Coyotes best Preds in SO 5-4

Courtesy of Getty Images

The Predators headed out to sunny Arizona for their first of seven away games on this historic 17-day road trip around the league. The Preds and Coyotes have butted heads in recent years, thanks to a meeting between the two in the second round of the playoffs two years ago. This season, however, the Coyotes are sitting just a little higher than Nashville with a 8-3-2 record compared to Nashville’s 6-5-1 going into Halloween’s game. So, how did Nashville fair in the Arizona heat? Check the highlights:

First Period:

  • Matt Hendricks scored his first goal of the season & with the Predators organization nine minutes into the game with a wrister past goalie Thomas Greiss. David Legwand (7th assist) and Mattias Ekholm (2nd assist) would notch the assists.
  • Eric Nystrom would put Nashville up 2-0 at 14:12 with a backhander for his third goal of the season. David Legwand would pick up his second assist of the night (8th assist) and Patric Hornqvist would tally his 3rd of the season.
  • A late powerplay goal from David Legwand would send the Predators up 3-0 at the end of the first period, Legwand’s second goal of the season. Seth Jones (4th assist) and Shea Weber (3rd assist) would help with the assists.

Second Period:

  • The second period would rest solely in the hands of Phoenix, with both goals awarded in their favor.
  • Jordan Szwarz would notch his first goal of the season at 2:21 in the second.
  • Derek Morris then collected his fourth goal of the season with a slapshot past Carter Hutton at 9:51.
  • Phoenix would end the second period down just 2-3.
  • Though Nashville had more shots on goal (8), Phoenix was able to connect more with two of their six.

Third Period:

  • Paul Gaustad would gain momentum at 4:15 with a wrist shot for his second goal of the season. Nick Spaling would notch his second assist of the season on Gaustad’s goal.
  • The Coyotes wouldn’t hang behind too long, with a powerplay goal by Shane Doan at 6:16, putting Phoenix again within one.
  • Antoine Vermette would tie the game at 8:17, eventually sending the game into overtime.
  • Again, Nashville came out with more shots on goal at 19 to Phoenix’s 10, but the connection was just not in the favor of Nashville during the second and third periods.

Overtime:

  • No goals with Phoenix getting four SOG and Nashville just two.

SHOOTOUT:
PHOENIX – Mike Ribeiro – MISS
NASHVILLE – Craig Smith – MISS
PHOENIX – Radim Vrbata – MISSNASHVILLE – Matt Cullen – MISS
PHOENIX – Oliver Ekman-Larsson – MISS
NASHVILLE – Mike Fisher – MISS
PHOENIX – David Rundblad – MISS
NASHVILLE – Gabriel Bourque – MISS
PHOENIX – Mikkel Boedker – GOAL
NASHVILLE – David Legwand – MISS

It’s never a good feeling to have control during one period and then completely lose it the next, never regaining it the rest of the game. Nashville puttered out after the first, but at least pulled it into overtime to gain a point than a complete loss. Something to note, Viktor Stalberg made his presence known on the first line, stopping the puck from going into the net during the second period, which could have been costly for Nashville in the end.

SCRATCHES FOR NASHVILLE:
Rich CluneFilip Forsberg
Victor Bartley

San Jose no Match for Predators, Nashville Wins 6-2

The Predators come out looking like a new team against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

After a tough loss on Thursday, the Predators needed a good game against Conference rivals, the San Jose Sharks last night to get the momentum going again. Last night’s game was more than just good, it was played by a Predators team that needs to come out more often. A ton of changes came about this week with the Predators, but the chemistry amongst the players last night was incredible. Here are the highlights from last night’s win in the Music City:

BUSY TWO DAYS FOR NASHVILLE:

  • Before getting to last night’s game, there was an interesting and surprising trade on Friday between the Predators and the Florida Panthers. Veteran Predator Jerred Smithson was traded to the Panthers for a 6th Round Pick in this year’s NHL Draft. It was pretty clear no Predators fan saw this one coming. Although we are sad to lose such a key player, we are happy that Smithson will have more playing time and opportunity with Florida. We wish him the best with the Panthers!
  • Also on Friday, though not as surprising, rookie sensation Ryan Ellis was sent back to Milwaukee to play a few games with the Admirals. Trotz had said it had nothing to do with his performance, just needed the space for the newly acquired Hal Gill and to get Jack Hillen some ice time. Ryan Ellis will more than likely be back with the Predators soon.
  • Yet another surprising move by the Predators, Nashville presented a trade to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a certain key player, Rick Nash. The Predators offered up Colin Wilson, Ryan Ellis, Teemu Laakso and a first round pick for the Blue Jackets’ captain, but CJB has stated that they did not want to trade Nash to a rival Central Division team. As such, CBJ and Nash have not agreed nor denied Nashville’s trade offer, so we will keep you up-to-date with this information as it comes.

