The Nashville Predators are slicing through the No. 1 seeded Chicago Blackhawks, to the tune of a 3-0 series lead after winning Game 3 in overtime. It looks likely that the Preds will knock off one of the Stanley Cup favorites, and they are doing it, in part, thanks to the stellar play of goaltender Pekke Rinna.
Rinna backstopped the Predators to shutout victories in Games 1 and 2, and may have saved Game 3 early with a miracle stop when it looked like a fluke bounce had left him entirely out of position. Midway through the opening period, with the score still at 0-0, Nashville was on a power play when the Blackhawks cleared the puck down the boards. Rinna left his crease to play the puck behind his net, except it took a strange bounce off the boards and was careening straight into an open net.
Rinna somehow noticed and made a spectacular diving save, flinging his stick at the renegade puck and pushing it into the corner.
Even though the save was made just 10 minutes into the game, it must have been another demoralized moment for the struggling Blackhawks, who can’t even get a lucky bounce to go their way. Game 4 goes Thursday night in Nashville, as the Blackhawks fight to extend their season, while the Preds will try to finish off the first round sweep.