After being shutdown by the Colorado Avalanche Friday night 3-0, the Predators retreated to the City of Brotherly Love in search of a win against the 28-13-8 Penguins on Sunday afternoon. However, the last meeting between these two ended poorly for Nashville, as Pittsburgh entered the Music City and wiped the floor with the home team 3-0 (on the James Neal bobblehead night, no doubt). But the woes of being shutout aren’t the only thing nagging at the Predators; the St. Louis Blues are on a hot streak and have their sights set on taking the Central Division lead.
SCRATCHES: Pekka Rinne, Olli Jokinen
- Roman Josi put Nashville on the board at 4:05, sending a slapper by Marc-Andre Fleury, his ninth of the season. Filip Forsberg (26) and Shea Weber (24) notched the assists.
- At 6:38, Gabriel Bourque sent his own slapshot towards the net, tallying his third goal of the season. Bourque’s slapper needed no assistance.
- Nashville only had two more SOG than Pittsburgh, giving Carter Hutton some much deserved credit (NSH, 7; PIT, 5).
- In what looked like a goal-less period, Eric Nystrom gave the Predators a 3-0 lead at 19:19, his sixth of the season. Taylor Beck (5) notched the assist.
- Again, props to Carter Hutton as this time the Penguins tallied eleven SOG compared to Nashville’s seven. Oh, and Nashville took four penalties during the second, giving the Penguins too many man-advantages.
- Nashville’s only goal during the third would come from Mike Fisher’s wrister on the powerplay at 8:20, his twelfth goal of the season. Filip Forsberg (27) and Roman Josi (24) would collect the assists.
- Filip Forsberg surpassed Mike Ribeiro to take the lead in points amongst the team. Ribeiro, who is one point shy of his 700th career, has 43 whereas Forsberg now has 44.
- Not only was this Carter Hutton’s first road win of the season, it is also his first shutout (second career shutout).
- Predators continue to hold first in the league (again) at 70 points. The Ducks, too, are at 70 points, but alas, they have lost one more regulation game than the Predators.
So there you have it: Shutout by Colorado on Friday, retaliated against Pittsburgh on Sunday and blanked them 4-0. Nashville also held off St. Louis taking the Central Division lead as well (NSH has 70 pts, STL has 68). It’s no doubt the Blues are hot right now (won the last five) and are, at this point, biting off Nashville’s heels for the lead. Chicago isn’t too far away, either; they sit a comfortable six points back, but that hasn’t stopped them before.
Want to see the Predators in action? Well, February is your month as Nashville has more home games on the schedule than I know what to do with, starting tomorrow against the Toronto Maple Leafs.