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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.

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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.

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Jokinen’s First Goal not Enough as Preds Fall 3-2

Carter+Hutton+Nashville+Predators+v+New+York+Wgtv4SRb1Rnl

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America

After putting a beating on the Maple Leafs Tuesday night (forgot? Final score was 9-2), Nashville made their way to Canada’s Capitol to take on the Senators for the final match-up between these two of the season. Though Nashville pushed by with the win in their first meeting back on October 9th (first game of the regular season) 3-2, Ottawa is sitting fifth in the Atlantic Division (remember, Toronto’s in 6th) at 8-5-4 thus far. Nashville has this, right? Eh, don’t think just because Nashville has been doing well and coming off a 9-2 beat down means they are invincible; oh no. Ottawa – though their record doesn’t show it – is a tough team and isn’t going to let what happened to the Maple Leafs happen to them.

First Period:

  • Shea Weber put Nashville on the board first at 3:17 with a powerplay slapshot for his sixth goal of the season. Roman Josi (7) and Mike Ribeiro (12) collect the assists.
  • At the end of the first, Nashville had nine SOG compared to Ottawa’s four.

Second Period:

  • At 6:17, Bobby Ryan picked up his own powerplay goal with a wrister past Carter Hutton to tie the game.
  • Alex Chiasson pushed Ottawa up 2-1 at 12:18 with a tip-in goal, his fifth of the season.
  • Just a few minutes later at 14:24, Jared Cowen collected his first goal of the season, putting the Senators up 3-1.

Third Period:

  • Did you read my last post? Did you see where I said Jokinen was due for a point any time now? Welp, his dream came true at 1:36 into the third with a wrister, assisted by Derek Roy (8).

Unfortunately, Jokinen’s third period goal wasn’t enough to get the Predators back in the game, falling to Ottawa 3-2. Nashville is now 12-5-2 on the season with this loss. The Predators head home to welcome the Florida Panthers on Saturday then the L.A. Kings on Tuesday night.

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Predators trounce Toronto 9-2; tie Franchise Record

Taylor+Beck+Nashville+Predators+v+Toronto+TF5H5JZ67Tbl

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?
—————————————————————

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).

—————————————————————
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):

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Predators push past Jets 2-1

Source: Kristen Jerkins Photography

After a long road trip, making a pit stop in Nashville for a game against Edmonton, and hoping back on a plane to St. Louis, the Predators have made their way home to welcome in the Winnipeg Jets, a team the Predators are 1-1 with so far. After handing the top spot of the Central Division back to St. Louis, Nashville is in no position to be losing any games (if they want to take that position back).

First Period:
– The first period produced no goals, with both Winnipeg and Nashville shooting eight pucks on net.

Second Period:
– Nashville’s weakness caught up to them on a powerplay, as Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler notched his eighth goal of the season with a short-hander past Pekka.
– Mike Ribeiro scored on the rebound but was ultimately called a no-goal due to a high-stick by Neal (see .gif below):
y51e0D- However, on the following face-off, James Neal sends a slap shot past Ondřej Pavelec for his ninth goal of the season. Mike Ribeiro (10) picks up the assist on Neal’s retaliation.

Third Period:
– It would take a little over seventeen minutes before someone would untie the game and, lucky for us, it was Craig Smith for his sixth goal of the season. Calle Jarnkrok picked up his first assist of the season on Smith’s GWG.

A rather slow, sloppy game, but a win in regulation nonetheless; we’ll take it. Nashville is jet-setting once again and this time they are at least making two stops: one in Toronto on Tuesday and one in Ottawa on Thursday night. Saturday, the Predators return to welcome in the Florida Panthers, a team they haven’t seen since preseason.

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Preds Fall to Blues 4-3

roman

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America

Ahh, another visit with the St. Louis Blues. Normally, a game this early wouldn’t be this pressurized (so to say), but because both St. Louis and Nashville are bouncing between first and second place within the Central Division, it’s going to have some tension. So, did Nashville cling to the coveted top spot or did St. Louis push its kid brother aside for first place?

