Six different NHL teams played in their first playoff game on Thursday night, and the three who emerged the winners were the Nashville Predators, the Washington Capitals and the Anaheim Ducks.

NHL Playoffs Round 1: Capitals Top Maple Leafs In OT, Predators beat Blackhawks

Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne stopped 29 shots, and winger Viktor Arvidsson scored a goal at 7:52 of the first period to lift the Predators to a 1-0 road victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Predators now lead the Western Conference first-round series 1-0.

“We did a really good job messing up their systems and didn’t give them too much flow,” said Rinne, who recorded his second NHL postseason shutout. “They like to play with a lot of speed and puck possession, and we did the right things on the ice. I think that’s a credit for us to interrupt their style of play.”


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Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will be held Saturday night at 8 pm EST in Chicago.

The previous two times the Blackhawks and Predators faced off in the postseason, (2010, 2015) the former eliminated the latter in the first round.

Chicago outshot Nashville 29-20, including 23-9 in the last two periods.

Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane combined for just 10 shots on goal for the Blackhawks, while Jonathan Toews didn’t record a single shot on goal in 20:38 of ice time.

Corey Crawford made 19 saves for the Blackhawks, who were shut out in a home playoff game for the first time since 2012. Meanwhile, it was the Predators’ first road shutout in their nine-year postseason history.

“We’ve just got to keep getting better in this series,” Crawford said. “That was a pretty good game by us, but we have better in us.”

Arvidsson’s goal came off a defensive error from Chicago. Predators centre Ryan Johansen took the puck from Arvidsson and drew three defensemen to him before passing to Filip Forsberg, who passed to Arvidsson.

“I figured Ryan would put it over there [to Forsberg],” Arvidsson said. “I just tried to get lost behind them, and [Forsberg] made a great shot-pass. I just tapped it in.”

Rinne made a sprawling left-skate save against Artem Anisimov with 8:15 left in the second period to stop the Blackhawks from tying the game. Anisimov returned after missing the last 13 games of the regular season with a lower-body injury, while Predaotrs forward Calle Jarnkrok came back from his own lower-body injury after missing the regular-season finale. Nashville forward Colin Wilson (lower body) missed his third consecutive game.

In Washington, meanwhile, Tom Wilson scored 5:15 into overtime to lift the Capitals to a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

The Capitals now lead the Eastern Conference first-round series 1-0.

“Lots of emotion,” Wilson said. “Obviously, pretty crazy. Once the puck goes in, it’s a whirlwind. Got to watch it briefly on an interview. You know what? It’s a good feeling. Hopefully we keep building those good feelings and keep it rolling here.”

The winger knocked the puck down with his hand to keep it in the zone on a clearing attempt by the Leafs, and then shot past goalie Frederik Andersen for his first goal in 29 playoff games. Wilson is also the first Capitals player to net his first postseason goal in overtime.

Toronto gained a 2-0 lead 9:44 into the game thanks to goals from Mithcell Marner (at 1:35 of the first period of his first-ever playoff game) and Jake Gardiner. However, Washington tied it with two goals from Justin Williams.

“Everything’s about momentum,” Williams said. “They certainly had it to start, and we kind of calmed down, settled the nerves and we did what we wanted to do: Come back from (down) two goals, and now you keep the pressure on.”

Williams’ first goal came on a power play at 12:24 of the first period, and then his second tied it 2-2 with 4:00 remaining in the middle period. On his second goal, Williams got a puck loose in the crease and scored through Andersen’s legs.

Gardiner’s goal was initially waved off for goaltender interference, although the call was reversed following a coach’s challenge from the Maple Leafs.

“A confidence-builder, for sure,” Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. “I liked our game. I didn’t like that we wouldn’t shoot the puck. We had so many opportunities to shoot and we wouldn’t, we wanted to pass. I thought Wilson did a good job of doing that, you just throw it on net. That’s playoff hockey. Things bounce to somebody and it goes in.”

Andersen stopped 41 shots, while Capitals goalie Braden Hotlby made 35 saves.

Wilson’s goal came after he intercepted Martin Marincin’s clear from near the end boards five minutes into overtime. Wilson then shot past defenseman Morgan Rielly and over Andersen’s shoulder from the right face-off circle to seal the victory.

Andersen made two great saves in succession in overtime: he fell to the ice to block Brooks Orpik’s shot, and then denied Andre Burakovsky with his toe.

Capitals defenseman John Carlson played 19:27 after missing the last four games of the regular season.

The Capitals and Leafs face off again for the second game of the series at 7 pm EST on Saturday at Verizon Center.

Finally, the Ducks beat Calgary 3-2 in Anaheim on Thursday for their 28th straight win over the Flames at Honda Center, including an NHL-record 25 straight regular-season games against Calgary.

Anhaeim now lead the Western Conference first-round series 1-0. The Ducks and Flames will meet for Game 2 of the best-of-seven series in Anaheim at 10:30 pm EST on Saturday.

CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 13: Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks and Calle Jarnkrok #19 of the Nashville Predators battle for the puck in Game One of the Western Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cuo Playoffs at the United Center on April 13, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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