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Predators’ Rinne proves tough to solve

Predators’ Rinne proves tough to solve
He’s in position to fulfill one of the most time-worn postseason roles: the hot goalie that steals a series

Brian Hamilton Chicago Tribune April 19, 2010

From the gridlock in front of the net, the puck scooted to Marian Hossa on the right side of the crease. Nothing but chilled air separated the Blackhawks sniper from a score and some breathing room in Game 2 against the Predators on Sunday.

Then Pekka Rinne vaulted his 6-foot-5 body into that space, the series’ other playoff-untested goalie from Finland lunging horizontally and consuming the lane in an instant. Rinne’s body swallowed Hossa’s shot. The Hawks winger dropped his shoulders, tilted his head back and looked skyward in exasperation.

A golden chance to build on a one-goal lead, bust open a must-win game and perhaps subvert the confidence of a playoff rookie? Finnished.

“There were some pretty remarkable saves there at the end of the regular season where I’m not quite sure how he kept it out,” Predators center Jerred Smithson said. “But he did.”

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