Preds release 2017-18 Pre-Season Schedule

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Image Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Early this afternoon, the Nashville Predators released some vital information for all you suffering from hockey withdraws: the 2017-18 pre-season schedule. Per usual (perhaps tradition), Nashville will face the Florida Panthers, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Columbus Blue Jackets to get ready for another bout towards the Stanley Cup.

  • Tuesday, September 19th @ 3:30PM – Florida Panthers @ Nashville Predators
  • Tuesday, September 19th @ 7PM – Florida Panthers @ Nashville Predators
  • Friday, September 22nd @ 6:30PM – Nashville Predators @ Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Sunday, September 24th @ 6PM – Nashville Predators @ Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Thursday, September 28th @ 7PM – Columbus Blue Jackets @ Nashville Predators
  • Saturday, September 30th @ 7PM – Tampa Bay Lightning @ Nashville Predators

And be sure to keep those calendars at hand as the full 2017-18 schedule will be released this coming Thursday. Pre-season tickets go on sale at 10AM this Friday, followed by a Fan Appreciation Draft Party at Bridgestone Arena from 4PM-10PM. For more information, visit the Nashville Predators site.

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2017 NHL All-Star Roster Announced

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Image Source: NBC Sports

Moments ago, the NHL released the final roster of the 2017 NHL All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles January 28th-29th. Not surprisingly, Nashville has only one player on said roster: P.K. Subban, who was voted by the fans as the Central Division Captain. And, with his upper-body injury slated to be healed by the All-Star Weekend, Subban may have to relinquish his captain duties to someone else for safety’s sake.

– CENTRAL DIVISION

  • P.K. Subban – Nashville Predators
  • Corey Crawford – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Devan Dubnyk – Minnesota Wild
  • Ryan Suter – Minnesota Wild
  • Duncan Keith – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Vladimir Tarasenko – St. Louis Blues
  • Patrik Laine – Winnipeg Jets
  • Nathan MacKinnon – Colorado Avalanche
  • Tyler Seguin – Dallas Stars

 

– ATLANTIC DIVISION:

  • Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens
  • Tuukka Rask – Boston Bruins
  • Victor Hedman – Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Shea Weber – Montreal Canadiens
  • Erik Karlsson – Ottawa Senators
  • Frans Nielsen – Detroit Red Wings
  • Nikita Kucherov – Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Vincent Trocheck – Florida Panthers
  • Auston Matthews – Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Kyle Okposo – Buffalo Sabres
  • Brad Marchand – Boston Bruins

– PACIFIC DIVISION:

  • Connor McDavid – Edmonton Oilers
  • Martin Jones – San Jose Sharks
  • Mike Smith – Arizona Coyotes
  • Cam Fowler – Anaheim Ducks
  • Brent Burns – San Jose Sharks
  • Drew Doughty – L.A. Kings
  • Ryan Kesler – Anaheim Ducks
  • Joe Pavelski – San Jose Sharks
  • Jeff Carter – L.A. Kings
  • Johnny Gaudreau – Calgary Flames
  • Bo Horvat – Vancouver Canucks

– METROPOLITAN DIVISION:

  • Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Braden Holtby – Washington Capitals
  • Sergei Bobrovsky – Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Evgeni Malkin – Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Wayne Simmonds – Philadelphia Flyers
  • John Tavares – New York Islanders
  • Alexander Ovechkin – Washington Capitals
  • Ryan McDonagh – New York Rangers
  • Justin Faulk – Carolina Hurricanes
  • Taylor Hall – New Jersey Devils
  • Seth Jones – Columbus Blue Jackets

What do you think about the roster for this year’s All-Star Weekend? Nashville isn’t the only team with one representative, but if you want to include former Preds (Ryan Suter, Devan Dubnyk, Seth Jones, and Shea Weber), then Nashville’s actually pretty well represented.

All joking aside, the big question is will Subban be healthy enough to participate? As mentioned, his 2-3 week recovery time ends at about the time of the All-Star festivities, but should not participate if it risks re-injury (thus keeping him out of the lineup even longer). Of course, that will be something the organization and Subban discuss as time gets closer.

