1998/99: The idea of hockey in Nashville first got wide attention in 1995 when the New Jersey Devils were threatening to move to Music City, while trying to get renovations to their arena in the Meadowlands. However, after the Devils won the Stanley Cup that season it was clear the state of New Jersey was going to keep their team. However, the NHL would be coming to Nashville as they city was awarded an expansion team, as the NHL began a four-team expansion in three seasons in 1998. The team, which would be called Predators, played their first game on October 10th, losing to the Florida Panthers 1-0 before a sold-out crowd of 17,298 at the Nashville Arena. The Preds would get their first win 3 days later as they beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2, with Andre Brunette northing the first goal in Predators history. The Predators would go on to complete their first season by finishing in last place in the Central Division with a record of 28-47-7.
1999/00: In their second season the Predators would show flashes of brilliance as they ran off an impressive eight game unbeaten streak between December 18th and January 1st. However, they would still not challenge for a playoff spot as they finished in last place with a 28-47-7-7 record, as Cliff Ronning led the team in scoring with 26 goals and 36 assists.
2000/01: The Predators started the season in the land of the rising sun splitting a two-game series with the Pittsburgh Penguins in Tokyo. When the Predators returned to the states, they rolled a four-game unbeaten streak including a win over the Detroit Red Wings on the road in overtime on a goal by Cliff Ronning. The Predators would play solid hockey at times with several stirring comebacks and dramatic wins in overtime including on December 23rd in New York when David Legwand recorded the first overtime penalty shot goal in a 3-2 win over the Rangers. However, the Predators would be a non-factor in the playoff race again finishing in third place with a record of 34-34-9-3.
2001/02: The Predators would continue to play inconsistent hockey running off an 11-game unbeaten streak at the Gaylord Entertainment in November and December, but falling short of the playoffs again as they finish in 4th place with a record of 28-41-13-0, as the Predators struggled to score goals with only one player Denis Arkhipov scoring 20 goals.
2002/03: The Predators would stumble out of the gates posting an awful record of 2-10-4-4 in the first 20 games. In a move to shake the team up Goalie Mike Dunham is traded to the New York Rangers for Rem Murray and Tomas Kloucek, as Thomas Vokun is established as the number goaltender after backing up Dunham for four years. The move would pay off as Vokun posted a solid 2.20 GAA as the Predators climbed back into the playoff race by posting a record of 25-15-5-1 between November 27th and March 7th. However, the Predators would not win another game in the final 4 games as they went winless in their final 15 games to finish in fourth place with a record of 27-35-13-7, as the Predators continued to fail to find the first player to score 30 goals in a single season.
2003/04: The Predators would get off to a solid start and found themselves in the playoff chase for the first time in franchise history as they held a 16-14-4-2 record at the end of December. In January the Predators would make their move posting a 9-3-2-0 record. After struggling through the first half of February the Preds began to look to improving their team acquiring Steve Sullivan from the Chicago Blackhawks. Sullivan would have an immediate impact scoring a hat trick in his first game against the San Jose Sharks on February 18th, as he recorded 10 points in his first three games with Nashville. The Predators also would acquire Brad Bombardir and Sergei Zholtok from the Minnesota Wild. The added strength would help as the Predators made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history with a record of 38-29-11-4. In the playoffs the Predators were matched up against the President Trophy winning Detroit Red Wings. After losing the first two games on the road Music City got its first taste of playoff hockey as Thomas Vokun stopped 41 of 42 shots in a 3-1 win. In Game 4 Vokun was even better stopping all 41 shots as the Preds evened the series with a 3-0 win. However, as the series shifted back to Detroit the playoff tested Red Wings regained control with a 4-1 win. Hoping to force a seventh game season came to an end in Game 6 at home as they were held to just 15 shots in a 2-0 loss.
2004/05: Season Cancelled Due to Lock Out
2005/06: Coming out of the Lock Out the Predators were looking stronger than ever as they added a genuine star in Paul Kariya. Kariya would be just as good as expected leading the team in points at 85. The Predators would come out of the gate smoking as they won their first eight games, winning by just one goal in their first four games setting an NHL record. With the continued emergence of Thomas Vokun in goal the Predators were solid well rounded team all season as they were one of the top teams in the Western Conference all season as they finished in second place with a solid 49-25-8 record, topping the 100-point mark for the first time in franchise history. Down the stretch the Predators would hit a bump in the road as Goalie was diagnosed with thrombophlebitis of the pelvis, a blood-clotting condition. While backup Chris Mason allowed the Predators to finish the regular season strong, the loss of Vokun would catch up with them in the playoffs. The Predators would capture Game 1 of their first round series against the San Jose Sharks, but that would be it as the Sharks ripped the Predators in the next four games to win the series in five games.