ON TO THE GAME:

  • Patric Hornqvist returned to the lineup last night after spending a few games on the IR. Brian McGrattan was still missing from the ice, along with Jack Hillen.
  • The Predators wasted no time getting the ball rolling, with Colin Wilson scoring his 14th goal of the season with a wrist shot past Thomas Greiss. Assisted only by Jordin Tootoo, was this Wilson’s way of saying he doesn’t want to leave Nashville? Or was this proving to CBJ how good he is?
  • Shea Weber capitalized on Wilson’s goal by scoring one of his own at 3:23, his 13th goal of the season. Martin Erat and Sergei Kostitsyn picked up the assists on Weber’s goal.
  • San Jose would finally make an appearance at 10:58 with a wrist shot by Patrick Marleau, his 26th goal of the season.
  • Kevin Klein would silence Marleau’s goal at five minutes later at 15:58 with a snap shot of his own for his 4th goal of the season. It was thought to be Patric Hornqvist’s goal, but inevitably given to Klein. Roman Josi and Mike Fisher picked up the assists.
  • Brandon Yip dropped the gloves with Tommy Wingels for his first fight in a Predators sweater. Yip got a few good punches in, but Wingels was able to throw Brandon to the ground. Here’s the video from the elbow throws:
  • San Jose surprised Nashville by scoring 23 seconds into the 2nd with a goal from Joe Pavelski for his 23rd goal of the season.
  • Shea Weber picked up his second goal of the night at 12:04 on the powerplay with his signature slap shot, picking up his 14th goal of the season. David Legwand and Ryan Suter both picked up the assists from Weber’s goal.
  • The third period belong to Nashville, with an empty-netter at 18:00 by Martin Erat for his 14th goal of the season. We need to send out a congratulations to both Erat and his wife with the birth of a baby boy! Gabriel Bourque and Roman Josi picked up the assists on Erat’s empty-netter.
  • Nick Spaling added salt to San Jose’s wound at 19:18 with a snap shot to seal the game, his tenth goal of the season. Jordin Tootoo and Colin Wilson picked up the assists.
  • The Predators prove why they are 1st in the league with this particular stat: The Predators were out-shot 34 to 21, yet still managed to beat the Sharks 6-2 in regulation.
  • The Predators not only won the game, but also won their 17th sellout of this season. The Predators are expected to surpass 20 sellouts, a record that was set back in the 1999-2000 season.
  • The Predators faced quite a few penalties last night, but were able to capitalize on one of San Jose’s misfortunes. The Sharks, although given four chances on the power play, were not able to sneak a goal passed Pekka to score. Here are the four Preds who took some time in the penalty box:
  1. Brandon Yip – 17:22 1st Period – Fighting
  2. Hal Gill – 13:22 2nd Period – Tripping
  3. Roman Josi – 3:28 3rd Period – Tripping
  4. Francis Bouillon – 9:39 3rd Period – Tripping

The Predators dominated the San Jose Sharks with a kind of momentum they should have brought against St. Louis on Thursday night. With this win, the Predators are now 36-19-7 on the season and expect to be 37-19-7 on Monday with a hopeful win over the L.A. Kings.

With the NHL Trade Deadline looming overhead, will CBJ accept the potential trade offer from the Predators? Personally, it makes us nervous. Although Nash is a big contender in the NHL and would be a great gain for the Predators, the loss of three players (and a 1st round pick) for just one could be a risk, costly move for the Predators (resulting in the loss of Ryan Suter and/or Shea Weber in the end). However, as stated before, CBJ is not looking to trade within the division, but if no other good offers are made, Columbus may just take the bait.

The Predators welcome the L.A. Kings tomorrow for a rare Monday night game, then Nashville is off to take on the Carolina Hurricanes.

Until then,
GO PREDS.