 

 

Preds down Bolts 6-1; Sissons earns Hat Trick

sissons

After the frustrating loss against Montreal on Tuesday, it was clear the Predators had moved on after trouncing the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-1 last night. While it is easy to fuss about the inconsistency Nashville has been plagued with this season, the type of communication and style of play that came from the team last night was further proof that they are capable of working together successfully. One could argue that perhaps Tampa Bay was simply having an off night and maybe they were. The difference here is Nashville’s victory was not guided by fluky behavior from the Bolts; they were actually organized.

Mike Fisher got the ball rolling at 2:25 in the first period, earning his 11th goal of the season. Fisher’s powerplay goal was assisted in part by Ryan Johansen (21) and Mattias Ekholm (13).

While the first period would end 1-0 with Nashville on top, Filip Forsberg would open the second period at 3:56 with his 9th goal of the season, assisted by Kevin Fiala (3) and Ryan Johansen (22), to give Nashville a 2-0 lead.

It would begin to look like Tampa Bay was on its way back as Tyler Johnson collected his 12th goal of the season, breaking Nashville’s lead in half a 2-1. Colton Sissons, however, would object to that and punch his 3rd goal of the season, assisted by Mike Fisher (12).

Not even a minute later, Ryan Ellis would notch his 5th goal of the season, but not first without some nay-say from the officials. Linesmen initially called goaltender interference on Viktor Ardvisson, claiming the goal was no good:

Predators head coach Peter Laviolette quickly challenged the ruling, which was reversed despite the disapproval of the home crowd. But before Nashville could celebrate, head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Jon Cooper, threw out the challenge that Jarnkrok was off-sides prior to the goal. However, after thoroughly reviewing the play, it was deemed inconclusive and Ryan Ellis’ goal would stand. Colin Wilson (11) and Viktor Arvidsson (15) would notch the assists.

The third period would belong to Colton Sissons as he not only notched his fourth and fifth goals of the season, he also picked up his first career NHL hat trick. This was also his first multi-goal game in his NHL career, too. Oh, and yeah, he’s the first player in NHL history to record a hat trick with the second goal an empty-netter and the third goal with a goaltender in net. Sort of a weird record but I highly doubt Sissons is complaining.

Victories like these can help propel the Predators through this second half of the season and give them the boost for which they have desperately been searching. They will have tonight to see if that momentum lasts as they move south to Sunrise to take on the 16-15-8 Florida Panthers. Game time is at 6:30PM.

 

Preds rally to beat Arizona 5-2

Image Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Oh wow, I am actually getting a chance to update the blog! For those of you who have been waiting patiently, thank you. I am wrapping up my senior year at Tennessee Tech and – along with work – it has me pressed for any kinds of free time. It’s worth it though, really.

Any who, enough excuses — What excuse does Nashville have with this scoring drought their experiencing? Since I last posted an article, the Predators have had twelve goals in six games. Okay, so it’s not all about how many you can score — this is hockey, not basketball. Well, what if I told you, in those six games, Nashville tallied 198 shots-on-goal. Needless to say, it isn’t a matter of why aren’t the Predators taking shots (because they clearly are), it’s why can’t they put the biscuit in the basket? Which teammate pissed off the hockey gods? Well, let’s just move forward into the recap, shall we?

PRE-GAME:
• Nashville recalled forward Cody Bass to replace the injured Colin Wilson. While we aren’t 100% sure how or when Wilson got hurt, we want to believe it has something to do with this:

FIRST PERIOD:
• Arizona would get the ball rolling first at 17:20 on a powerplay goal from Oliver Ekman-Larsson for his sixth goal of the season.
• Despite knocking 13 shots-on-goal compared to Arizona’s 4, the Predators trailed the Coyotes going into the second period 1-0.
• Oh, and Pekka was doing #JustPekkaThings again:

SECOND PERIOD:
• Mike Fisher went down in an awkward stance, leading to him slowly limping off the ice.

While it doesn’t look like much, he did not return to the game and is expected to be our for the next four games.
• Calle Jarnkrok would finally slip one past Mike Smith at 12:32 on the powerplay for his fifth goal of the season. Shea Weber (5) and Filip Forsberg (11) would tally the assists.

• However, Kyle Chipchura would answer at 17:09 to retake the lead going into the third period.

THIRD PERIOD:
• At 2:33, Mike Ribeiro did something we never thought he’d do… he shot and scored for his third goal of the season! Cody Hodgson picked up his fourth assist as well.