2006/07: After their strong but unrewarding season, the Predators looked to improve by signing free agent Jason Arnott, while the Predators stumbled briefly out of the gate by losing their first three games; they quickly found their stride winning nine of their next ten games, as they battled the Detroit Red Wings, once again for the Central Division. Despite the success on the ice the Predators continued to struggle at the box office, as they team still losing money was put up for sale. Despite a possible ownership change the Predators played strong hockey all season, adding Peter Forsberg an experienced playoff winner in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers. With a 51-23-8 record the Predators would post the second-best record in the Western Conference setting an all-time franchise record with 110 points. However, they would have to settle for second again as the Red Wings finished with 113 points. In the first round the Predators were matched up against the San Jose Sharks again losing the opener 5-4 in double overtime. The Preds would quickly recover winning the next game 5-2 to even the series. However, in San Jose the Predators would struggle losing both games, as they found themselves in a 3-1 hole again. Even returning home would not help them dig out as they lost in five games for the second straight year. The offseason would be a turbulent one for the Predators as rumors of a move to Hamilton plagued a potential deal with Jim Balsillie. Meanwhile another ownership group interested in moving the team to Kansas City also made inquiries to buy the team from Craig Leopold, who has expressed his desire that team remain in Nashville.
2007/08: As rumors of the Predators moving hung around Nashville all season, the Predators who a season earlier had considered themselves Stanley Cup contenders began the season with a roster that was missing several key players, as the team was forced to cut payroll, as the team was up for sale. Among the players the Predators lost were Goalie Tomas Vokun, Captain Kimmo Timonen, Scott Hartnell, Paul Kariya, and Peter Forsberg. With lowered expectations the Predators got off to a rough start losing six of their first eight games. However, the Predators would not go down without a fight as they continued to remain competitive as they entered the New Year with a record of 18-18-2. With Dan Ellis taking over the goaltending duties the Predators stayed in playoff contention all season. Down the stretch Martin Erat played the role of hero scoring a hat trick in a key 5-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on March 4th. Ellis meanwhile had back to back shutouts in late March over the Columbus Blue Jackets, which helped the Predators sneak into the playoffs with the eighth seed, as they posted a record of 41-32-9. In the playoffs the Predators faced the Detroit Red Wings, who had the best record overall in the NHL. After losing the first two games on the road, the Predators overcame an early 2-0 deficit for a 5-3 win in Game 3, powered by three unanswered goals in the final four minutes. The Preds would even the series with a 3-2 win in Game 4, as Dan Ellis stopped 39 of 41 shots. As the series shifted back to Detroit, the Predators continued to give the Wings a fight, as Dan Ellis kept them in the game stopping 52 of 53 shots as they game went to overtime tied 1-1. However, in Overtime Ellis would not be able to stop a shot by Johan Frazen who scored 1:48 into overtime. That would take the steam out of the Predators as they would end up losing Game 6 at home 3-0. The Wings who won the series in six games would go on to win the Stanley Cup.
2008/09: Off the ice the Predators ownership situation remained murky, as new owner Del Biaggio ran into legal trouble over a multitude of unpaid loans, culminating in him filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. While an FBI investigation was launched when it was alleged loans, he used to buy his stake in the team through fraudulent means. On the ice the Predators played mediocre hockey all season, as they dug a deep hole in the Western Conference playoff chase with a 21-24-3 record at the end of January. However, with the return of Steve Sullivan who missed nearly two years with a back injury the Predators made a late push for the playoffs, posting a 10-4-1 record in February. However, due to their ownership issues, the Predators were forced to be bystanders at the trade deadline and were unable to make any improvements for the stretch run, as they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2003 with a record of 40-34-8.
