Fiala finishes off Blackhawks in dramatic comeback, overtime win

Photo courtesy of predators.nhl.com

Story by Kaitlin Reeves / Contributing Writer & Tyler Lamb / Sports Editor

The Nashville Predators defeated the Blackhawks in overtime Monday night at Bridgestone Arena for Game 3 of Round One of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Finishing the game in the early hours of Tuesday, the Preds stormed back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Blackhawks 3-2.

Fans were in for a treat as Carrie Underwood, the wife of captain Mike Fisher, jump started the night by singing the National Anthem.

The game started slow with no scoring in the first period and only one penalty, yet Nashville seemed to be controlling the tempo.

Period number two was different as the Blackhawks started the scoring. The first goal came from Dennis Rasmussen at the 1:05 mark and was assisted by Marcus Kruger and Richard Panik. Around the halfway mark of the period, a penalty was called on Ryan Ellis of the Nashville Predators for delay of game. This penalty set up the opportunity for Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks to score the second goal. The power play score was assisted by Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews.

Prior to these two goals, Pekka Rinne had been spotless, stopping everything in his way. The scores ended Rinne’s shutout streak at 141:05, making it the longest in postseason franchise history.

With their backs against the wall and facing their first loss of the series, the third period was the Preds’ time to shine. The redemption that Nashville fans needed came by way of Filip Forsberg, as he netted two goals tie it all up. The first goal was assisted by Vikton Arvidsson and the second by Ryan Ellis and Ryan Johansen. These goals not only tied the game, but would also eventually send the teams into overtime.

The overtime period was a constant battle from both teams trying to find the offensive zone and getting shots off when they could, as both squads needed that extra ounce of energy. But, at the 16:44 mark, Kevin Fiala turned out to be the Predators’ hero.

Assisted by James Neal and Callie Jarnkrok, Fiala was able to reach around Chicago goalie Corey Crawford to score the game winning goal and send everyone home in thrilling fashion.

3 stars of the night

  1. Pekka Rinne – The goalie collected 34 saves on 36 shots Monday night. He now pushes his series numbers to 93 saves on 95 total shots, allowing the Blackhawks to score in just one of the 1o periods played so far.
  2. Filip Forsberg – Nicknamed “Scoresberg”, the 22-year old picked up a game-high two goals, giving him his second career multi-goal postseason performance.
  3. Kevin Fiala – Closing out the game well after midnight, it was Fiala who put the puck in the back of the net for the game-winner. The score was Fiala’s second of the postseason, but his first GWG of his young career.

What’s next?

Up 3-0 in the series, the Nashville Predators will play Game 4 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Thursday at 7 p.m. CT.

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To contact Sports Editor Tyler Lamb (@Tlamb35), email sports@mtsusidelines.com.

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