• Two minutes later, at 4:49, Filip Forsberg would end his goal-less streak for his fourth goal of the season. Craig Smith (3) and Shea Weber (6) collected the assists.

• Nashville looked like they were on pace to hit 4-2 when James Neal was practically handed an empty net after catching Mike Smith out of his element:

Ah, but he released his inner Craig Smith and completely woofed it. Whoops.
• But Filip Forsberg would answer the Frosty call at 17:01 with a beautiful feed from Mike Ribeiro for his fifth goal of the season. Ribeiro would collect his eleventh assist along with Shea Weber who collected his seventh.

• James Neal would make up for that missed opportunity at 19:10 with an empty-netter to seal the game 5-2 in favor of Nashville. Neal would notch his 10th goal, along with Roman Josi picking up his 11th assist.

While Nashville certainly woke up in the third period, is their scoreless streak finally over? I wouldn’t bet my money on it just yet. While they are making a consistent effort, something just isn’t connecting. Coach Laviolette made some notable line change-ups last night that aided in securing the win, but there is still a missing element. With the need of a top center added to the roster and the possible loss of Mike Fisher for a good while, Nashville may find itself in a toughie for a bit. Maybe not. Who knows.

The Predators welcome in Jaromir Jagr and the Florida Panthers tomorrow night at 7PM.

Preds Rookie Camp Details

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Image Source: Google Images

Happy last Friday of August, everyone! As this month comes to a close, we are just a few weeks from the most glorious time of the year converging amongst us! But first, let’s talk Rookie Camp, which opens on Thursday, September 10th. Here’s a little info from the Predators:

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Friday that Nashville Predators prospects will report to town on Thursday, Sept. 10 before heading to Estero, Fla., the following day for a Rookie Tournament against teams from the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals from Sept. 12-15 at Germain Arena.

The Predators team, comprised of signed and unsigned draft picks, free-agent signings and free-agent tryouts, will be coached by Milwaukee Admirals (AHL) Head Coach Dean Evason and assistant coach Stan Drulia. Among the 24 players scheduled to participate are first-round pick Kevin Fiala (11th overall in 2014), second-round selections Pontus Aberg (2012), Jack Dougherty (2014), Vladislav Kamenev (2014) and Yakov Trenin (2015), as well as goaltending prospect Juuse Saros making his North American professional debut.

The games and camp will precede the opening of 2015 Training Camp, which occurs Sept. 17, with physicals and team meetings. The Predators’ first day on the ice will be Friday, Sept. 18 at Centennial Sportsplex and they will play six preseason contests from Sept. 20-Oct. 3, including four at home (Sept. 20 vs. Florida (doubleheader), Sept. 23 vs. Tampa Bay and Sept. 29 vs. Columbus).

And now, onward to the schedule of events:

  • Thursday, September 10th – Centennial Sportsplex – 1PM
  • Friday, September 11th – Centennial Sportsplex – 10AM
  • Saturday, September 12th – Germain Arena – 7PM (Game against Tampa Bay’s prospects)
  • Sunday, September 13th – Germain Arena – 2PM (Game against Florida’s prospects)
  • Tuesday, September 15th – Germain Arena – 9AM (Game against Washington’s prospects)

Listed in bold are the practices that you can attend. I mean, if you are in Estero, Florida during these dates then by all means, get yourself to these rookie tournaments.

 

 

Preds plunder Panthers 3-2 in SO

Source: Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

Source: Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

There ain’t no rest for the wicked, as they say and, whether you think the Predators are wicked or not is by personal opinion, Nashville hasn’t had much breathing room. After defeating the New York Rangers 3-2 yesterday afternoon, the Predators were back at it again this afternoon against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise.

SCRATCHES: Colin Wilson

FIRST PERIOD:

  • Very much like yesterday, the first period today was slightly uneventful with no goals for either team. Both teams were given powerplay chances, but neither goaltender was willing to let one by.

SECOND PERIOD:

  • The second period belonged to the Panthers, as both Tomas Fleischmann (6) and rookie Aaron Ekblad (8) would sink goals on Carter Hutton. The period would end in favor of the Panthers 2-0.
  • Mattias Ekholm suffered an upper-body injury late in the second period after slamming into the boards. Though he was able to leave on his own, Ekholm did not return to the game after his injury.