2009/10: After missing the playoffs, the Predators looked to rebound by adding some size with Marcel Goc, who was acquired from the San Jose Sharks. However, in the early going things did not look good for Nashville as the Preds got off to a slow start, losing seven of their first ten games. The Predators began to turn things around in November as they went on a seven game winning streak, earning wins against top notch teams like the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils thanks to the stellar play of Goalie Pekka Rinne, while Patric Hornqvist was in the midst of a breakout 30 goal season. The Predators continued to play solid hockey until the end of January when they lost all four games during a tough road trip. However, by the time the Olympic Break arrived the Predators were in playoff position at 32-23-5. After the break the Predators were helped by the arrival of Colin Wilson who had 11 points in his first 15 games after being called up from Milwaukee. Spurred by a six-game winning streak the Predators locked up a playoff spot and finished with a solid 47-29-6 record. In the playoffs as the seventh seed the Predators had a tough draw with the Chicago Blackhawks. However, when the series started the Predators were up to the challenge winning the opener 4-1 at the United Center behind four third period goals, including two by J.P. Dumont. It marked the first time ever the Predators won a playoff game on the road. After a 2-0 loss in Game 2, the series shifted to Nashville, where the Preds again had a big effort winning 4-1. However, once again the Blackhawks responded with a 3-0 shutout win in Game 4 to even the series. In Game 5 the Predators had a chance to come within a game of their first series victory as they held a 4-3 lead with Marian Hossa serving a five-minute major in the closing moments of the third period. However, the Blackhawks pulled the goalie and tied the game on a shorthanded goal by Patrick Kane with 14 seconds left in regulation. The Preds were unable to score on the power play, before Hossa emerged from the box and scored the game winner at 4:07. The Blackhawks would go on to win the series in six games 5-3 as Jonathan Toews gave them the lead for good with 31 seconds left capping a seven goal first period. There would not be another goal until John Madden clinched the series with an empty netter in the final seconds of the third period.
2010/11: After a strong but unrewarding trip to the playoffs, the Predators looked to take the next step as the season began. In the off-season, the Predators would make several moves including trading Goalie Dan Ellis, to clear the way for Pekka Rinne to be the full-time starter. In the deal that sent Ellis and Dustin Boyd to the Montreal Canadiens, the Predators would receive Sergei Kostitsyn. The Predators would play well early, as they did not lose a game in regulation until October 28th. As October became November, the Predators would lose five straight games as they posted a 10-8-5 record during the first two months. In December, the Predators would start off winning eight of their first nine games. However, they would endure another five-game losing streak as they entered the New Year with a record of 18-13-6. January would be a good month for the Predators, as they won nine games. However, they took another step backward in February as they posted a 5-6-2 record. On February 10th, the Predators looked to improve for the stretch run as they acquired two-way forward Mike Fisher from the Ottawa Senators for draft picks. The deal was especially popular in Nashville, as Fisher is married to Country Star Carrie Underwood. The deal would pay off as the Predators finished strong, posting a solid 44-27-11 record to capture the fifth seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. In the playoffs the Predators would face the Anaheim Ducks in the first round Mike Fisher would get off to a fast start, with two goals and an assist to lead the Predators to a 4-1 win in Game 1 on the road. After a 5-3 loss in Game 2, the series shifted to Nashville where the Predators took advantage of Bobby Ryan’s suspension with a 4-3 win as Fisher’s goal with 9:39 left was the difference. The Ducks would bounce back to win 6-3 in Game 4, with three unanswered goals in the third period to even the series. Back in Anaheim, Game 5 would go to overtime as Shea Weber tied the game 3-3 with 35.3 seconds left. Less than two minutes into overtime Jerred Smithson would score to give the Predators a 4-3 win and a chance to win the series in Nashville. Game 6 would be tied 2-2 after two periods. In the third period Nick Spaling would give the Preds the lead for good as David Legwand, the last original Predator scored an empty netter to seal the victory that sent Nashville to second for the first time in team history. In the second round the Predators would face the Vancouver Canucks, losing 1-0 in the opener. Trailing 1-0 late in Game 2, the Predators forced overtime on a goal by Ryan Suter, with 1:07 left in regulation. The Predators would win the game in double overtime on a goal by Matt Halischuk. Game 3 in Nashville would also go to overtime, but it would end in frustration for the Predators as Ryan Kesler’s power play goal gave the Canucks a 3-2 win. Kesler was later shown to get away with holding on the play that led to the winning goal. The Predators would also win Game 4 in Nashville 4-2. However, the Predators would not go down without a fight as Joel Ward scored twice in the third period to lead the way to a 4-3 win in Game 5. In Game 6 the Predators would allow two early goals and spend the rest of the way fighting back. Unfortunately, they would fall one goal short, losing 2-1 as the Canucks went to the Western Conference Finals.
