Patience, Perseverance Paying Off for Pekka

AP Photo

Minutes after disposing of the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5, a joyous Nashville Predators team filed into their locker room beneath the stands at Bridgestone Arena dancing to the cheesy sounds of Lionel Richie's "All Night Long."

Head coach Barry Trotz made his way around the raucous room and shook every player's hand. After the trainer turned down the music, Trotz immediately pointed to his sweat-soaked goalie Pekka Rinne, who sat slouched in his corner stall. "This guy right here," the coach barked. "He made it possible."

Rinne reluctantly grinned and shook his head side to side, as if deflecting the praise like one of the 151 saves he made in his dominating first-round performance. He looked almost embarrassed.

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