THIRD PERIOD:

  • The Predators finally hit the right notes at 4:44 into the third period with a powerplay slapshot from Seth Jones. Mike Ribeiro (34) setup the assist for Jones’ fifth goal of the season.
  • Filip Forsberg would tie the game at 15:17 on another powerplay opportunity, collecting his 18th goal of the season. No assistance was needed for Forsberg’s snapshot past Roberto Luongo.

OVERTIME:

  • Onward to the shootout!

SHOOTOUT:

  • FLA – Brandon Pirri – MISS
  • NSH – Matt Cullen – GOAL
  • FLA – Brad Boyes – GOAL
  • NSH – Craig Smith – GOAL
  • FLA – Nick Bjugstad – GOAL
  • NSH – Roman Josi – MISS
  • FLA – Dave Bolland – MISS
  • NSH – Filip Forsberg – GOAL

NOTEWORTHY:

  • With his game-tying and game-winning goal, Filip Forsberg is all smiles – as usual. With eighteen goals, Forsberg is tied with Alexander Radulov’s rookie goal record.

    Source: @tomawillis

  • Mike Fisher cup-checked Erik Gudbranson at the end of regulation and got away scot-free. Anyone who knows Fisher knows it was unintentional, but it’s still a wee bit funny:
  • Colin Wilson, who is day-to-day, did not make the trip with the team to Florida – unsurprisingly.
  • Carter Hutton is now 5-4-4 on the season and me thinks may have found his niche.

It is certainly safe to say that Nashville came into Sunrise, Florida and stole two points from the Panthers. With the collection of two points, Nashville is now 35-12-6 and, thanks to the Lightning defeating the Ducks 5-1, the Predators are now back atop the League with 76 points. Kudos to the Blackhawks as well for taking a chunk out of the St. Louis Blues 4-2 (the Blues are down by four at 72 points).

The Predators are back Tuesday night as they welcome the best in the Eastern Conference, the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Ribeiro’s 3rd Period Goal secures Preds Win 3-2

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

After losing the Western Conference lead to the Anaheim Ducks Thursday night, the Predators needed the boost from regulation win against the New York Rangers to regain some momentum Saturday afternoon. The Rangers, who were 30-15-4 coming into yesterday’s bout, were riding confidently on a three game winning streak & hoping to extend that to four. Without King Henrik in the net, could the Rangers pull off the win? Or would Pekka Rinne’s return hold off the Blueshirts?

SCRATCHES: Olli Jokinen

FIRST PERIOD:

  • The first period saw plenty of pressure from both sides, but neither team could capitalize on their chances. The Rangers out-shot the Predators 10 to 8.
  • By no surprise, the Predators welcomed back former Predator Kevin Klein with a nice tribute video. Klein, who was drafted by Nashville 37th overall in the 2003 draft, spent his entire NHL career with the Predators up until last season when he was traded to the New York Rangers for… sigh… Michael Del Zotto. You can watch the tribute video here.

SECOND PERIOD:

  • The Rangers struck gold first, capitalizing on the powerplay from Rick Nash (33) at 11:49.
  • Roman Josi would respond at 18:39, collecting his 10th goal of the season. Gabriel Bourque (5) and Calle Jarnkrok (9) would pick up the assists.
  • Shea Weber (12) would give Nashville the lead 2-1 at 19:20 with his signature slapshot past Cam Talbot. Roman Josi (27) and Matt Cullen (6) would notch the assists.
  • The Rangers took to out-shooting the Predators during this period as well, this time 12 to 10.

THIRD PERIOD:

  • Ryan McDonagh wasted no time tying the game early into the third; his fourth goal of the season.
  • But it was Mike Ribeiro’s seemingly angry slapshot at 12:46 that sealed the game in favor of Nashville 3-2. Seth Jones (14) and Filip Forsberg (30) tallied the assists on Ribeiro’s 11th goal of the season.
  • The Rangers would – yet again – out-shoot the Predators, this time 10 to 5, but Nashville would come out as the victors.

NOTEWORTHY:

  • With his 11th goal of the season, Mike Ribeiro has now tallied his 700th career point. Ribeiro, who has been pretty consistent this season and lead the team in points for a good while, hasn’t had a point since January 29th against the Avalanche (picked up an assist). Chalk it up as patience towards that 700th point.
  • Colin Wilson sustained an injury during the first period and did not return to the remainder of the match. It was later released that he is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
  • Filip Forsberg continues to slap the NHL with his Calder Memorial Trophy contingency as he continues to lead the Predators in points and in every category that a rookie can (minus goaltending). Forty-seven points in 52 games? Yea, you can’t ignore that.