2011/12: After winning their first playoff series in franchise history the Predators looked to continue the momentum as the tweaked their logo and uniform, adding a new alternate logo incorporating the Tennessee State flag into a guitar pick. After winning the first two games on the road, the Predators struggled in their home opener, losing to the Phoenix Coyotes 5-2. Free Agency was a concern for the Predators, as Goalie Pekka Rinne, Defenseman Shea Weber and Defenseman Ryan Sutter were set to hit the market in the off-season. On November 3rd, the Predators took care of Rinne, signing him to a seven-year, $49 million deal, that night Rinne, celebrated by blanking the Coyotes 3-0. During most of the first half the Preds had their ups and downs, highlighted by a five-game winning streak in December. Heading into the New Year, the Predators held a record of 20-14-4. The arrival of 2012 would be good for the Predators, as they won 11 of 13 games in January. However, struggles on the road in February led to the Predators making moves as the trade deadline approached. On February 17th the Predators picked up Defenseman Hal Gill from the Montreal Canadiens for Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney, and a 2012 2nd round draft pick. They would later add Andrei Kostitsyn from the Habs, while also picking up Paul Gaustad from the Buffalo Sabres. In March, the Predators saw the return of Alexander Radulov who had spent the last four seasons playing in the KHL in Russia. Radulov had seven points in nine games as the Predators finished the season strong, posting a record of 48-26-8, setting a new franchise best at 104 points. The key for the Predators successes was the play of Pekka Rinne, who had a solid 2.39 GAA, while Martin Erat, David Legwand and Mike Fisher all had 50-point seasons.
2012 Playoffs: In the playoffs the Predators would face a tough test right away against the Detroit Red Wings. Game 1 would see Shea Webber land a devastating hit on Henrik Zetterberg, cracking his helmet, as the Predators took the opener in Nashville 3-2. The Red Wings would rebound to win 3-2 in Game 2. However, as the series shifted to Detroit, the Predators took over, winning the next two games as Pekka Rinne continually frustrated the Red Wings, stopping 41 shots in a 3-2 win in Game 3, and 40 shots in a 3-1 Game 4 win. The Predators would go on to win the series in five games, winning 2-1 at home as David Legwand had a goal and an assist in the clincher. The Predators would face the Phoenix Coyotes in the second round and lost an overtime heartbreaker 4-3 in Game 1. The Coyotes would also beat the Predators 5-3 in Game 2 to take a 2-0 lead. Making matters worse Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kosttitsyn were caught in a bar drinking after the 1 AM curfew, leading the team to suspend both players for Games 3 and 4. The return to Nashville would help the Predators take the third game 2-0, as Pekka Rinne stopped all 32 shots. However, despite another strong effort from Rinne, the Predators would suffer a 1-0 loss in Game 4, as the Coyotes went on to win the series in five games. Following the season, the Predators would sign Shea Weber to a 14-year contract worth $110 million, matching a deal offered by the Philadelphia Flyers. However, Ryan Sutter would leave to join the Minnesota Wild, while both Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kosttitsyn were not offered contracts.
2012/13: After losing Ryan Suter to the Minnesota Wild, the Predators made sure they kept one of their star defensemen by matching the offer sheet the Philadelphia Flyer had given Shea Weber, worth $110 million over 14-years, with a $68 million signing bonus. The start of the season would be delayed as the NHL got involved in another ugly labor battle, partly due to circumstances that led to Weber’s record offer sheet. The lockout would wipe out half the season, with the season finally starting in January. Despite the loss of Ryan Suter, the Predators still had one of the best defenses in the NHL, but Suter’s ability to start the offense was sorely missed as they struggled all season to find the back of the net. Despite their scoring struggled, the Predators stayed in the playoff chase for much of the first six weeks of the regular season, though five overtime losses illustrated missed points and opportunities to establish a firm playoff footing. This would come back to haunt them as they won just one of eight games on the road in March and entered April barely hanging at 14-14-7. Knowing the playoffs would be a longshot the Predators would ship to the San Jose Sharks for a draft pick, while Martin Erat and Michael Latta were sent to the Washington Capitals for Filip Forsberg. The Predators would post a 2-9-2 record in April as they finished last in the Central Division with a record of 16-23-9. The Predators were tie with the Florida Panthers for the lowest scoring team in the league as Shea Weber needed just 28 points to lead the team, with David Legwand being the only Predator to score as many as a dozen goals.
