If you missed this game well, you may have just missed the game of the year (if not the century) for the Predators. This game rattled every possible emotion the human body has and then some we didn’t even know we had. Throughout this game, the Predators were up 3-1, down 3-5, tied it 5-5, then won 6-5! With this many ups and downs, you can imagine how many Predators fans will be going to the doctor tomorrow to get their blood pressure checked. All four goalies (both Vancouver’s and Nashville’s) got ice time. For all of this to have happened within regulation is absolutely nuts. Our fingers are still a little giddy from the adrenaline, so this may be updated later with facts and stats we passed while in our state of euphoria. Here’s the highlights from tonight’s win in Vancouver:
- Sergei Kostitsyn was benched tonight, along with Blake Geoffrion and Francis Bouillon. SK74 sat out with an upper-body injury he suffered from during Tuesday’s game against Calgary. It was for the best that Kostitsyn sat out, injury or not. It seems SK74 has been suffering from what we’d like to call the “Kostitsyn Syndrome” where he basically just bails at the last second and avoids shooting all together. What’s up with that, Serge? Giving Kostitsyn a little “me” time will hopefully get his mind straight and get his thoughts collected before returning to the ice.
- Say so long to Teemu Laakso, for he has been placed on waivers. After suffering an injury that placed him on the IR, the Predators felt it necessary to part ways with the young defenseman. If you look at Yahoo! Sports, it’ll tell you Teemu has been injured since December 31st… 1969. Yea, you read that correctly. He was actually injured back on November 8th against the LA Kings. But hey, 2011/1969… pretty close, right? We thank you for the laugh, Yahoo! Sports and we know it was just a glitch error, but we still laugh.
- David Legwand struck first on a power play at 5:44 in the first, with assists from both Colin Wilson and Craig Smith. This is Leggy’s sixth goal of the season and we expect more that aren’t just empty-netters.
- Mike Fisher took no time after Leggy’s goal and sent the Preds up 2-0 over the Canucks with a backhand shot at 8:16 in the first with assists from Martin Erat and Shea Weber.
- Vancouver’s Cody Hodgson snuck one passed Pekka, putting the Canucks on the board. However, Shea Weber released his signature slap shot, sending the Predators up 3-1. Weber scored at 19:50 in the first on the PP, with assists from Colin Wilson and Craig Smith again. This is Weber’s 5th goal of the season and he and the boys chased goalie Cory Schneider out of the net, bringing the much loved Roberto Luongo into the second period.
- The 2nd period started out a little more than rough for the Preds, with Vancouver scoring four-straight goals, sending Pekka running for the bench. With goals from the likes of Alex Burrows, Daniel Sedin, Aaron Volpatti, and Jannik Hansen, this sent the Canucks up 5-3 over the Predators.
- Once Anders Lindback hit the net, things started turning around for the Preds, with goals from Jordin Tootoo at 16:09 (assisted by Matt Halischuk and Nick Spaling) and Colin Wilson at 17:30 on the PP (assisted by David Legwand and Craig Smith). At the end of the second, the Predators managed to tie the game up 5-5.
- For the majority of the third period, the Canucks pressured the you-know-what out of Lindback and the Nashville zone, almost seeming as if they were on a permanent power play. But at 18:44, Mike Fisher sealed the game winning goal with help from Martin Erat and Ryan Suter. The Predators scooted passed the Canucks, 6-5.
- The Canucks attempted 81 (read that again) shots, but only 37 counted whereas the Predators only had 20 shots at goal. As we all know, you can shoot all day at the goal, but it’s the one’s that make it into the goal that count in the long run.
- The Predators found themselves in the one place they should never go when facing the Canucks: the penalty box. The Canucks have the leading average of goals on power plays, so taking careless penalties could have hurt the Preds way more than it did tonight. Here are your offenders:
- Craig Smith – 3:34 1st Period – Hooking
- Shea Weber – 8:41 1st Period – Holding (Cody Hodgson scored)
- Martin Erat – 14:45 1st Period – Hi-Sticking
- Jerred Smithson – 2:47 2nd Period – Slashing (Daniel Sedin scored)
- Along with the penalties, the Green Men of Vancouver were very excited to see Nashville again and brought a little surprise to torture the guys in the box with. Sadly for the Green Men, the naked cutout of Ryan Kesler did not effect us too badly, but it may have scarred us for life.
Like we said earlier, this was the most exciting, thrilling game thus far of the season and the Predators, although physically tired towards the end, stuck it out and fought back against the Vancouver Canucks. This could be a huge turnaround for the Preds, who are now 12-9-4 in the season. This is team we like -no love- to see play out on both the road and at home.
The Predators are headed back home to take on the Eastern Conference Buffalo Sabres Saturday night at the Bridgestone Arena. The puck drops shortly after 7PM CT and sadly, you can’t get this one on TV (::cough:: 102.5 THE GAME ::cough::).
WHAT A WIN. GO PREDS.