As usual, the Predators have no time to rest. Today, the team is in Sunrise, Florida to take on the 23-17-10 Panthers who are currently sitting pretty in 5th in the Atlantic Division. With Colin Wilson out, there’s a good chance Olli Jokinen will be off the scratched list and, due to being a back-to-back, Carter Hutton will start in net.

2015 NHL All-Star Weekend in Review

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Columbus, Ohio was the place to be this weekend has the city hosted the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend. As you know, Nashville was chosen as the host city for the 2016 ASG Weekend, which will be an event on its own. But until then, let’s recap the fun that happened this weekend in Columbus… Oh, and for the sake of keeping this post from being ninety pages long, we’ll stick to Nashville’s accomplishments:

Team Foligno:

  • Nick Foligno – Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Brian Elliot – St. Louis Blues
  • Marc-Andre Fleury – Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens
  • Drew Doughty – L.A. Kings
  • Duncan Keith – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Kevin Shattenkirk – St. Louis Blues
  • Dustin Byfuglien – Winnipeg Jets
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Arizona Coyotes
  • Brent Burns – San Jose Sharks
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Edmonton Oilers
  • Bobby Ryan – Ottawa Senators
  • Alexander Ovechkin – Washington Capitals
  • Anze Kopitar – L.A. Kings
  • Radim Vrabata – Vancouver Canucks
  • Ryan Johansen – Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Zemgus Girgensons – Buffalo Sabres
  • Claude Giroux – Philadelphia Flyers
  • Phil Kessel – Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Coaching Staff: Darryl Sutter – L.A. Kings

Team Toews:

  • Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Corey Crawford – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Roberto Luongo – Florida Panthers
  • Jaroslav Halak – New York Islanders
  • Aaron Ekblad – Florida Panthers
  • Mark Giordano – Calgary Flames
  • Shea Weber – Nashville Predators
  • Johnny Gaudreau – Calgary Flames
  • Brent Seabrook – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Ryan Suter – Minnesota Wild
  • Justin Faulk – Carolina Hurricanes
  • Filip Forsberg – Nashville Predators
  • Ryan Getzlaf – Anaheim Ducks
  • Patrik Elias – New Jersey Devils
  • Patrice Bergeron – Boston Bruins
  • Rick Nash – New York Rangers
  • Tyler Seguin – Dallas Stars
  • Vladimir Tarasenko – St. Louis Blues
  • Jakub Vorachek – Philadelphia Flyers
  • John Tavares – New York Islanders
  • Coaching Staff – Peter Laviolette – Nashville Predators

As you recall, Pekka Rinne was not included in the All-Star “draft” due to sustaining a knee sprain. Because Filip Forsberg was chosen last for Team Toews, he was the lucky winner of a brand new Honda Accord. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also won a new Honda, as he was chosen last for Team Foligno.

Source: @NHL

Source: @NHL

Saturday – Skills Competition – Winner: Team Foligno

Despite a good show by Team Toews, it was Team Foligno who reigned in the Skills Competition held on Saturday evening. Both Weber and Forsberg participated in the relay and shootout, but it was Weber who shined – not surprisingly – during the Hardest Shot round.

Shea originally missed his first shot, but more than nailed his second attempt, clocking his shot at 108.5 MPH. Weber certainly won the competition, but missed notching the hardest shot ever recorded, which is held by Zdeno Chara at 108.8 MPH. Forsberg shined in the relay portion, showing off his crazy insane puck-handling skills.

Sunday – All-Star Game – Winner: Team Toews

Though the fell short in the Skills Competition, Team Toews out-powered Team Foligno by a long shot during the actual All-Star Game, winning 17-12. And, believe it or not, though the All-Star Game tends to always have a ton of goals, this was the highest scoring game in its history. Filip Forsberg’s two goals helped get Team Toews to the win, the first goals scored by a Nashville Predator in an All-Star Game. Shea Weber also notched an assist off of Tyler Seguin’s goal.