2013/14: would be a year of transition in Nashville, after a lockout shortened season in which the Predators missed the playoffs. The future was seen with the drafting of Defensemen Seth Jones with the fourth overall pick. Jones the son of NBA player Popeye Jones was concerned one of the best American prospect to hit the NHL draft in years, with the size and strength beyond his 19 years, Seth Jones has the potential to be one the best blue liners in the NHL for years to come. Seth Jones scored his first goal on November 12th as the Predators beat the New York Islanders 3-2 at Bridgestone Arena. Jones would end his rookie season with six goals and 19 assists, but a -23 showed there was room for growth. The Predators would play most of the season without Goalie Pekka Rinne who played just 24 games as he developed in infection in his surgically repaired hip. Without their starting netminder, the Predators would spend much of the season threading water, as they went into the Olympic Break with a record of 25-24-10. The Predators would suffer a four-game losing streak as March began and their playoff hopes were a long shot at best. At the trade deadline the Predators would deal David Legwand, who made his debut during the Predators inaugural season in 1999, as was a big part of the growth of hockey in Nashville, sending him to the Detroit Red Wings for Calle Jarnkrok and Patrick Eaves, along with a draft pick. With Rinne returning to the ice in March, the Predators made a late run for the playoffs, with a 6-0-1 record over their final seven games, but fell three points short of the postseason with a record of 38-32-12. The Predators would get strong seasons from Shea Weber (56), Patric Hornqvist (53) and Craig Smith (52) who each topped 50 points. Smith would also lead the team in goals with 24. Following the season, the Predators would dismiss Barry Trotz, who coaches the Predators since their very first game in 1998 completing the transition to the next step in Nashville Predators hockey.
2014/15: A new era began for the Nashville Predators as Peter Laviolette took over the coaching reigns from Barry Trotz. Trotz had been the coach for the Predators since their very first game in 1998. To help Laviolette the Predators made several improvements on offense, adding James Neal and Mike Ribeiro in the off-season. The Predators started the season strongly beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in the season opener at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators would win five of their first seven games under Laviolette, losing twice in overtime. Nashville was even stronger in November, winning 10 of 13 games, including a perfect 6-0 record at home. While the Predators focused on improving their offense in the off-season, defense remained the key to their success. Led by Captain Shea Weber, Roman Josi and Seth Jones the Predators allowed fewer shots per game than any other team in the NHL. This made life easier for Goalie Pekka Rinne, who would be a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, with a record of 41-17-6, with a 2.18 GAA and a .923 save percentage. The Predators spent a good portion of the season in first place, as they entered the New Year with a record of 24-9-3 and posted a record of 17-6-4 between January and February. However, a goal scoring slump in March led to a five-game losing streak that allowed the St. Louis Blues to take over the top spot in the Central Division. The Predators would hit another slump as the season ended losing their last six games as they finished in second place with a record of 47-25-10. Filip Forsberg having a breakout season, would lead Nashville in scoring with 63 points, highlighted by a team best 26 goals, while Mike Ribeiro led the team with 47 assists.
2015 Playoffs: The Predators who were a strong team at Bridgestone Arena all season, would have home ice in the playoffs as they faced the Chicago Blackhawks in the opening round. Things looked good early for the Predators as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period of Game 1, with Colin Wilson scoring twice. However, with Scott Darling relieving Corey Crawford in the second period, the Blackhawks would rally to tie the game and won in double overtime 4-3. Led by Craig Smith’s two goals and one assists the Predators bounced back to even the series with a 6-2 win in Game 2. As the series shifted to Chicago, the Blackhawks took over winning 4-2 to take a 2-1 series lead in Game 3. The Blackhawks would also capture Game 4 in a triple overtime marathon, winning 3-2. With their season slipping away, the Predators got a third period hat trick from Filip Forsberg to beat the Blackhawks 5-2 in Game 5 at Bridgestone Arena. However, it would be the final game during the season in Music City, as the Blackhawks behind a third period goal by Duncan Keith eliminated the Predators with a 4-3-win Game 6 at the United Center. The Blackhawks would go on to win the Stanley Cup.
