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Legwand and Ward double up on Luongo, Predators send it back to Nashville


Courtesy of ESPN

Nashville is easing that choke hold 20 minutes at a time as they received 2 goals from David Legwand and Joel Ward both and brought the series back to Nashville for a pivotal Game 6 as the Predators beat the Canucks 4-3 in Game 5

Special Teams:

Powerplay – 0 for 1, 0%
Powerplay For The Series – 1 for 16, 6%
Powerplay For The Playoffs – 7 for 42, 16.7%

Penalty Kill – 2 for 2, 100%
Penalty Kill For The Series – 12 for 15, 80%
Penalty Kill For The Playoffs – 25 for 37, 67.5%

Best Play of the Game: Ryan Kesler yet again earns this spot by lifting his stick high enough after beating out Shea Weber on a 2-1 break and got it past Pekka Rinne to make the game 2-1 late in the first period

Worst Play of the Game: Samuelsson has a complete brain-lapse on the powerplay and let’s David Legwand get past him who pocketed a shorthanded goal 3:42 into the first period, giving the Predators one of the their only leads of the series

Players (Good and Bad) of the Game:
The Good: Kevin Klein – He never gets any love for me because he’s always making mistakes…but you know what? The man was a +3 tonight and actually played an absolutely perfect game tonight for the Predators. Ward will get the #1 Preds star for me, but Klein had a hell of a game

The Bad: Henrik & Daniel Sedin – They were a -7 combined for the game. Wow…

My Preds #1 Star: Joel Ward – You could argue David Legwand should be here…but Joel Ward is now tied for the GOAL SCORING LEAD in the 2011 Playoffs. 2 goals/1 assist/+3 for the night.

Synopsis: Another first for the Predators. For the first time in their 13 year history, Nashville survives an elimination game!…only to force another possible elimination game on Monday.

The real question is, though, where has THIS particular Predators team been this entire series? 4 games into the series, the only time we could really say the Predators played good and deserved to win was Game 2, past that they had been outplayed, outhustled, and out-chanced for about 200 minutes.

Nashville played this game like it was do-or-die, and it showed. They capitalized on a Vancouver powerplay with a shorthanded breakway from Legwand who promptly converted, which is rare to see from Legwand on a breakaway. Then, after going down 2-1 and things were looking rough, Legwand gets his second off of Alexander Edler’s elbow EARLY in the second period.

From then on out? It was the Joel Ward show. Ward scored 2 goals from nearly the same spot and got the Predators out to a 4-2 lead early in the third period. That lead held till late in the third when Ryan Kesler AGAIN showed why he is the Canucks best player and pulled Vancouver within 1 of Nashville.

However, this time in a Game 5, the Predators didn’t give or take a penalty in the final minutes and DIDN’T give up the tying goal in the last few seconds and came out with a big win to bring the series within one game.

Can the magic continue on Monday? Or will the Predators season end in front of what will be a packed and raucous Bridgestone Arena.

Can the Predators channel the 2003 Minnesota Wild? We’ll find out in about 48 hours

Next game is Monday night at 7:00pm CST in Nashville on Versus

My Prediction for Game 5: 3-2 Predators (Overtime)
Real Outcome: 4-3 Predators (Regulation)

Series Record: 3-2, Vancouver leads

Thanks for reading!