From the World Wide World of Twitter:

So that’s a wrap on the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend. Next Stop: Nashville! But before then, the Predators must press forward with the remainder of this season and push into the playoffs. Pekka Rinne should also be re-evaluated soon, along with Ryan Ellis. The Predators return to the regular season this Tuesday as they welcome in the Colorado Avalanche at 7PM.

Preds Win second straight SO; Rout Kings 4-3

Source: Brooks Bratten Twitter - @brooksbratten

Source: Brooks Bratten Twitter – @brooksbratten

I dare you not to stare at the photo of Shea Weber above for more than three seconds; he looks so delighted. And rightfully so as Nashville knocked the defending Stanley Cup Champions (L.A. Kings) in a shootout last night 4-3. Oh yea, and there are some other reasons why Shea might be a little giddy this morning, but we’ll cover that in the highlights of last night’s game:

First Period:

  • Nashville lit the lamp at 6:24 to get the ball rolling; Craig Smith’s seventh goal of the season. Colin Wilson (5) and Anton Volchenkov (3) pursued the assists on Smith’s goal.
  • The Kings were quick to put their name on the board, tying it at 11:32 with a goal from Jamie McBain (his first of the season – you’re welcome).
  • Though both even on the scoreboard, Nashville would send twelve shots-on-goal compared to L.A.’s seven.

Second Period:

  • Marian Gaborik would give L.A. the lead at just 1:01 into the second, his fourth goal of the season.
  • It would take a little over seventeen minutes later for Nashville to retaliate with a goal from Ryan Ellis (2). Colin Wilson would pick up his second assist of the night (6) and Craig Smith would collect his first of the night (6). Oh yea, and the first of one of these of the season:
    CATFISH
  • Not even a minute later, Eric Nystrom would tip one in from Taylor Beck (3) and give Nashville a 3-2 lead late in the second. Shea Weber also picked up an assist on Nystrom’s goal, his seventh of the season and – remember when I said he’d have another reason to be happy? – is now the franchise defenseman leader in assists with 223.

Third Period:

  • Just 38 seconds into the third period, Drew Doughty would sink a clean goal through Pekka Rinne’s five-hole, tying the game.
  • Though Nashville did everything right to push back into the lead (with a number of nail-biting dings off the post and floating pucks), Martin Jones kept his composure and helped send the game into overtime.

Overtime:

  • It was clear Nashville was in control during overtime, out-shooting the Kings four to one and keeping Jones on his toes. Unfortunately, no goals were tallied in overtime, thus throwing Nashville into its second-straight shootout.

Shootout:

  • NSH – Derek Roy – MISS
  • LAK – Jeff Carter – MISS
  • NSH – Filip Forsberg – MISS
  • LAK – Marian Gaborik – MISS
  • NSH – Ryan Ellis – MISS
  • LAK – Anze Kopitar – MISS
  • NSH – Craig Smith – MISS
  • LAK – Tyler Toffoli – MISS
  • NSH – Roman Josi – MISS
  • LAK – Jarret Stoll – MISS
  • NSH – James Neal – GOAL
  • LAK – Dwight King – MISS

Phew! For a second there, I thought we were going to have to go through the entire roster and then some! Both goaltenders, Rine and Jones, were on point and one was going to have to budge sooner or later. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, it was Martin Jones who cracked first, a kid who only moved up into the NHL from a stint in the AHL last season. However, the kid is good – when others would flinch under the sight of a Shea Weber cannon, Jones stood tall. With this SO win (and St. Louis’ loss in a shootout against the Senators), the Predators are back atop the Central Division, but St. Louis is still biting Nashville’s heels. The Predators are back in action tomorrow night for a Turkey Day throw-down with our friends from the North, the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers, who have lost their last five games and are sitting dead at the bottom of the Pacific Division, will be another possible “Florida Panthers scenario” if the Preds don’t mind their p’s and q’s. By assuming Nashville will overpower and kick the Oilers to the curb is as inaccurate as they come. The Oilers are due and win and punting Nashville on an American holiday is just what the doctor ordered.

Close Call: Preds edge Panthers in SO

Source: Kristen Jerkins Photography

Source: Kristen Jerkins Photography

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.

First Period:

  • 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.

Second 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.

Third Period:

  • 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.

Overtime:

  • Five minutes of overtime produced zero goals, with Florida getting no shots on goal and Nashville only pounding five.

Shootout:

  • 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.