In tonight’s 3-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks, Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne set two personal records. Rinne won his 100th game in net for the Preds, as well as took over the top spot for career shutouts in team history.
“It’s an honor,” said Rinne, who made 20 saves on the night. “There have been some good goalies in this organization, but it just says I’ve been playing with some good teammates and successful teams. Personally, to have those shutouts, it feels great. Even though it’s an individual statistic, I feel it’s a team effort and says how good of a team we’ve had in the three seasons since I’ve been here.
“I’m really proud of it, and to be able to do these things, it’s more than I could have ever imagined.”
Rinne broke Tomas Vokoun’s all-time mark of 21 shutouts in a Predators uniform. Also, the Kempele, Finland, native became the second Predators goalie to reach the 100-win plateau (Vokoun leads with 161).
This game was the playoff rematch with Anaheim, who the Preds knocked out in six games last April. Rinne said it was nice to make history against a budding rival, and hopes to carry over that success into the upcoming five-game road trip.
“Before going on the road, it was a big game for us,” Rinne said. “Just to gain some momentum and confidence at home, that’s the biggest thing.”
Rinne has been a huge key to the Preds’ success in recent seasons, so to get the 100th win and shutout record in the same game was extra special.
“Well, you know, he’s Pekka Rinne,” defenseman Kevin Klein said with Rinne listening nearby. “He’s the tits, we call him, because he’s so good in there. It’s nice to have a guy back there to save your butt when you make a mistake!”
Though the Predators out-shot the Ducks 29-20, Rinne had to make some key saves to preserve the lead.
“He stood tall,” coach Barry Trotz said after the game. “It was really good for Pekka because if you talk to Pekka he’d probably say last year during the Anaheim series, he wasn’t at his best. Tonight he responded. Sometimes you think maybe they had my number last year. Not tonight. He shut the door and I thought he was big. Once again, he was a big part of a win.”
A new promotion at Bridgestone Arena this season is that, if the Preds record a shutout everyone in attendance can take their ticket stub to Dunkin Donuts and receive a free donut. Trotz plans on taking advantage of that tomorrow morning.
“Tomorrow morning I’m going to enjoy my Dunkin Donuts coffee and donut with all the 17,113 people that are going to be (there) tomorrow!”