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Video: Antti Niemi Caught on Heels, Gives Preds Life

Apr 16, 2010 – 10:47 PM
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A.J. Perez

A.J. Perez %BloggerTitle%

A seemingly harmless backhand flick by Nashville Predators forward J.P. Dumont led to the softest goal in this young postseason.

It also put the seventh-seeded Preds on the way to a 4-1 victory over the second-seeded Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of the first-round series at the United Center on Friday.

With Chicago leading 1-0 off a second-period goal by Patrick Kane, Dumont sent the the puck slowly toward the Blackhawks net from the a few feet inside the blue line a minute and half into to third period. Goalie Antti Niemi, playing in his first career postseason, backed into his net and allowed the puck to take an odd bounce off the ice and then off the far post.

"I was just trying to backhand it toward the net," Dumont said. "I saw Joel Ward driving the net. I was hoping for a rebound or something, but lucky for us it bounced in. It was a lucky bounce, but we'll take it."

That certainly won't do anything to alleviate concerns about the Blackhawks' goaltending situation.

"It took a funny hop, a funny bounce," Chicago coach Joel Quennville said. "Sometimes they can go in. There was still a lot of hockey and we were in a pretty good spot."

Dumont, who began his career with the Blackhawks, scored again midway through the period before Jerred Smithson and Martin Erat each added empty netters. With the loss, the two top seeds in each conference (Washington, New Jersey, San Jose and Chicago) have dropped their respective playoff openers.
Filed under: Sports
Tagged: antti niemi