Player of the Week | Pekka Rinne
Pekka Rinne stood tall in net for the Nashville Predators with three consecutive wins, which included the 300th win and 49th shutout of his NHL career as part of the team's perfect week.
Feb. 19-25, 2018
.939 SV%, 1.00 GAA over 3 GP
Won three consecutive starts
Earned 300th NHL career win
Posted 49th NHL career shutout
It’s a terrible pun, but it’s terribly accurate.
Pekka Rinne was indeed 'im-Pekka-ble' as he stood tall in net for the Nashville Predators with three consecutive wins, which included the 300th win and 49th shutout of his NHL career as part of the team's perfect week.
The 35-year-old netminder opened the first of a four-game homestand for the Preds by turning aside 36 of 38 shots in a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators Monday. Rinne was up to his usual tricks by shutting down one of the best offensive chances of the game with a huge pad-save on Thomas Chabot in the middle frame.
In the second of a back-to-back Nashville played host to the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday. Rinne was given the night off in lieu of Juuse Saros, who made 34 saves in a 3-2 win to help the club break a seven-game losing streak against the Red Wings.
The Finnish starter was back between the pipes at Bridgestone Arena Thursday night with the San Jose Sharks in town. Rinne turned aside 33 shots on net in a 7-1 to earn his 300th NHL career win – all of them with Nashville – and was named first star of the game for his performance. Rinne became the 34th goaltender in NHL history to reach 300 wins and just the third Finnish-born to achieve the feat, following Mikka Kiprusoff and Kari Lehtonen.
— NHLPA (@NHLPA) February 23, 2018
Rinne, who is now in his 10th full NHL season, was drafted in the 8th round at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft – and was understandably reflective as a little emotion escaped when he took to the ice to salute the crowd postgame.
Being named the number one star of the night after securing his 300th NHL win, #Preds Pekka Rinne displays some raw emotional in his chat with @KaraHammer down at Nashville's bench postgame. What a guy! pic.twitter.com/TUVJsK8g0D— FOX Sports Tennessee (@PredsOnFSTN) February 23, 2018
"I didn't want to cry, to be honest with you," Rinne told reporters in the dressing room. “I guess (it was) just the crowd's reaction. In those moments, you take a look back."
'Peks' was named first star of the game once more by closing out his week with a 27-save shutout performance Sunday in a 4-0 win over the visiting St. Louis Blues. For Rinne, it meant the netminder moved within one more goose egg from his next milestone and 50th NHL career shutout. For Nashville, it meant the club's fourth straight and first place in the Central Division.
Rinne's 32 wins and six shutouts so far of the 2017-18 season both rank tied for second in their respectively categories. His .929 SV% gives him the fourth-best percentage (alongside injured Corey Crawford) while his 2.27 GAA ranks tied for fifth lowest overall.
The Preds now hit the road to play their next game against the Minnesota Wild Tuesday.