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:
The @PredsNHL. Came. To. Play! #StanleyCup https://t.co/wHbFkep3xY2017-4-21 02:40:59
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.2017-4-21 02:12:41
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? #WOW2017-4-21 02:38:06
Perhaps even more noteworthy is 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. @NHLonNBCSports2017-4-21 02:27:42
The Predators were able to put the clamps on the Blackhawks thanks to a pair of shutouts back in the Windy City—results that have been rather rare over the past decade-plus. According to the Tennessean's Adam Vingan, the Predators became the first team in the past 15 years and only the third 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 season2017-4-21 02:29:16
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.2017-4-21 02:45:15
Thanks to Thursday's win, the Predators will have ample time to prepare for their eventual second-round matchup. The Predators will meet either the St. Louis Blues or Minnesota Wild with a trip to the Western Conference Final 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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