Late Goal gives Preds Win over Kings 4-3

Courtesy: Getty Images

Game 2 of the longest road-trip in Predators history and, after coming up short in Phoenix, Nashville would need to slip around the 9-5-0 L.A. Kings to keep the coal burning. The second meeting between the pair, the Kings visited the Music City back on October 17th and left with a win in a shootout, 2-1. So it was now Nashville’s turn to come into the Kings’ home and steal a victory, yes? Jump on down to the highlights:

First Period:

  • David Legwand, who apparently wants to show who’s boss here lately, collected his third goal of the season at 11:15 on the powerplay. Seth Jones picked up his 5th assist, along with Patric Hornqvist collecting his fourth.
  • Shea Weber wouldn’t be quieted for long, scoring his own powerplay goal at 19:06 with Patric Hornqvist notching his fifth assist and Mike Fisher picking up his fifth as well.
  • The Kings were going down without a fight first, with Anze Kopitar sinking a wrister past Carter Hutton just 20 seconds after Weber’s goal.
  • The Kings would out-shoot Nashville 16 to 9, so give Carter Hutton some credit that only one was able to get passed him.
  • Rich Clune, after being scratched numerous times, returned in time to receive a 10-minute misconduct due to fighting and instigating Daniel Carcillo. Don’t get upset if you see Clune scratched again in the near future; it happens when you’re an enforcer.

Second Period:

  • Eric Nystrom would being the lone star in the second period with a snap shot past Jonathan Quick at 8:41 for his fourth goal of the season. You want to talk about someone who has shown his worth after being picked up during the off season. Patric Horqnvist would continue his helpfulness with an assist, his sixth of the season and third of the game.
  • Mike Fisher left the game during the second period after sustaining a lower-body injury. He did not return for the remainder of the game.

Third Period:

  • And here’s where L.A. would come roaring back like the lions they are. Dustin Brown would collect a sneaky tip-in at 9:41 for his third of the season, putting the Kings back by one.
  • Mike Richards would then tie the game at 11:18 with a powerplay goal from a Ryan Ellis penalty. At this point, the game looked like a flashback from the Phoenix game.
  • At 16:04, David Legwand would swoop in and seal the game in Nashville’s favor with a wrister, his second goal of the night & fourth overall. Mattias Ekholm would pick up the assist (3rd assist).
  • In a game similar to the one before it, Nashville slipped out of Hollywood with the win, thanks to David Legwand. Now, we know it takes a team to collect a win, but give a hand to Mr. Legwand; he started the game and ended it.
  • The Predators are now off to the Mile High City to take on the Colorado Avalanche for the second time this season. The first match up left the Predators with a loss of 3-1… let’s hope for better this Wednesday.

SCRATCHES FOR NASHVILLE:
Victor Bartley
Gabriel Bourque
Matt Hendricks

Preds return Home, Blank Kings 3-0

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The high from knocking off the Blues must’ve been strong, and it probably didn’t hurt to finally see the comfort of home ice either, as the Predators welcomed the L.A. Kings to Nashville Thursday night. Coach Trotz is a strong believer in the “if if ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, sticking with the same seven d-man lineup from the game against St. Louis.

KEY POINTS:

  • Matt Halischuk is going to be finding himself on the scratched list a lot as the d-man line continues to dominate, but Brian McGrattan keeps him company.
  • Gabriel Bourque wasted no time taking shots, banking on a slap shot past Jonathan Quick at 2:54 for his second goal of the season. David Legwand picked up his second assist, with Kevin Klein picking up his third.
  • Bourque’s goal would be the only one in the first, with the Kings out-shooting Nashville 8 to 7. However, there was more action to be seen in the first, with Rich Clune and Kyle Clifford dropping gloves at 2:15. Here’s the video:
  • Colin Wilson would pick up where Bourque left off, sending a wrister into the net at 7:01 of the second, nabbing his second goal of the season. Kevin Klein picked up his second assist of the night (4th overall) and Brandon Yip collected his third of the season.
  • Six minutes later, Wilson repeated his success on his first goal, sending a wrister past Quick, just five seconds into the powerplay. Shea Weber collected both his first assist and point of the season on Wilson’s second goal of the night. Mike Fisher nabbed his second assist of the season.
  • The Kings had plenty of chances in the second period, out-shooting the Predators a whopping 20 to 5. If that isn’t proof that Pekka Rinne is finding his groove, I don’t know what would.
  • No goals in the the third gave the Predators their first shutout of the season, with goalie Pekka Rinne picking up his first shutout win, blocking all 32 shots on goal.

Penalty Box Summary:

  1. Rich Clune – 2:15, 1st Period – Fighting
  2. Martin Erat – 16:03, 2nd Period – Goalie Interference
  3. Paul Gaustad – 8:28, 3rd Period – Roughing
  4. Mike Fisher – 14:07, 3rd Period – Roughing

Have the Predators gotten their groove back? Well, don’t catch your chickens before they hatch, so to speak. Though we don’t want to be Debbie Downers, it’s only a matter of time before the seven d-man strong lineup with crack, with teams who fell for it before will be prepared for it in the next round. However, it is good to see the Predators taking shots (shots on goal = goals in net, right?). Unfortunately for the Kings, that statistic doesn’t work that well. Thirty-two shots compared to the fourteen Nashville took kind of makes that equation fall flat. It should be more Shots on Goal + Accuracy = Goals in Net. But hey, I’m no math major. Just keep that fire alive, Preds.

Until then,
GO PREDS

Predators to face Coyotes in 2nd Round

Sergei Kostitsyn battles Rostislav Klesla.

After waiting three days to find out who they’d be facing in the 2nd Round, the Nashville Predators were finally given an answer about 20 minutes ago when the #3 Phoenix Coyotes knocked out the #6 Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 in Game 6 of the 1st Round.

Although Nashville has done much better against Chicago than Phoenix, ending the 2011-12 season 4-1-1, the Predators have, what we think, a better chance mentally against Phoenix than against a fellow Central Division rival like Chicago (i.e. the fans travel better in Chicago).

Nashville finished the 2011-12 season against Phoenix evenly with two wins, two losses, and zero ties, but both teams have top goal tenders with Mike Smith and Pekka Rinne, so both teams will have to keep the physicality up to par in order to get some pucks passed those goliaths.

Whilst waiting for the Eastern Conference to finish up Round 1 (Philadelphia is the only team to advance at this point), players like Hal Gill (who was practicing both yesterday and this morning) should be ready to go by Round 2. Also on the Predators’ side is the fact that Raffi Torres has been knocked out of the series altogether, eliminating any chances of any intentional injuries that may hurt the Predators in the long run.

Since Phoenix is the #3 seed and Nashville is the #4, Games 1, 2, 5, and 7 will be played in Phoenix, giving Nashville at least three potential home games. In other news, St. Louis and L.A. will duke it out, hopefully beating the you-know-what out of each other, wearing each other out for Round 3.

Phoenix will definitely be a challenge for Nashville, but it isn’t anything to fear. With players like Gabriel Bourque and Kevin Klein stepping up, along with the leadership and dependability of Pekka Rinne and David Legwand, the Predators can easily move on to Round 3.

Until then,
GO PREDS

(Photo courtesy of Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)