Predators bounce past Maple Leafs 4-3

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Where you at, Hutton Haters? Oh ye, of little faith! Carter Hutton is a mess of a goaltender (in a good way). One minute, he’s making these insane, slap-yo-mama saves, then he’s watching one skip right by him like he was frozen. Luckily, in recent bouts, Hutton’s accuracy has improved by leaps and bounds, which is nice because those naysayers start getting drowned out by the cheers for the backup goaltender. Look, the bottom line is, Hutton is no Pekka Rinne – and that’s something he should never strive to be. He is an excellent goaltender and would not be in the NHL if he wasn’t. As I recall, it wasn’t too far in the past that echoes of Pekka Rinne being a terrible replacement to Dan Ellis *shutters* were being spit by the congregation. Naysayers, be gone! Carter Hutton is the real deal & a great stand-in while Rinne’s away. Now on to the meat and potatoes of last night’s game:

SCRATCHES: Pekka Rinne, Ryan Ellis

NOTEWORTHY: If you follow our Facebook or Twitter, you probably saw where I kept obnoxiously reminding you – if you were attending last night’s game – to sing “O Canada” to show some Southern Hospitality towards Toronto. In a nutshell, when the Predators were in Toronto last (yes, the game where we beat them 9-2 on November 18th), the mic went out on the performer during the U.S. National Anthem, to which the Maple Leafs fans then picked up and sang. As a token of thanks, word was spread via the local media, Predators bloggers, and then some to show some love. Here’s the result:

I’d say it turned out pretty well, eh? Hockey is truly a classy pastime.

FIRST PERIOD:

  • Seth Jones got the party started at 11:52 with a shorthanded goal, his fourth goal of the season. The young defenseman had no assistance on his shorty.
  • At 15:31, fellow defenseman Shea Weber picked up a powerplay goal, giving Nashville an early 2-0 lead over the Maple Leafs. Filip Forsberg (28) and Mike Fisher (11) would notch the assists on Weber’s 11th goal of the season.

SECOND PERIOD:

  • The second period was a little sluggish for the Predators, as Toronto managed the only goal during said period at 7:49 from Daniel Winnik (4).
  • Toronto would notch one goal out of their thirteen shots-on-goal, whereas Nashville would only take nine.

THIRD PERIOD:

  • It appeared that Toronto planned on winning last night’s bout as, at 2:19 into the third, Nazem Kadri managed to tie the game at two. Then, not forty seconds later, Mike Santorelli would give the Maple Leafs the lead 3-2.
  • Mike Fisher would take a strike at 6:55, bringing the game back to a tie. Colin Wilson (19) and Roman Josi (25) would tallying the assists on Fisher’s 13th goal of the season.
  • Then, at 11:18, Colin Wilson sunk the GWG to give Nashville the regulation win and Toronto’s 10th consecutive loss. Wilson’s 16th goal of the season was assisted by Mike Fisher (12) and James Neal (13).
  • Ahh, but let us not forget, though Wilson scored the game-winning-goal at 11:18, there was still a good nine minutes left to go in regulation before that title was given. So, who’s to thank for that? The guy plastered at the top of the post, of course. Check out this incredible save that would’ve certainly tied up the game, had it gone in:

    Terrible goalie, eh Craig Button?

NOTEWORTHY:

  • I couldn’t not mention Carter Hutton being plastered all over SportsCenter, could I? The rarity of SportsCenter or ESPN at all mentioning hockey, let alone allowing for a goaltender to be their Top 10 no.1 is amazing all in its own; awesome that it’s a Nashville Predator.
  • Tonight was the first time in Predators history that defensemen have scored both a shorthanded goal (Jones) and a powerplay goal (Weber) in one night.
  • Another note for the history books is that the Predators have set a new franchise record with nine consecutive home game wins. Neato.
  • Mike Fisher is on a roll, notching 24 points in his last 26 games.
  • Mike Ribeiro is still one point away from his 700th; he’s certainly due.
  • Ryan Ellis continues to skate alone at practice — not ready to pop back in with the team just yet.
  • Pekka Rinne continues practicing with the team — should be ready to go as early as tomorrow’s game against the Ducks.
  • Filip Forsberg, with one assist tonight, continues his reign as points leaders amongst the Predators and rookies across the league with 45 points.

