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Monday Offseason Caterwaul: Florida Panthers and NHL Playoffs Open Forum

Predators advance - Oilers force Game 7

St Louis Blues v Nashville Predators - Game Six Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The Nashville Predators advanced to the Western Conference final for the first time in franchise history with a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday afternoon. Ryan Johansen scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period on a breakaway, and Calle Jarnkrok clinched it with an empty-netter with one minute remaining. The Predators won the series four games to two and now await the winner of the Edmonton - Anaheim series.

In Edmonton, Leon Draisaitl went crazy-ape bonkers, scoring three goals and two assists to lead the Oilers to a 7-1 rout over the Ducks. Mark Letestu scored twice and added two helpers as Edmonton shook off back-to-back overtime defeats to force Game 7 on Wednesday night at Honda Center.

There is only one game on the Stanley Cup docket tonight. The Pittsburgh Penguins will host the Washington Capitals in Game 6. The Caps need a win to stay alive (NBCSN - 7:30).

In Florida Panthers news, Nick Bjugstad set up one of Clayton Keller’s three goals, had two shots on net, went 2 for 6 on faceoffs, and took a high-sticking minor in 12:47 TOI in Team USA’s 7-2 drubbing of Denmark at the IIHF World Championship.

Mike Matheson logged 20:14 of ice time, had three shots on goal, took a hooking minor, and finished with a +2 rating in Canada’s 7-2 romp over Slovenia. Jason Demers registered one shot and logged 20:37. Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon had a hat trick for the Canadians.

Denis Malgin recorded three shots on goal and went 3 for 7 on draws in 10:26 TOI in Switzerland’s 3-0 win over Norway.

The U.S. and Canada are both in action today. Canada will take on Belarus at 10:15 am and the Americans will face Sweden at 2:15 pm.

Congratulations to Panthers’ owner Vinnie Viola. His horse, Always Dreaming won the Kentucky Derby yesterday. Nice!