First Period:
– Leave it to T.J. Oshie to put the Blues on the board first at 3:25 with his first goal of the season and a PPG on top of that. Oshie has been waiting for that goal since being placed on the IR after suffering a concussion back on October 28th against the Stars.
– The Blues would launch themselves up 2-0 at 12:45 with a goal from Carl Gunnarsson; his first goal of the season.
– Saving Grace Filip Forsberg would put Nashville on the board less than a minute later at 13:21 for his eight goal of the season. James Neal (5) and Roman Josi (5) would collect on the assists.

Second Period: – Captain Shea Weber would tie the game at 2 with his fifth goal of the season at 3:41. Filip Forsberg (11) and Roman Josi (6) would pick up the assists. WEB- At 15:18, Vladimir Tarasenko would work his magic for his tenth goal of the season, putting St. Louis up 3-2 late in the second.
– With under a second left in the second period, Roman Josi sunk a PPG to tie the game for his second goal of the season. Shea Weber (3) and Filip Forsberg (12) assisted in the tying goal.

Third Period:
– The lone goal of the third period would come from Paul Stastny, sealing the game and the top spot of the Central Division in favor of St. Louis.

So Nashville falls to St. Louis 4-3 in regulation, giving the Blues the reigning spot of the Central Division. However, Nashville is still right behind St. Louis, so one false move and they’ll be back in second place.

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First Period Action pushes Preds past Oilers 3-2

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Source: ESPN.com

After a six-game road trip, tallying 4-2-0, the Preds returned home last night to face the Edmonton Oilers for the second time this season (first time Nashville won 4-1). Though their record going into last night’s game was numbered at 6-8-1, the Oilers are a much stronger team than they let on. However, Nashville is on a power run and it’ll take more than being strong to knock them off their high horse.

Notable Notes:
– After suffering knee-to-knee contact with Brennan Evans of the Grand Rapids Griffins, it looks like Viktor Stalberg will be out for a 4-6 week period. Due to the injury, Evans has been suspended for four games.
– Good news for Mike Fisher fans as word has it he should be ready to return within two weeks.

First Period:
– Mike Ribeiro wasted no time getting the Predators on the board at 2:51, Nashville’s fastest goal this season. James Neal (4) and Filip Forsberg (10) picked up the assists on Ribeiro’s fourth goal of the season.
– Barely seven minutes later, Matt Cullen collect his second goal of the season with a tip-in past Viktor Fasth at 9:21. Seth Jones (4) and Craig Smith (3) would nab the assists.
– Filip Forsberg would put Nashville up 3-0 at 19:06 for his seventh goal of season and second point of the night. Mike Ribeiro (9) would collect the loan assist on Prince Filip’s goal.

Second Period:
– Edmonton would relieve Fasth of his duties and replace him with Ben Scrivens going into the second period.
– The Oilers took the first period to heart, scoring just 31 seconds into the second period with a goal from Benoit Pouliot.
– Edmonton would jump within one of Nashville with another goal at 14:42 from Nail Yakupov.

Third Period:
– No goals.

Edmonton bounced back strong in the second and third periods, but Nashville was able to hold them off and seal victory with the return home. As I mentioned, Edmonton’s record doesn’t account for how strong of a team they actually are; they just haven’t hit their stride yet (sounds super familiar). Nashville’s return was a quick one, as they jump back on plane and hop over to St. Louis to try another hand against the Blues, who are itching to push back into first in the Central Division (Nashville has 22 points, St. Louis as 21). Saturday night, Nashville returns with Winnipeg in tow (and it’s Pekka bobblehead night).

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Preds take Win over Blues 2-1

Source: Eliteprospects.com

Nashville’s last stop on their Western Conference trek ended in St. Louis Saturday night, the first meeting between the two this season. St. Louis, who is currently sitting in first in the Central Division, could easily be punted out of that spot if Nashville came in with guns blazing. And, with players like Filip Forsberg and James Neal on point, St. Louis needs to watch its back.

