With tonight’s result in Anaheim, the Nashville Predators are heading to the postseason for the seventh time in the last eight seasons. The Anaheim Ducks defeated San Jose in regulation tonight, 3-1, officially punching the Predators’ ticket to the playoffs.
This marks the first time in franchise history that the Predators have clinched a playoff spot on an off day. All previous six playoff berths were clinched either with a victory of their own, or late one night after one of their games.
2004: The Predators’ first ever playoff berth was clinched on the second-to-last day of the season. With a chance to clinch the berth themselves, the Preds fell flat at home to St. Louis in a matinee game. However, Vancouver beat Edmonton that night to close the deal for the Preds.
2006: With five games remaining in the season, a shootout win over Chicago clinched the Predators’ second-ever playoff berth.
2007: An overtime loss in Calgary in Game 75 of the year wrapped up the Predators’ third playoff berth, the earliest they have ever clinched.
2008: Hours after defeating the Blues via an emotional 3-2 victory in Game 81, the Oilers beat the Canucks to clinch the Predators’ fourth trip to the postseason.
2010: Ryan Suter and company took care of business themselves, as the defenseman scored an overtime goal in Detroit in Game 80 to help the Predators return to the playoffs following a one-year absence.
2011: In their final home game of the season the Predators blew out Columbus, 4-1, to punch their sixth playoff ticket in seven years.
Obviously, it is unknown who the Predators will play in the Western Conference Quarterfinals with the regular season ending next Saturday. However, you can purchase your first round ticket(s) this Saturday. For more playoff ticket info, here is the press release from the Predators…
Nashville, Tenn. (March 26, 2012) – The Nashville Predators announced today that individual tickets for the first round (Western Conference Quarterfinal, presented by Fifth Third Bank) of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs will go on sale to the general public this Saturday, March 31 at 10 a.m. Tickets are available at the Bridgestone Arena box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com, nashvillepredators.com or by calling 615-770-PUCK (7825). In keeping consistent with this regular season’s ticket policy, the Predators will utilize value-based pricing, meaning that prices may increase as ticket inventory is reduced. The Predators will also continue to offer 100 $10 day-of-game tickets for each game of the first round, using the wristband policy.
“The Stanley Cup Playoffs – with its speed, hard-hitting action and unparalleled demonstration of skill – is the most exciting competition in all of sports.” Nashville Predators CEO Jeff Cogen said. “Taking in a playoff game from a sold out Bridgestone Arena is an experience that is second to none. The chants, the standing ovations and unchecked energy create a playoff atmosphere that is definitely unique to Smashville. With tickets on sale soon, the only way fans can guarantee a seat in Smashville is to buy early. Now is the time for all residents of Smashville to purchase tickets and Stand With Us!”
All Stanley Cup Playoff series are best of seven and scheduled to be played on a 2-2-1-1-1 format, and the first round of the 2012 NHL post-season will open on Wednesday, April 11. The three division winners in each conference will be seeded first through third in order of points, and the next five-best teams, in order of points, will be seeded fourth through eighth. The team seeded No. 1 will play No. 8, No. 2 takes on No. 7, No. 3 meets No. 6 and No. 4 battles No. 5 in the Conference Quarterfinals.