It took 13 years, but the Nashville Predators are finally on their way to the second round of the NHL playoffs. After defeating the Anaheim Ducks, 4-2, in Game 6, they closed out a series for the first time and eliminated the No. 4 seeded Ducks.
Fittingly, the fourth goal was thrown into the empty net by David Legwand, the leading scorer in Predators history and one of the few remaining players from the franchise's inaugural season. It was a completely different guy, rookie Nick Spaling, who had the biggest night for the Preds though, tying the score late in the first and pitting the game-winning goal in the third period.
That game-winner came exactly three minutes after a goal by Patric Hornqvist was waived off. He knocked the puck out of midair and past Anaheim goaltender Ray Emery with his stick, and there wasn't enough evidence according to video review to overturn the call on the ice. At least, that's what the NHL says. It seemed clear to most objective observers that it should have been a goal, but nonetheless, it didn't impact the outcome of the game.
Teemu Selanne was a horse again for the Ducks, and the hope is that we didn't just see his final game. He's been incredible all season long for the Ducks, but especially down the stretch of the season when he seemingly took the team on his back. His team won't be moving on and indeed he may not be moving on to next season, but we'll all be lucky if he decides otherwise.
For more on the game, check in with our Preds blog, On the Forecheck, where they are likely popping some champagne tonight. For the other side of the story, be sure to see our Ducks blog, Anaheim Calling.