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Monday, May 29, 2017

NHL : Nashville’s Historic Playoff Run Continues

After sealing the Anaheim Ducks’ fate on Monday night with a 6-3 victory, the Nashville Predators made team history by qualifying for the franchise’s first Stanley Cup Final, which is set to begin May 29. The recipe for success in the playoffs has been two-fold for the Predators: a balanced offensive attack and all-world goaltending. The Predators have seven players on their roster with double-digit points, which leads all NHL clubs. Their top line of Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson has been an offensive powerhouse (38 points collectively), while their top four defensemen have contributed an astounding 39 points as a group.

To understand the other half of Nashville’s success, look no further than their goaltender, Pekka Rinne. The Fin leads all playoff goaltenders in goals against average (1.70), save percentage (.941), wins (12), and is tied for the lead in shutouts (2). There is no question that Rinne has been the league’s most valuable player thus far in the 2016-17 playoffs, and if he continues that pace, fans can expect not only a Stanley Cup, but also a Conn Smythe Trophy to be paraded down the streets of Nashville.

Live odds and lines

NHL Odds: Pekka is the Word in Nashville

As the longest serving active Predators player, Pekka Rinne leads the team in every goaltending statistic, and has finally gotten an opportunity to shine in the playoffs for Nashville. Rinne has paced all goaltenders these playoffs in goals against average (1.70), save percentage (.941), wins (12), and shutouts (2).

With a defensive corps that focuses on protecting their prized ‘tender, Rinne is enjoying the best run of his career. That strong play has catapulted the 8th seeded Predators into the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history, which is set to begin May 29.

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