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Blackhawks Swept by Predators, Eliminated From Playoffs

Reducing netfront trafffic, making strategic adjustments key for Blackhawks ahead of Game 4

In a stunning reversal of fortune, the Chicago Blackhawks' Stanley Cup dreams are already dashed as they were swept out of the postseason by the Nashville Predators. 

The sweep is not only the first under head coach Joel Quenneville, but it's the first time the Blackhawks have been swept out of the playoffs since they were eliminated by the St. Louis Blues in 1993. 

Pekka Rinne once again stymied the Blackhawks, stopping 30 shots on goal en route to his fourth straight victory. Corey Crawford stopped 23 shots, and Jonathan Toews scored the lone goal of the game as the Blackhawks were eliminated. 

After a scoreless first period, the Predators came out on a mission in the second period, and they ended up getting on the board to take an early lead. After a face-off win by Ryan Johansen, the puck made its way to Roman Josi, who clobbered a slapshot from the point and squeezed it past Crawford to give Nashville a 1-0 lead. 

That remained the score until the nine-minute mark fo the third period. Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, the next two goals didn't go in their favor either. Colton Sissons scored his second goal of the series to give Nashville a two-goal lead with 11 minutes left, and on a 3-on-1 rush a few moments later, he fed a pass to Josi for his second goal of the game to make it 3-0. 

With about five minutes to go in regulation, the Blackhawks finally got on the board. On a power play, Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane picked up assists as Toews rifled a wrist shot over Rinne's shoulder to cut the Nashville lead to 3-1. 

That's as close as the Blackhawks could get however. With Crawford pulled, Arvidsson scored an easy empty net goal, giving the Predators a three-goal margin of victory and a series victory over the Blackhawks. 

The Predators will next take the ice against either the Minnesota Wild or St. Louis Blues in the second round. The Blues currently hold a 3-1 series lead, with the Wild winning Game 4 on Wednesday to extend the series. 

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