tying goal. Scoring in the loss was Roman Josi, which was his 16th of the year and P.K. Subban, which was his 10th of the year. The Preds have been solid in the crease of late as they have allowed just 2.10 gpg over their last 10 games.
Absorbing the game one loss was Pekka Rinne, who allowed three goals on 29 shot attempts. During the regular season, he was 30-23 with a 2.42 GAA overall, including 19-10 with a 2.17 GAA here at home and 1-2 with a 2.77 GAA against the Stars. In his career, he has gone 43-41 with a 2.46 GAA in the p[layoffs and 16-13 with a 2.68 GAA against the Stars (Reg Sea). Nashville has gone 25-17 here at home for the year and they have averaged 2.86 gpg and have allowed 2.45 gpg in those games. During the regular season. the Predators ranked 31st in power play conversions at 12.9% and 6th in penalty kill at 82.1%.
- 5-1 in their last 6 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game
- 10-3 in their last 13 Conference Quarterfinals games
- 29-59 in their last 88 games as a road underdog
- 17-37 in their last 54 games as a road underdog of +110 to +15