2015/16: After their quick exit in the playoffs, the Nashville Predators had a busy off-season, signing Barret Jackman to add depth and experience to their defense. The Predators played well early, winning six of their first seven games. The Predators were unable to maintain their strong start as they hovered near .500 over the next three months. As January began the Predators began to make moves to improve their team for the second half, the biggest of which saw them send Seth Jones to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Ryan Johansen on January 6th. Johansen would be a key player for the Predators over the second half of the season, scoring 34 points in 42 games, highlighted by 26 assists. The Predators began to play better at the end of January, as they won their final four games before the All-Star Break, with Nashville hosting the All-Star festivities for the first time. The Predators would not be able to crack the top three spots in the Central Division but were in front of the pack of the Wild Card throughout the second half. The Predators would finish the season as the top Wild Card with a record of 41-27-14. Filip Forsberg was the team’s leading scorer as he had a career high 64 points and 33 goals, which also was the team high in Nashville. James Neal also had 31 goals, while Roman Josi had a team best 47 assists. In goal, Pekka Rinne had another fine season, winning 34 games, with 2.48 Goals Against Average and a .908 save percentage.
2016 Playoffs: In the playoffs the Nashville Predators were a considerable underdog facing the Anaheim Ducks in the first round. The Predators would win the opener 3-2 as Filip Forsberg, broke a 2-2 tie, with a goal midway through the third period. The Predators would also record a 3-2 win in Game 2, as Pekka Rinne held off the charging Ducks in the final minutes after they had cut the deficit to one goal. However, as the series shifted to Nashville the Predators were out of tune, failing to score in a 3-0 loss in Game 3, and did not play much better as they suffered a 4-1 loss in Game 4 to even the series. Back in Anaheim for Game 5 the Ducks continued to skate circles around the Predators, winning 5-2 to take control of the series. The Predators faced elimination at home in Game 6, and finally looked like the team from the first two games of the series as they won 3-1 with Rinne allowing just one goal on 27 shots, as Shea Webber sealed the win with an empty net goal with ten seconds left. Pekka Rinne was even stronger in Game 7, stopping 36 of 37 shots, as two first period goals from Colin Wilson and Paul Gaustaud would stand up with the Predators completing the upset with a 2-1 win. After a tough seven game series the Predators appeared to run out of gas as they opened their second round series against the San Jose Sharks, allowing five goals in the third period to fall 5-2. The Predators found their legs again in Game 2 but came up short losing 3-2 as Joe Pavelski but San Jose in front 2-1 with 2:40 left as the two teams traded goals in the game’s final minute. As the series shifted to the Music City, the Predators broke through, scoring four unanswered goals to win 4-1. Trailing 3-2 late in Game 4, the Predators got a tying goal from James Neal with 4:21 left in the third period. The game would remain deadlocked for more than two overtime periods as Mike Fisher finally ended the marathon with a goal at 11:12 mark of Triple overtime to even the series with a 4-3 win. The Predators were unable to sustain the momentum as the series returned to San Jose for Game 5, which was an ugly 5-1 loss. Back in Nashville for Game 6, the Predators got another dramatic overtime win, with Viktor Anderson breaking the tie just 2:03 into the extra session to win the game 4-3. However, this series was ultimately a home ice series, with the home team winning all seven games, and that was the Sharks domain in Game 7 as they blanked the Predators 5-0 to advance to the Western Conference Finals.
2016/17: There was an extra buzz around the Nashville Predators as the season began, following the acquisition P.K. Subban, on the of the league’s top defensemen. The Predators landed Subban in a blockbuster deal that sent Shea Webber to the Montreal Canadiens in return. The Predators opened with a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks but lost their next three games as they struggled away from Bridgestone Arena in the early part of the season. Things got better in November, as Nashville won nine games, but as the month ended, injuries became a chief concern for the Predators with Goalie Pekka Rinne missing several games with a sore back. Times were hard for the Predators in December, as they lost P.K. Subban for nearly a month with an upper-body injury. After ending December with a record of 16-4-6, the Predators started 2017 with one of their most frustrating losses of the season, losing to the Canadiens 2-1 in overtime as Shea Webber in his return to Nashville sent the game to overtime with a game-tying goal late in regulation. As January ended, fortunes began to turn for the Nashville as Subban returned to the ice and the team began to climb back into playoff contention as they went into the All-Star break, winning seven of nine. The Predators would prove to be streaky over the entire season, as they had a key stretch in March where they won seven of eight, which all but secured a playoff berth. The Predators were shaky down the stretch, winning just two of their last six games to finish the year with a record of 41-29-12, which was good enough to secure the second Wild Card in the Western Conference. Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Johansen were the Predators leading scorers, with 61 points. Johansen meanwhile tied with Filip Forsberg for the lead in goals with 31.
