Mark Humphrey/Associated Press
The Nashville Predators capped off the franchise’s first-ever playoff sweep Thursday night with a 4-1 Game 4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena.
Roman Josi was the man of the hour with two goals—including a game-sealing tally in the third period to put Nashville up 3-0, as the NHL documented on Twitter:
Furthermore, Josi’s effort helped the Predators achieve something no team had against the Blackhawks since 1993, according to Hockey Night in Canada’s David Amber:
David Amber @DavidAmber
Last time the Blackhawks were swept in playoffs was 1993 vs. Blues and Cujo.
4/21/2017, 2:12:41 AM
TSN 1260’s Jason Gregor provided more context behind Chicago’s shocking playoff ouster:
Jason Gregor @JasonGregor
Blackhawks getting swept….First #1 seed in a conference to be swept in first round since expansion? #WOW
4/21/2017, 2:38:06 AM
Perhaps even more noteworthy is that the Blackhawks were limited to three goals the entire series as the Predators shut them down repeatedly, per NBC Sports’ Liam McHugh:
Liam McHugh @liam_mchugh
The Blackhawks have never scored fewer than 3 goals in a best-of-seven series. They have 2 with time running out. @NHLonNBCSports
4/21/2017, 2:27:42 AM
The Predators, of course, were able to put the clamps on the Blackhawks thanks to a pair of shutouts back in the Windy City—results that were rather rare over the past decade-plus. According to the Tennessean‘s Adam Vingan, the Predators became the first team in the last 15 years and the third ever to post consecutive postseason shutouts on the road in Chicago.
|Predators vs. Blackhawks Results|
|Game 1||Nashville 1, Chicago 0|
|Game 2||Nashville 5, Chicago 0|
|Game 3||Nashville 3, Chicago 2 (OT)|
|Game 4||Nashville 3, Chicago 1|
And in an ironic twist, Bourbon Street Shots’ Mason Ginsberg noted the No. 1-seeded Blackhawks were overshadowed in the win column by their eighth-seeded counterparts on the hardwood:
Mason Ginsberg @MasonGinsberg
Raise your hand if you had the Bulls winning more playoff games than the Blackhawks this season
4/21/2017, 2:29:16 AM
However, the New York Daily News‘ Peter Botte noted the NHL postseason tends to be an unpredictable beast:
Peter Botte @PeterBotte
Blackhawks have won 3 Cups and been eliminated in the first round 3 times in the last seven years. This sh*t ain’t easy.
4/21/2017, 2:45:15 AM
Thanks to Thursday’s win, the Predators will now have ample time to prepare for their eventual second-round matchup. As things stand, the Predators are primed to meet either the St. Louis Blues or Minnesota Wild with a trip to the Western Conference Finals on the line.
Entering Saturday’s Game 5, the Blues own a 3-1 series lead over the Wild and appear primed for a date with the upstart Predators.
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