After waiting nearly five months for hockey to return, the Nashville Predators didn’t even make it to the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The six-seeded Preds’ saw their playoff run end prematurely to the Arizona Coyotes when Brad Richardson’s rebound shot hit the net in overtime on Friday afternoon.
It was a disappointing series for the Predators, losing in just 4 games 3-1. Nashville collapsed early in Game 1 after a fluky double-deflection goal and fell behind quickly 3-0, never recovering.
Game 2 was much different; the Preds dominated for approximately 59 minutes before allowing two late goals, winning the contest 4-2 and evening the series.
In a pivotal Game 3, the Preds fell short. After the Predators started hot and full-on dominated for 5 minutes, the Coyotes scored on their first shot and took a 1-0 lead. Nashville tied it up in the second, setting up what should’ve been an intense final period. Instead, Coyotes netminder Darcy Kuemper was nearly unbeatable; the only time Nashville managed to get the puck past him, Matt Duchene was whistled offsides. The Predators ended up falling 4-1 after a late empty-net goal.
The Preds had their chance to even the series and stave off elimination in Friday’s Game 4, but the team couldn’t close out the contest. After Filip Forsberg’s miraculous goal with just over 31 seconds to play, Nashville couldn’t hang in overtime. It seemed the Preds had all the momentum, peppering Kuemper towards the end of regulation before Forsberg finally found the net, but that same energy didn’t extend into extra time.
It was a disheartening return to action for the Preds, who seemed much more effected by the 5-month break than their opponents in this series.
The 2020-2021 NHL season is tentatively set to begin December 1, 2020.