2017 Playoffs: As the second Wild Card, the Nashville Predators were essentially the eight seed in the Western Conference taking on the top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks in the first round. In Game 1 at the United Center, Pekka Rinne put forth a Herculean effort, stopping all 29 shots as the Predators recorded a 1-0 win on Viktor Arvidsson’s first-period goal. Rinne blanked the Blackhawks again in Game 2, stopping 30 shots as they got five different goal scorers in a 5-0 win. As the series shifted to Nashville, the Blackhawks found their game, taking a 2-0 lead in the second period. However, the Predators rallied with a pair of third-period goals by Filip Forsberg. In overtime, Nashville would get a 3-2 win on a goal by Kevin Fiala. The Predators would go on to complete a surprising four-game sweep with a 4-1 win, as Rinne again dominated with 30 saves as the Predators outscored Chicago 13-3 in the series. Moving on to face the St. Louis Blues, the Predators again got off to a good start, taking the opener 4-3 as Vernon Fiddler scored the game-winner with just over five minutes left. The Blues rebounded with a 3-2 win in Game 2. In Nashville, the Predators took command with a 3-1 win in Game 3 and a 2-1 win in Game 4 as Pekka Rinne continued his postseason dominance. After a 2-1 in Game 5 in St. Louis, the Predators secured their first trip to the Conference Final with a 3-1 win in Game 6 as they overcame an early goal by Paul Stastny, with Ryan Johansen giving them the lead for good early in the third period. The Predators would face the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference Final. Once again, the Predators seized control of the series early, with a road win in Game 1, as James Neal’s overtime goal secured a 3-2 win. The Ducks bounced back with a 5-3 win in Game 2. In Nashville, the Predators got two third period goals, including a game-winner by Roman Josi with less than three minutes left to record a 2-1 win. The Ducks though continued to fight back, recording an overtime 3-2 win in Game 4, after Filip Forsberg tied the game with 35 seconds left. Making matters worse, the Predators lost leading scorer Ryan Johansen for the rest of the postseason with a thigh injury. Back in Anaheim for Game 5, with the score tied 1-1 midway through the third period, the Predators got a big goal from Pontus Aberg, to take the lead as Austin Watson added an empty-netter in a 3-1 win, with Pekka Rinne again coming up big with 32 saves. Looking to secure a trip to the Stanley Cup Final, the Predators got a hat trick from Colton Sissons and a pair of goals from Austin Watson to win 6-3 and send Nashville on to hockey’s biggest stage.
2017 Stanley Cup Final: The Nashville Predators had their work cut out for them in the Final as they faced the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. The Predators came out strong and appeared to have taken an early lead in Game 1 on a spectacular goal by P.K. Subban. However, the play was challenged, and Filip Forsberg was ruled offsides keeping the game scoreless. The Penguins took advantage of some Nashville penalties scored three times late in the first to take a 3-0 lead. Nashville would work their work back and tie the game on a goal by Frederick Gaudreau in the third period. That would be as close as Nashville got to take a game in Pittsburgh, as Jake Guentzel scored late, and Nick Bonino added an empty netter to give the Penguins a 5-3 win. Guentzel again provided the gut punch in Game 2, scoring ten seconds into the third period to break a 1-1 tie, as Pittsburgh went on to win the game 4-1. Jake Guentzel scored the only goal of the first period in Game 3 as the series shifted to Nashville. However, the Predators found their legs in the second period, scoring three times as they got back in the series with a 5-1 win. Game 4 followed a similar path, as the Predators evened the series with a 4-1 won as the Bridgestone Arena was a sea of yellow, showing that Smashville was indeed a hockey town. With new life, the series returned to Pittsburgh, even at two games apiece for Game 5. However, the Predators faltered, suffering an ugly 6-0 loss as Pekka Rinne was pulled after allowing three goals on his first nine shots. Rinne rebounded in Game 6, as the Predators looked for the home ice magic to carry them to a seventh game. Unfortunately, they could not solve Matt Murray on the other side of the ice as the game was scoreless late in the third period. With overtime looking like a possibility Patric Hornqvist scored with 1:35 left to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead. The Predators pulled Rinne, looking to get the equalizer, but instead were buried by Carl Hagelin empty-net goal as the Penguins skated out of Nashville with the Stanley Cup following a 2-0 win.
