Last night, the Nashville Predators did the unthinkable, they completed a sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. It was the first playoff series sweep in team history. Now, they will have a chance to accomplish another first by advancing past the second round.
Here’s how the Predators have done in the playoffs in their 19-year history:
- 2004 – Lost Conference Quarterfinals to Detroit Red Wings (4-2)
- 2006 – Lost Conference Quarterfinals to San Jose Sharks (4-1)
- 2007 – Lost Conference Quarterfinals to San Jose Sharks (4-1)
- 2008 – Lost Conference Quarterfinals to Detroit Red Wings (4-2)
- 2010 – Lost Conference Quarterfinals to Chicago Blackhawks (4-2)
- 2011 – Won Conference Quarterfinals over Anaheim Ducks (4-2)
- 2011 – Lost Conference Semifinals to Vancover Canucks (4-2)
- 2012 – Won Conference Quarterfinals over Detroit Red Wings (4-1)
- 2012 – Lost Conference Semifinals to Phoenix Coyotes (4-1)
- 2015 – Lost First Round to Chicago Blackhawks (4-2)
- 2016 – Won First Round over Anaheim Ducks (4-3)
- 2016 – Lost Second Round to San Jose Sharks (4-3)
- 2017 – Won First Round over Chicago Blackhawks (4-0)
In their first appearance in 2004, the Predators played pretty competitive with the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings entered the playoffs as the Presidents’ Trophy winners, the Western Conference regular season and Central Division champions, with 109 points. Nashville qualified as the eighth seed earning 91 points (losing the tie breaker with St. Louis in total wins) during the regular season. Detroit defeated Nashville in six games. In Game one the Red Wings scored three times in the third period and posted a 3–1 victory. Mathieu Schneider scored the game-winning goal late in third period on the power-play in Game two. Nashville struck twice in the first period of Game three and Tomas Vokoun made 41 saves in the Predators first playoff victory in franchise history. Detroit heavily out-shot Nashville in Game four as Predators’ goaltender Tomas Vokoun posted a 41 save shutout in a 3–0 Nashville win. In Game five, Curtis Joseph started in goal for the Red Wings, and Henrik Zetterberg scored a goal and an assist in the first six minutes of the game as the Red Wings dominated the Predators, winning 4–1. Detroit scored two goals 30 seconds apart in Game six and Curtis Joseph posted a shutout as the Red Wings closed out the series with a 2–0 win.
In their first time advancing to the second round in 2011, Vancouver and Nashville had split the four-game regular season series between them. Vancouver won this series in six games to advance to the Conference Finals. Each game in this series was decided by just a single goal (with the exception of an empty net goal scored by Vancouver in Game 4).
In 2012, the Predators played in the second round against the Phoenix Coyotes. Ray Whitney scored the overtime winner in the Coyotes’ 4–3 victory in Game 1. In Game 2, four different Phoenix players each had a goal and an assist in their 5–3 win. The Predators bounced back in Game 3, with goaltender Pekka Rinne stopping all 32 shots in a 2–0 victory. Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith responded with a shutout of his own in Game 4, stopping 25 shots, while Shane Doan scoring the lone goal in a 1–0 Phoenix win. Smith then continued to hold Nashville scoreless until 14:01 of the third period of Game 5, and the Coyotes held on to a 2–1 victory to win the series.
After last night’s sweep of the Blackhawks, the Predators are awaiting the winner of the St. Louis-Minnesota series.