Pekka Rinne Sets Shutout Mark at World Hockey Championships

Nevermind that Pekka Rinne is playing the like best goalie in the world. He might be playing like the best goalie in the universe.

Pekka Rinne’s Remarkable Run

After a shaky start against Team USA in the opening game, Rinne settled down and began his scoreless streak with a shutout over Denmark. Pekka Rinne then continued his shutout streak after blanking Norway and Slovenia.

After getting a rest in another shutout win over Slovakia (Backup Juuse Saros didn’t give up a goal in that game), Rinne set the record early in Monday’s Group B game against Belarus.

The record was set in 2004 by Slovakia’s Jan Lasak when he went 206:26 without giving up a goal. Pekka Rinne topped that by an impressive 30 minutes, 49 seconds.

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Yevgeni Kovyrshin of Belarus finally broke the shutout streak with an early third period goal. Pekka Rinne would give up one more goal when Belarus had the extra skater, but Finland would end up winning, 3-2, in a shootout.

Rinne Giving Finns Chance to Win

Pekka Rinne dominating at the World Championships is nothing new. He earned most valuable player honors in last year’s tournament in Belarus. Rinne earned the honor despite Finland losing to Russia in the gold medal game.

Rinne looks like he’s giving Finland a great chance to surpass last year’s silver medal. The Finns have only given up seven goals in six games. Five of those came against the United States. (Rinne only gave up four as the Americans potted an empty-netter late.)

Finland’s defense has also made some great plays, but Rinne has made an array of dazzling saves. This save of Artur Gavrus kept Finland from going down two goals to Belarus.

Finland may have lost the first game, but it still has a great shot at winning Group B. All Finland would need is a win over Russia and a loss by the United States against Slovakia to claim the group. Even if Finland doesn’t win the group, they are still one of the favorites to win.

Rinne Wrapping up Great Season

Last year’s tournament was a harbinger of things to come as Pekka Rinne bounced back after an injury-plagued 2013-14 season. Rinne put together a campaign that got him nominated for the Vezina Trophy. He went 41-17-6 record, .923 save percentage, 2.18 GAA and four shutouts.

Rinne was one of the reasons the Nashville Predators made the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. He was arguably the first-half MVP, and would’ve contended for the Hart Trophy if he hadn’t gotten injured.

Nashville fans may not have gotten a deep playoff run like they wanted, but there are positives to take from this world championship run. He and other Predators have been playing well like many expected.

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Dan Mount is a Nashville Predators staff writer for The Hockey Writers. You can follow him on Twitter, @DanMountSports.