The Nashville Predators swept the Chicago Blackhawks in 4 games, bringing the Preds one step closer to the Stanley Cup. The Blackhawks were the top rated team in the Western Conference, and matched up with the second wild-card team, the Nashville Predators, who barely made it into the playoffs. But the Nashville Predators came to win -- and win they did. The first two games of the series were shut-outs, with the Blackhawks not even managing to get a single point. The Preds’ goal-tender, Pekka Rinne, was a big part of that success.

Game 3 was a nail-biter, Chicago was up by 2 in the second period, while the Preds tied it up, and won it in overtime.

During Game 4, on April 20th, the Blackhawks had their backs against the wall and the Preds knew they could win the series then, on home ice. During the 3rd period, the Blackhawks pulled their goalie, hoping that the extra attacker would close in on the lead Nashville held -- instead it gave the Predators an empty net goal.

There are a couple of reasons to hate the Blackhawks.

The team is generally overrated, one of their star players is an accused rapist (and when he was accused, the front office did not treat these allegations as something serious), and their name and mascot is offensive to some.

Time to rest

With this win, the Nashville Predators earned a longer downtime between series than average -- a chance to rest that will surely be appreciated after an 82-game regular season and a playoff round in which they gave 110%.

The Predators aren’t the only team who swept their first round; the Anaheim Ducks also swept the Calgary Flames, 4-0. The Columbus Blue Jackets put up more of a fight but the Pittsburgh Penguins will also be playing in Round 2.

Which teams the Preds, Pens, and Ducks will face will be decided within the next game or two.

The Canadiens/Rangers; Senators/Bruins; Wild/Blues; and Oilers/Sharks are all standing at 2-3 (in both directions) which means a team could take it in one, or the opponent could win it in two.

The Washington Capitals and the Toronto Maple Leafs are tied evenly at 2-2.

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