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June 29, 2017

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Nashville complete series sweep against Blackhawks

NASHVILLE, Tennessee -- Roman Josi scored twice, Pekka Rinne had 30 saves and the Nashville Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on Thursday night to complete a surprising sweep of the Western Conference's top seed.

Colton Sissons also scored and Viktor Arvidsson added an empty-net goal as Nashville completed the franchise's first playoff sweep. Led by Rinne's shutouts in the first two games, the Predators limited the high-scoring Blackhawks to just three goals in 13 periods.

Nashville will face the winner of the St. Louis-Minnesota series in the second round. The Blues have a 3-1 lead heading into Game 5 on Saturday in Minnesota.

Chicago became the first No. 1 seed to lose in the opening round since the Los Angeles Kings knocked off the Vancouver Canucks on their way to the Stanley Cup title in 2012. Chicago's second straight first-round exit followed a regular season in which the Blackhawks went 50-23-9 and recorded 109 points, the second-highest total in franchise history.

It was the first time a No. 1 seed was swept in the first round since the NHL adopted its current playoff format in 1994.

Jonathan Toews scored in the third period for Chicago, and Corey Crawford had 22 saves.

Oilers 4, Sharks 3, OT David Desharnais scored late in the first overtime to lift the Edmonton Oilers to a 4-3 win over the Sharks on Thursday night, pushing San Jose to the brink of elimination in the NHL playoffs.

Desharnais, in the slot, one-timed a Leon Draisaitl cross-ice pass past Sharks goaltender Martin Jones to cap an overtime session dominated by Edmonton.

The Oilers lead the Western Conference quarterfinal series 3-2 with Game 6 Saturday night in San Jose.

The series winner takes on the Anaheim Ducks in Round 2.

Edmonton took a 1-0 lead at 5:28 when Maroon, standing at the edge of the crease, corralled a rebound off Matt Benning's shot to sweep the puck past Sharks goalie Martin Jones.

The Oilers also hit three goal posts — two by Darnell Nurse and one by Jordan Eberle — before San Jose responded at the midway point of the period.

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