First Period:
– St. Louis struck first with a goal at 14:30 from Jori Lehtera, his third of the season.
– Nashville was given two power play chances, but failed to capitalize on either during the first period.

Second Period:
– Filip Forsberg did his Forsberg thing with his sixth goal of the season at 7:15. Roman Josi (4) and James Neal (3) nabbed the assists.
– As awful as Nashville’s penalty kill can be, they did manage to hold off St. Louis’ power play at 17:49.

Third Period:
– After picking up an assist, James Neal collected his eight goal of the season and the game winner at 13:32 in the third. Filip Forsberg (9) and Mike Ribeiro (8) would pick up the assists.

With this win, Nashville is now 9-3-2 and the leader of the Central Division. Woot! The Preds return Tuesday night to face the Edmonton Oilers, a team Nashville has already had success over once this season (Oct. 29th – 4-1 in Edmonton). Welcome home, gentlemen.

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Nashville Knocks Dallas 3-2

Source: Shannon Byrne/Pinterest

After suffering a 3-1 loss to Winnipeg on Tuesday night, Nashville cut their losses and headed South to Dallas to take on the Stars.

First Period:
– No goals for either side, but plenty of shots as Nashville takes eleven and Dallas takes ten.

Second Period:
– Craig Smith struck gold first at 4:10 with a PPG, his fifth goal of the season. Derek Roy (6) and Ryan Ellis (6) picked up the assists.
– Filip Forsberg would capitalize on his own PPG at 13:57, also for his fifth of the season. Roman Josi (3) and Mattias Ekholm (4) nab the assists on Forsberg’s goal.
– Trevor Daley would put Dallas on the board at 16:26, ending the second period 2-1 in favor of Nashville.

Third Period:
– Patrick Eaves would tie it up at 7:23 in the third, his second goal of the season.
– However, Matt Cullen would sink the game winning goal at 13:47 for his first goal of the season. Derek Roy (7) and Mattias Ekholm (5) collect the assists.

The Predators have one last stop in St. Louis before heading back to Nashville to face the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night. This will be the first meeting of the season with Division rival St. Louis, who are currently 9-3-1 on the season. If Nashville beats the Blues in regulation, they will return to the top of the Central Division. No pressure.

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Preds give Jets Third straight Win

Source: Sports.Yahoo.com

We’ll keep this short: Lots of penalties by both sides, yet it was Nashville’s special teams that ultimately failed in the long run.

First Period:
– The Jets wasted no time taking the lead at 2:53 with a PPG from Andrew Ladd (5).
– Not even three minutes later, Winnipeg would capitalize on yet another power play, taking the lead 2-0. – Number of penalties: two (both on Nashville – Matt Cullen (interference) and Colin Wilson (hooking)).
– Head Coach Peter Laviolette took a puck to the head late in the first period after Jacob Trouba slung one into the Preds bench. Laviolette stayed glued to the bench until the end of the period, but returned in the second with a fresh set of stitches.
Screen shot 2014-11-10 at 6.47.49 PMSecond Period:
– Leave it to Prince Filip to put Nashville on the board at 16:17 for his fourth goal of the season. Shea Weber (2) and Mike Ribeiro (7) picked up the assists.
KrRRMx- Number of penalties: four (three Winnipeg, one Preds – Roman Josi (roughing)).

Third Period:
– Blake Wheeler would seal the deal for Winnipeg with an empty-netter at 18:20.
– Number of penalties: five (three Winnipeg, two Nashville – Mattias Ekholm (holding) and Taylor Beck (spearing)).

Again, needless to say, the special teams has some work to do – it always has, but after tonight’s performance, it cannot be ignored any longer. Teams are quickly figuring out that, if they can get Nashville on the penalty kill, they just about have goal in the bag. Pekka Rinne and Carter Hutton can only do so much on their own.

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