Patric Hornqvist was so close, yet so far away in Game 4

The Nashville Predators were starving for offense on Friday night. They didn't have Alexander Radulov. They didn't have Andrei Kostitsyn. And they didn't score any goals.

The one forward that was in uniform that seemed to be giving them the best opportunities was Patric Hornqvist, their leading goal-scorer (27) during the regular season.

Hornqvist seemed to be in the middle of everything that happened for Nashville in the offensive zone, including a controversial play that resulted in a potential goal being kept off the board (more on that in a minute).

He was responsible for at least five scoring chances and attempted a game-high 12 shots. No player for either team attempted more than six. The problem for Hornqvist and the Predators is that only three of his attempted shots actually hit the net, and zero made their way to the back of the net.

During one particularly frustrating shift for Nashville in the second period Hornqvist fired one shot off the post, only to follow that up by airmailing the puck over the net from pointblank range when he had Phoenix goalie Mike Smith down and out for the count.

Things didn't get much better in the third period. He was stopped by Smith on a partial breakaway early in the frame, and then found himself in the middle of a scrum around the net that negated what could have been the game-tying goal. According to Nashville coach Barry Trotz, the officials explanation for not allowing the goal was that Hornqvist had pushed Smith into the net, which is what allowed the puck to cross the goal line.

Here's a look at the video for you to decide for yourself.

Hornqvist was Nashville's best player on Friday. He also had the worst luck in the offensive zone.
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CBS Sports Writer

Adam Gretz has been writing about the NHL and taking an analytical approach to the game since the start of the 2008 season. A member of the PHWA since 2015, he has spent more than three years covering... Full Bio

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