How’s everyone doing during the #ICESTORM2015? What was supposed to be ideal, beautiful snow turned into hazardous, just-plain-evil ice across the entire state. In fact, it has been so bad, Tennessee officials declared a State of Emergency. Needless to say, the attendance for tonight’s game against the 29-21-8 San Jose Sharks wasn’t expected to be a sellout. However, the fear of being stranded somewhere along one of the deserted interstates tonight didn’t stop the Loyal Legion from turning out.
- As mentioned in the previous post, Anthony Bitetto was recalled last minute by Nashville to fill a void in the defense (Anton Volchenkov was placed on IR).
- However, where Bitetto made the flight to Nashville, his equipment bad did not. This left Nashville with a ton more forwards than defensemen.
- Nashville’s solution? During warmups, Viktor Stalberg – who just cleared waivers not even 24-hours ago – was paired on the defense with Seth Jones…
- Just before puck drop, Viktor Stalberg was declared the healthy scratch and Anthony Bitetto was given the green light.
- But… the team was down to just five d-men for a few minutes, as Bitetto’s bag arrived a little after game start.
- Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli did not make their return tonight due to issues with their work visas. So… they don’t already have those?
- Viktor Stalberg, Cody Franson, and Mike Santorelli
- San Jose’s Matt Irwin (5) drew the first blood at 5:26, sending a wrister past Pekka Rinne.
- Shea Weber quickly tied it up at 13:42 with his signature slapshot, his 14th goal of the season. Mike Fisher (15) picked up the assist.
- Craig Smith took a chunk of Alex Stalock at 16:02, collecting his 17th goal of the season with a wrister. Mattias Ekholm (9) and Mike Ribeiro (36) tally the assists.
- Preds end the first period up 2-1 on the Sharks, though San Jose out-shoots Nashville 17 to 15.
- Just 52 seconds into the period, Craig Smith notched his second goal of the season (18) on the powerplay. Colin Wilson (20) and Seth Jones (15) punch the assists.
- Paul Gaustad wanted a piece of the pie and got his at 1:43, his second goal of the season. Gabriel Bourque (6) and Shea Weber (28) pick up the assists on Gaustad’s wrister.
- James Neal would finish off the second period with his 20th goal of the season at 10:31. Mike Ribeiro (37) collects the lone assist.
- San Jose out-shot Nashville 15 to 13.
- No goals in the third.
- San Jose out-shot Nashville in each period, this time 11 to 9.
NOTEWORTHY (POST GAME):
- Pekka Rinne is a beast indeed (not that you needed any convincing). You know he’s doing big things when NHL takes notice:
- James Neal is the first on the roster to reach 20 goals and he now has 7-straight 20-goal seasons.
- Both Shea Weber and Mike Fisher are now on three-game point streaks.
- Another reminder of how great Rinne is:
- Pekka stopped 42 of 43 shots-on-goal tonight. Tell me he isn’t Vezina worthy.
- The Predators now hold a six-point lead over the entire NHL.
With this win, the Predators are just seven wins away from clinching a playoff spot (and it isn’t even March yet) and are now 39-12-6. Wowza. The Preds take off for a three-game road trip to the East, starting with the New York Islanders on Thursday.