Rinne rising? Road-ready Predators win in Chicago

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The Nashville Predators have survived this season despite a few challenges. The most troubling issue has been the play of Pekka Rinne, a $7 million goalie whose numbers resemble those of a fringe backup.

He’s playing up to his pay grade lately, however, and the Predators seem to be rising with him.

It was the sort of night that made Chicago Blackhawks fans even more excited to get Andrew Ladd, as Rinne was nearly unbeatable in leading Nashville to a 3-1 win.

That game was skin-tight, too, as an empty-netter inflated the difference and Calle Jarnkrok‘s pretty game-winner came crushingly late. They really needed every impressive Rinne save tonight:

The Predators are now 5-0-3 in their last eight games, and Nashville’s even more impressive on the road, going 8-0-2 in their last 10 away games.

They’re highly unlikely to even sneak out of the West’s wild card picture. Even so, if Rinne keeps playing at this level, they might just keep this road warrior work going through the playoffs.