The Chicago Blackhawks fell 1-0 to the Nashville Predators in game one of the first round quarterfinal in an exhausting effort.
The first period wasn’t too kind for the Blackhawks. They started off strong, but that strength was short-lived in the period. The first three minutes were full of exciting two-way action, but the ice began to tilt just after that.
The Preds took advantage of the Hawkish inability to keep the pedal to the metal by scoring there series first goal, when Victor Arvidsson tipped in Ryan Johansson’s shot nearly eight minutes into the first.
The struggle didn’t end there, as the Hawks went a full 13:47 without getting a shot on net, allowing the Preds to take control and obtain more scoring chances in the period. Eventually, the visitors outshot the Hawks 11-6.
The middle frame, however, was a completely different story. The Hawks opened their eyes and re-wrote the script that the Preds were completely in charge of.
However, despite ripping the pencil from the Preds hands, they fell short of scoring a goal after rifling 12 shots on Pekka Rinne. They exhausted every strategic effort on the Preds, but failed to solve Rinne. The Hawks looked to continue their streak of good hockey in the final period, where fate determined the first game of this to-be heavy series.
In the third period, the Hawks progressively continued their streak of high-intensity style of play. They continued to pressure the Preds, getting seven shots in the first ten minutes of the period. Although, it doesn’t matter about the shot-count, it matters what’s in the goal count.
The Hawks failed to tie the game in the dying minutes, allowing the Preds to take a 1-0 series lead on opponent ice.
Not a good start to the playoffs as the number one seed in the west, but it is what it is. The Hawks started the game terribly, but marched on with confidence as the game progressed. Within the start of the second period and midway through the third, they were outshooting the predators 17-6. That’s 30 straight minutes of dominance when it’s needed most.
In all honesty, the Hawks played a pretty decent game when you take out that horrid first period, which gives a glimpse of hope for the next matchup. Corey Crawford played fantastic, basically keeping the Hawks within arms reach of tying the game throughout the night, as he made 19 saves on 20 shots.
The Hawks will look to even the series Saturday night back at the United Center.