Ahh, the Florida Panthers. Other than a bout in the preseason, Nashville and Sunrise haven’t met until now in the regular season; and boy, are the numbers lopsided: 7-5-6 for Florida and 13-5-2 for Nashville. However, as you should know from us, we aren’t about numbers. Numbers do not foretell who is going to come out on fire or who’s going to have a bad night. You have to give the Panthers some credit; facing multiple injuries that have forced them to call up some young, inexperienced-in-the-NHL talent and the embarrassing low attendance numbers and home games, Florida has just about everything (including the world) against them. The Predators may be riding high at the top of the Central Division right now, but lest we forget – in the not so distant past – Nashville was scraping the barrel and rumors of movement were floating about. Heck, Nashville still has a long, bumpy road ahead – the Predators are not immune to being out-powered and/or outnumbered.
- No goals for either side in the first period, but Nashville took a few shots that just couldn’t connect with the goal – 14 to be precise. Florida, on the other hand, only managed four shots-on-goal during the first period.
- The second period would, for the most part, feel just like the first one, with Nashville slamming Robert Luongo with shots left and right, but none connecting.
- Finally, at 18:26, Colin Wilson would make one of those shots connect, sending his third goal of the season around Luongo to put Nashville on the board. Calle Jarnkrok (3) and Craig Smith (5) would gather the assists.
- Matt Cullen would put Nashville up 2-0 at 13:01 for his third goal of the season, with a little assistance from Derek Roy (6).
- But here’s where it gets dicey: At 19:17, when you think Nashville has a shutout in the bag, Rocco Grimaldi sinks one on Rinne to put the Panthers on the board.
- Not even twelve seconds later, Nick Bjugstad sends one past Pekka Rinne, tying the game and throwing it into overtime.
- And this, boys and girls, is why you do not lower your guard until the final whistle is blown and “All I do is Win” comes over the speakers.
- Five minutes of overtime produced zero goals, with Florida getting no shots on goal and Nashville only pounding five.
- NSH – Derek Roy – MISS
- FLA – Jonathan Huberdeau – MISS
- NSH – Ryan Ellis – MISS
- FLA – Jussi Jokinen – MISS
- NSH – Craig Smith – MISS
- FLA – Nick Bjugstad – MISS
- NSH – Filip Forsberg – GOAL
- FLA – Brad Boyes – MISS
What should have been a game bagged in regulation turned sour pretty quickly for Nashville in the last few seconds of the third period. Thankfully, overtime and a shootout shook them out of la-la land and back into the game. As I mentioned above, never lower your guard; never assume you have the game won. The Predators welcome in the defending Stanley Cup Champs, the Los Angeles Kings, on Tuesday night and then welcome in the Edmonton Oilers for a header on Turkey Day.