Pekka Rinne has played a huge role in Nashville's success as a team this season. But in his last five starts, his numbers have began to slip, as the goaltender's recorded a 3.23 goals-against average and .871 save percentage.
And although he's continued to make some impressive saves throughout that span — including in Wednesday's game against the Blackhawks — he has allowed at least four goals in three of Nashville's last five games.
"It's playoff time now," Rinne told The Tennessean's Adam Vingan. "Game 1, ended up losing that one, but just get back at it in Game 2. If you can choose, you never want to give up goals, but that's just part of the game, nature of the game, I guess."
After recording an early 3-0 lead on Wednesday, the final outcome of Game 1 was far from what the Predators were hoping for. But they're not allowing the Blackhawks' comeback get in the way or mess with their confidence moving forward.
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Allowing fewer goals will clearly help their chances, but that's not just on Rinne. Now the entire roster is ready to bring more for Game 2.
"Typically, one game doesn't have anything to do with what happened two days ago, or four days ago or Game 1 of the series going to Game 7," Predators head coach Peter Laviolette told the media. "Every game's its own identity and you've got to get yourself ready to play, mentally and physically, the grind of it. Our guys will be ready. They've proven all year they're a competitive group. They'll be ready to play."