The Predators stay put, welcoming in the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night. Anaheim, who won 5-4 over the Carolina Hurricanes last night, are tied with Nashville in points (72). Whoever wins tomorrow night will either remain the leader of the league (Nashville) or take over that position (Anaheim). Let’s hope for the first option.

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Where you at, Hutton Haters?!

Predators trounce Toronto 9-2; tie Franchise Record

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Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America

It’s the first meeting of two this season between the Nashville Predators and the Toronto Maple Leafs, with Nashville sitting 2nd in the Central Division and Toronto sitting 6th in the Atlantic. Though on different sides of the Conference Coin, both teams are looking to improve their appearances (Toronto is coming off a two-game losing streak and Nashville? Well, we always need positive press). So, were the Maple Leafs able to cut their losses and collect a win or is Nashville still clawing at St. Louis’s heels?
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First Period:
– Just 1:52 into the first period, the silent Taylor Beck clocks a wrister past Jonathan Bernier for his second goal of the season. Shea Weber (4) and Paul Gaustad (4) picked up the assists.
– A 10:14, Derek Roy nabbed his first goal (and point as a Pred) of the season with a backhander. Matt Cullen (4) and Ryan Ellis (7) collect the assists on Roy’s goal.
– Taylor Beck would finish off the first period with another goal, this time a backhander and on the powerplay for his third goal of the season. Filip Forsberg (13) and Seth Jones (5) would help with the assists.
– Toronto wasn’t that far being Nashville in SOG, with eight compared to Nashville’s twelve.

Second Period:
– Eric Nystrom picked up his third goal of the season at 18:45, putting the Predators up 4-0 over the Maple Leafs at the end of the second period. Taylor “on fiyah” Beck (2) and Craig Smith (4) picked up the assists.

Third Period:
– Mike Ribeiro set the third period on fire just 53 seconds into the period with a tip-in past Reimer. Ryan Ellis (8) would collect on the assist.
– Not even a minute later at 1:26, Filip Forsberg (9) would put Nashville up 6-0 with a deflected goal. Shea Weber (5) and Mike Ribeiro (11) would pick up the assists.
– Calle Jarnkrok would put the Preds up 7-0 at 3:06 for his first goal of the season with assistance from Colin Wilson (4) and Shea Weber (6).
– Pushing it 8-0 at 5:14, Roman Josi collects his third goal of the season with a wrap-around. Eric Nystrom (3) and Paul Gaustad (5) amass the assists.
– Former 2004 Nashville draft pick Mike Santorelli finally put Toronto on the board at 8:18 for his third goal of the season.
– Just a few minutes later at 10:32, Nazem Kadri (5) shot the Maple Leafs up 2-8 with assistance from Dion Phaneuf and former Predator, Cody Franson.
– Colin Wilson put Nashville up 9-2 at 17:28 with a snap shot for his second goal of the season; assistance from Calle Jarnkrok (2).

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And with Wilson’s goal (and much distaste from Toronto fans – many f-bombs dropped and a bag of what looked to be “sheet” and a jersey hit the ice), Nashville prevails in Canada on a Tuesday. Also prevailing is the fact Nashville has now tied their franchise record of number of goals scored in a game (vs. Calgary in 2006 and Pittsburgh in 2004). Oh, and let us also not forget the Predators have hopped-skipped-jumped St. Louis to take the lead of the Central Division… again. One more stat for the night: Shea Weber’s three assists tonight now tie him with Kimmo Timonen with 222 assists for Nashville.

Sadly, Olli Jokinen remains point-less, despite many chances tonight alone. However, just because he has been unsuccessful collecting a point, he has been a huge part in getting Nashville to where it is now, 12-4-2. You can see from the past few games that he is getting more and more frustrated, but his points will come.

Nashville is pushing eastward to face David Legwand in his new hometown of Ottawa on Thursday night, then it’s back to Nashville on Saturday night. But for tonight, it’s a celebration! Preds going up on Tuesday (as the cool kids say):