Well, this isn’t the road trip the Predators expected to have, now is it? After taking a loss Thursday 5-2 from the New York Islanders, then limping away with a point yesterday afternoon against the Flyers, the Predators were hoping to shake off this excruciating road trip with a win against the 17-38-4 (ouch) Buffalo Sabres before returning home on Tuesday.
SCRATCHES: Victor Bartley, Calle Jarnkrok
- A rather uneventful period, Nashville managed to out-shoot Buffalo eleven to three, but Michal Neuvirth was there to block the Preds.
- What looked like another quiet period, Buffalo’s Tyler Ennis (15) was able to sink a wrister on Carter Hutton at 19:46, giving the Sabres a late second period 1-0 lead. Zemgus Girgensons (14) and Matt Moulson (17) tallied the assists.
- Nashville once again out-shot Buffalo, this time fifteen to four, but it was Ennis who found the sweet spot.
- Relief for the Predators came at 15:43 on the powerplay as Mike Ribeiro (12) deflected a shot to tie the game at one. Cody Franson (27) and Seth Jones (16) notch the assists.
- The Predators only managed ten shots-on-goal during the third, but again, out-shot the Sabres by four.
- The Predators were given a late overtime powerplay chance, but nothing could be accomplished by either team in OT, so onward to the shootout…
- BUF – Matt Moulson – MISS
- NSH – Mike Santorelli – GOAL
- BUF – Tyler Ennis – GOAL
- NSH – Craig Smith – MISS
- BUF – Zemgus Girgensons – MISS
- NSH – Matt Cullen – MISS
- BUF – Brian Gionta – MISS
- NSH – Filip Forsberg – GOAL
POST GAME NOTES:
- The Predators are the first team in the NHL to reach 40 wins with this shootout victory and set a franchise record.
- Both Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli help secure this win tonight, with Franson collecting an assist and Santorelli sinking a goal in the shootout.
Inhale slowly through the nose, exhale slowly through the mouth; the Predators walk away with the two points. Okay, but let’s discuss how outrageous Michal Neuvirth was in net tonight. Nashville was doing everything right; you can see that from the amount of shots-on-goal. Unfortunately, Neuvirth was doing everything right, too. The kid blocked 37 of the 38 SOG; that’s Pekka-esque and pretty darn good.
Take a deep breath, my friends. The Predators are back home Tuesday to take on the Colorado Avalanche, who are currently sitting at the bottom of the Central Division. Then it’s a bout with Ryan Suter and the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.