Preds Down Ducks 6-3 On Historic Night In Smashville

Posted at 11:14 PM, May 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-23 12:56:10-04

The Predators are headed to the Stanley Cup Final.

No fancy lede is needed.

After 18 long seasons, the climb from expansion team to relevant to consistent playoff team finally delivered this gem of a moment. 

Colton Sissons, playing on the Predators' newly-formed top line in the absence of injured star Ryan Johansen, netting the game-winner with 6:00 to go in the third period of what wound up being a deceptively lopsided 6-3 win over the Ducks in game six of the Western Conference Final.

It was Sissons' second goal of the third period and third of the night. The first career hat trick for a guy that will be the toast of the town in Smashville for a long time to come.

By the time Filip Forsberg and Austin Watson threw in empty-net goals in the final minute, the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl was polished and ready to be presented to the Western Conference Champion Predators.

Not that they went anywhere near it. As is tradition, players don't touch the conference championship trophy because there is more work to be done.

But at least for this night all of Nashville should enjoy this moment.

This was the most meaningful sporting event ever contested within our city limits. Another stage for an arena and city that have no equal. And the home team won, sending the 17,113 gold clad fans in the arena and the 10,000 or so outside the arena home happy.

This was the eighth night his postseason that Nashville showed an international hockey world that Music City is, indeed, a hockey city.

Ear-splitting noise boosting the Preds to a 2-0 lead behind goals from Watson and Sissons in the first 8:47.

Deafening roars cheering on every one of Pekka Rinne's 38 saves, every blocked shot, deflected pass and penalty kill while nursing that lead into the third period.

Only to see the Ducks tie it at 3 with two goals in a four-minute span.

But this Predators team and their noisy fans were not going to be denied. Sissons' goal on a beautiful feed from Calle Jarnkrok pushing them into the lead for good.

As the final seconds ticked down, a party different than this city has ever seen began inside and outside the arena.

This is new territory for all of us. Take the time to enjoy it for a few days.

The Stanley Cup Final starts next Monday and the Predators are in it.

There's more work to be done.