A gritty third period indeed. After a lackluster performance within the first and second periods, the outcome of the game in favor of Nashville looked pretty bleak going into the third period. Carolina, who were 12-24-4, were already up by one on Nashville and, even though that should be nothing for a team that is 25-9-4 should be concerned with, the Predators have a lengthy record of flunking against the Hurricanes.
- James Neal Anton Volchenkov
- The Hurricanes jumped on the board with a powerplay goal at 17:25 from Eric Staal, his eleventh of the season for Carolina.
- Carolina managed to notch twelve shots on net, while Nashville desperately hunted for it, only tallying seven shots on net.
- The second period brought zero luck to either contender on the side of goals.
- Nashville came out with a bit more gusto this period, taking twelve shots to the net compared to Carolina’s five.
- Peter Laviolette must have sacrificed a rookie during the second intermission because the Predators finally hit the ice with some power in the third.
- Ryan Ellis (5) put the team on the board at 4:43 with a tricky slip behind Cam Ward’s back. Viktor Stalberg picked up his second assist for the season – his first one gained just last Saturday against the Kings.
- Carolina would regain the lead at 8:14 with a powerplay goal from Justin Faulk, their second of the night.
- A little over two minutes later, Mike Fisher would tie it once again for his sixth goal of the season. Colin Wilson (12) and Filip Forsberg (24) tally the assists.
- Noteworthy: With his 24th assist, Filip Forsberg has now surpassed Alexander Radulov’s Franchise Rookie Record of 37 points; Forsberg leads rookies in the league with 38 points, 14 goals, 24 assists, and 23 plus-minus points. If he isn’t a Calder contender, I will have no reason to doubt the NHL just hates Nashville.
- Roman Josi would nail the GWG at 15:17 for his seventh goal of the season, bringing Nashville back from a dismal first and second periods. Viktor Stalberg (3) and Eric Nystrom (4) would nab the assists.
As the saying goes, “They don’t ask ‘how’ you won, but ‘if’ you won. Gritty wins in regulation still give you the two points.” — Someone says that. And, as news on the standings goes, Chicago (54) was blanked by the Colorado Avalanche last night, pushing Nashville (56) up two points. Though the Predators were already at the top of the Central Division, it’s still nice to push forward even farther from the Blackhawks. It is important to note that the Predators are also just two points behind the Anaheim Ducks for first in the Western Conference.
The 18-15-6 Dallas Stars roll into town on Thursday, then Nashville is off to St. Paul to visit Ryan Suter and the 18-15-5 Minnesota Wild.