The Predators hoped to shrug off the past two losses with a trip to Bean Town to face the 2011 Stanley Cup champs, the Boston Bruins this afternoon. However, similar to the Ottawa situation, Boston was coming off a nasty previous loss, one where they lost 6-0 to the Buffalo Sabres. As such, the Bruins were seeing red and the Predators, although in white, blue, and gold, might as well should have been wearing giant targets on their chests. With 17,565 in attendance, could the Predators knock out the reining Stanley Cup champs and seal the win? Here are the highlights from today’s noon start game in Boston:
- A surprise in the scratch department, silent but deadly Matt Halischuk was scratched, along with rookie Ryan Ellis. This meant the usual Brandon Yip and Jack Hillen finally got some ice time, but sadly, Brian McGrattan was scratched yet again.
- Both teams battled back and forth until 16:00 in the first when Boston’s Patrice Bergeron hit a wrist shot passed Pekka Rinne on a shorthanded goal for his 16th goal of the season. The Predators and the Bruins would ended the first period 1-0.
- The Predators caught up at 7:32 when Shea Weber used the power play to his advantage and nailed his one-of-a-kind slap shot passed Tim Thomas, his 11th goal of the season. Ryan Suter picked up the assist on Weber’s goal. The Bruins and the Predators would end the 2nd period tied at 1.
- The Bruins wasted no time in the third, with a backhand goal from Daniel Paille, his 9th goal of the season.
- Patric Hornqvist waited until 9:33 to slip a wrist shot passed Tim Thomas for his 17th goal of the season, tying the game at 2. Sergei Kostitsyn and goalie Pekka Rinne picked up the two assists.
- Mike Fisher finally put the Predators up and over the Bruins at 16:28 with a backhanded goal of his own, his 17th goal of the season. Patric Hornqvist and Francis Bouillon picked up the assists on Fisher’s goal.
- At 18:53, Milan Lucic was able to tie the game by sending a wrist shot passed Pekka Rinne, his 20th goal of the season. Neither team was able to score again in regulation, thus throwing the game into overtime.
- Both Boston and Nashville fought back and forth during overtime, but neither time was able to get one passed the goalies to end the game. Here is the shootout play-by-play:
- BOSTON – David Krejci – SAVED BY RINNE
- NASHVILLE – Sergei Kostitsyn – SAVED BY THOMAS
- BOSTON – Tyler Seguin – GOAL
- NASHVILLE – Martin Erat – SAVED BY THOMAS
- BOSTON – Patrice Bergeron – GOAL
- With two successful sweeps passed Pekka, Boston sealed the 2-points and the game, leaving the Predators to hang their heads and tuck tail back to Nashville. Although Nashville slipped away with one point, now is not the time to go on a losing streak. This is the 3rd game in a row the Predators have lost 4-3 and, although it could be worse, a loss is a loss.
- Although it’s easy to blame Pekka, he honestly hasn’t done anything different. He was able to block 38 of 41 shots on goal, which is pretty outstanding. It all plays back to the Predators defense and shots, neither of which we want to delve into at this moment.
- The Predators were given three power play opportunities, one of which they were able to capitalize on. Unfortunately, the Predators were able to give Boston two power play goals out of four chances. Here are the penalty takers:
- Mike Fisher – 10:37 1st Period – Hooking
- Craig Smith – 13:02 1st Period – Too many Men/Ice
- Sergei Kostitsyn – 10:30 2nd Period – Interference
- Sergei Kostitsyn – 17:42 3rd Period – Tripping
The Predators head home with a third loss hanging over their heads and hope to start back on a winning streak when division rival the Chicago Blackhawks come to town on Valentine’s Day. As stated before, there’s never a good time to have a losing streak, but with the battle for division and conference leaders at steak, now is really not the time. We can only hope for the best on Tuesday.
(Photo credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America)