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In 2005-06, the Nashville Predators set an NHL record by winning their first four games by one goal each. They also became the fourth NHL franchise to start the season 8-0 on top of setting the franchise mark for wins in a season with a record of 49-25-8.
By the end of the 2005-06 season, the Nashville Predators had accumulated 106 points and clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in team history. They also finished the season with an NHL best 32-8-1 record at home.
The Nashville Predators began the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the fourth seed and faced the fifth seeded San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Game 1 of the series went to the Predators, who scored four power plays goals downing the Sharks 4-3. Paul Kariya, who had led the Nashville Predators in regular-season scoring, assisted on all four goals in that game.
In Game 2, Sharks goaltender Vesa Toskala posted his first postseason victory and shutout, and the San Jose Sharks defeated the Nashville Predators 3-0. In Game 3, the Predators fell to the Sharks 4-1. The Nashville Predators rallied from a 5-2 deficit, scoring their first even-strength goals of the series, but again fell to the Sharks 5-4 in Game 4.
Finally, despite a flurry of shots in the final minute, the Nashville Predators were defeated by the Sharks 2-1 in Game 5, which eliminated Nashville from the playoffs. Regular season back-up Chris Mason, who was forced into the starting position after the Nashville Predators discovered starter Tomas Vokoun had a rare blood disorder, could not easily keep the Sharks at bay, least of all Joe Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo, who, on April 19, 2006, were described by the Associated Press's Greg Beacham as "the Sharks' scoring engine".
On July 18, 2006, long time fan favorite and team leader Scott Walker was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for Josef Vasicek. Walker left as the franchise's all time leading scorer. This was immediately followed on July 19, 2006 by the trading of another fan favorite Adam Hall. Hall was sent to the New York Rangers in exchange for Dominic Moore, and then Moore was immediately shipped to the Pittsburgh Penguins along with Nashville Predators prospect Libor Pivko in exchange for a 3rd round draft pick in the 2007 NHL entry draft.
Also making headlines after the season was Tomas Vokoun and the condition of his blood disorder. Vokoun had back pain in April when doctors diagnosed him with pelvic thrombophlebitis, a rare blood condition that created a multitude of blood clots. He spent more than three days in the hospital while doctors ran tests and gave him blood thinners to reduce risks of a clot breaking loose.
He was released by doctors on July 25, 2006. Vokoun knows his blood clots could pose problems for him in the future, but as for now, the Nashville Predators are glad Vokoun is healthy and ready for next season.
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