2017/18: The Nashville Predators looked to build off a historic run to the Stanley Cup Final. Falling just short of their goal, the Predators looked to build off the momentum of their great postseason run and complete the quest of bringing home the Stanley Cup. It would not take long for the Predators to get a rematch against the Pittsburgh Penguins, as they lost 4-0 in the second game of the season. After dropping their first two games on the road, the Predators defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 6-5 in their home opener. Nashville had an up and down October but soon hit their stride in November, as they won 16-of-20 games and climbed to the top of the Central Division. By the start of the New Year, the Predators were showing that the playoff run was no fluke as they stood 23-10-5. In first place, the Preds got another boost as former captain Mike Fisher who retired in August, decided to come back for one last shot at the Stanley Cup. With Fisher’s return, the Predators continued their strong play and won their first division title. They would climb ever higher, as they finished the season with the best record in the NHL at 53-18-11 to claim the President’s Trophy. A big part of the Predators’ success was Pekka Rinne, who won 42 games with a 2.31 GAA, earning the Vezina Trophy as the year’s top goaltender. The team’s top scorer was Filip Forsberg, who ad 64 points, while P.K. Subban had 43 assists to lead the way from the blueline.
2018 Playoffs: The President’s Trophy was nice, but it was not the one the Nashville Predators truly wanted, as they began the playoffs looking for another magical run. In the first round, they would face the Colorado Avalanche. In the opener, Filip Forsberg had a pair of goals as the Predators recorded a 5-2 win. Game 2 would be somewhat tougher as the Predators won 5-4, with five different players lighting the lamp. After the Avalanche buried Nashville 5-3 in Game 3, the Predators showed the ability to bounce back, taking a 3-1 series lead, with a 3-2 win. However, with a chance to close the series out, the Predators were stoned by Andrew Hammond, who made 44 saves as Colorado won 2-1 on a goal by Sven Andrighetto with 88 seconds left. The Predators would finally finish off Colorado with a 5-0 win in Game 6. In the second round, the Predators would face the Winnipeg Jets and found themselves down right away as the Jets stole the opener at Bridgestone Arena 4-1. The Predators would bounce back to take Game 2 in double overtime 5-4, as Kevin Fiala netted the game-winner after Rinne kept his team in the game with 46 saves. In Game 3 in Winnipeg, the Predators jumped out to a 3-0 lead but looked helpless as the Jets roared back to win 7-4 to take control of the series. The Predators would battle back again to tie the series, winning 2-1 as Rinne after his nightmarish Game 3, made 32 saves in Game 4. Back in Nashville, Rinne had another rough night, as the Jets recorded a 6-2 win in Game 5 to put the Predators on the brink of elimination. Pekka Rinne again recovered in Game 6, stopping all 34 shots as Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson each had two goals in a 4-0 win. Back home, the Predators could not muster the same effort in Game 7, as they fell 5-1 as their Stanley Cup dreams ended in broken hearts.
2018/19: After their disappointing second-round exit, the Nashville Predators sensing the window of opportunity closing, got off to a fast start, winning seven of their first eight games. After a strong start, the Predators had a Blue Christmas as they suffered a five-game losing streak in December and went into the New Year with a record of 23-15-2. Nashville recovered in January and a few key acquisitions in February looking to make a long postseason run, as they picked up Brian Boyle from the New Jersey Devils, Michael Grandlund from the Minnesota Wild and Wayne Simmonds from the Philadelphia Flyers. The moves paid off as the Predators finished strong, capturing the Central Division for the second straight season with a record of 47-29-6. Ryan Johansen was the team’s leading scorer with 64 points, highlighted by 50 assists. Viktor Arvidsson meanwhile led Nashville in goals with 34.
2019 Playoffs: The Nashville Predators got off to a rocky start in the postseason against the Dallas Stars, losing 3-2 at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators would recover to win Game 2 in overtime 2-1 as Craig Smith netted the game-winner. Pekka Rinne had a big night in Game 3, making 40 saves as the Predators took the lead in the series with a 3-2 win. The same could not be said in Game 4, as Dallas squared the series with a 5-1 win. The Predator’s struggles carried over to Game 5, as Nashville found themselves needing to win Game 6 in Dallas to keep their playoff hopes alive. Pekka Rinne was solid in Game 6, as the game went into overtime tied 1-1. In overtime, it would be the Stars winning the series as John Klingberg sent Nashville into an off-season of uncertainty as the Stars won the series in six games.
©MMXX Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Hockey League. This site is not affiliated with the Nashville Predators or the NHL. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on Page created on June 13, 2003. Last updated on March 1, 2020 at 10:30 pm ET.