Another exciting night of hockey in Nashville, and this time the home town got a win. The Preds battled back from a 3-2 deficit at the 2nd intermission to force a shootout and then win this game 4-3 behind a Cal O'Reilly shootout goal. A sold out Bridgestone Arena filed out having watched what I would consider the second best regular season game the Preds have played in this season.
Felder’s FICKLE Five:
1. Seizing Momentum and Opportunities
- You have to admire the Preds attitude in the 3rd period tonight. They never quit, continued to work hard, and it paid dividends. The disallowed Hornqvist goal could have taken the wind out of their sails, but they just pressed on and continued to fight for that game tying goal. It just shows that taking your foot off the pedal cause a bounce didn't go your way is NOT the way to play hockey.
2. Rinne Needs To Lock Down The Glove Side
- This game certainly will be used in NHL film rooms for advanced scouting. I wouldn't be surprised to see more teams test Pekka Rinne high glove side from now on. Rinne let in all 3 goals against on the high glove side and he is certainly aware that he needs to lock that down from here forward (as you will see in the QUOTES section). His play the last week or so hasn't be perfect, but if he gets the little adjustments back to form then we should see the Rinne we are accustomed to.
3. Who Needs Forwards to Score Goals
- Nashville certainly doesn't. All 3 Pred goals came via a D-man. You have to give credit to the Preds D-corp tonight for getting it done on both sides of the ice. The Blackhawks only had 6 shot on goal when you combine the 3rd period and OT. That's a pretty stellar stat considering the offensive talent on Chicago's side.
4. Disciplined Play
- A stellar job tonight by the Preds penalty killing unit, however the team needs to play with a little more discipline next time out. 8 total penalties that accounted for 19 PIM's. The good news was that the PK killed off all 4 Chicago advantages including a 5 on 3 in the 2nd period. It worked for them tonight, however moving forward you would have to think they want to take a few less trips to the sin bin.
5. Stepping Up For Teammates
- Kudos to the Captain Shea Weber for stepping in. Kudos for Shane O'Brien having his teammates back in a couple of scrums. Also, maybe I'm the only one but I found it very enjoyable to watch Dave Bolland go after Steve Sullivan in the corner and then Sully come out on top of the exchange with Bolland getting up off the ice. Those kind of moments seem to bond teams and give them more of an edge and that's something the Preds have lacked at times in the past.
* Tonight’s scratches were Wade Belak, Nick Spaling, and Alex Sulzer. This meant that both Martin Erat and Ryan Suter would return from multi-game injuries. For Chicago, just two scratches, Jordan Hendry and John Scott.
* 1ST PERIOD
* 19:48 to go. Opening entry into the Hawks zone and the Preds produce a dandy scoring chance. Steve Sullivan found Cal O'Reilly on the back door slot for what looked like a sure goal. Marty Turco slid over in time for a brilliant stop. The rebound fluttered in the air back to the opposite post where Patric Hornqvist attempted to bet it out of mid-air and in but just missed the connection. A solid jump for the starting line.
* GOAL for CHICAGO - 52.9 seconds to go. Jack Skille gets the opening tally with a glove side marker. He was all along in the slot and was free to pick his corner. Rinne didn't get the glove up right away and Skille took advantage. Brian Campbell certainly earned his primary assist with some nice moves high in the zone to create some free space for the forwards. Skille (1) from Campbell (2) and Bryan Bickell (4). Chicago takes a late 1-0 lead in the first frame.
* END OF THE 1ST PERIOD – NSH: 0 CHI: 1 Positives
- Strong start to the period but tailed off towards the last 5 of the period. Matching Chicago's physical play and tempo. Negatives
- Hawks lead shots on goal 13-9. Defensive lapse at the end of the period cost them.
* 2ND PERIOD
* 4 on 4 GOAL for NASHVILLE - 17:23 to go. Tick tac toe to none other than Shane O'Brien on the back door play. A gorgeous across the crease pass by Marcel Goc makes the goal happen. A fantastic play that showed the 4 on 4 cycle working to perfection. O'Brien (2) from Goc (4) and Kevin Klein (3). Preds have tied this game at 1 all.
* POWER PLAY GOAL for NASHVILLE - 14:41 to go. The CANNON has come out to play. Shea Weber with a tally from the point that catches a piece of Turco stick side, drops, and rolls right in for the marker. Weber (2) from Erat () and J.P. Dumont (). Preds score two unanswered and have clawed out to a 2-1 lead.
* GOAL for CHICAGO - 13:09. Chicago answers right back as Viktor Stalberg unleashes a laser beam high glove side that Rinne reacted too late to. That's twice tonight that Rinne didn't have the glove up in time as he dropped into his butterfly. Stalberg's 5th goal of the season came deep in the faceoff circle to Rinne's stick side and he got Peks at just the right angle to go across the body. A really gorgeous goal by this young player. Stalberg (5) from Patrick Sharp (8) and Fernando Pisani (2). We are right back at a tied scoreboard with both team posting 2 goals thus far.
* GOAL for CHICAGO - 10:50 to go. The Hawks tally high glove yet again on Rinne. This time Jack Skille had to slide across the open gap in the slot to fire the puck in past Peks. Poor defensive coverage on the back side is the cause for this miscue. Chicago has figured out where to fire on Rinne, although this time he did have his glove hand up in time when he dropped to the butterfly. Both teams have traded two goal spurts which now puts the Hawks ahead 3-2.
* 4:44 to go. Nick Boynton blew up Francis Bouillon behind the net and knocked him to the ice. The Cube guts back into the play and knocks over Jonathan Toews along the sideboards. Boynton takes exception and immediately comes over and challenges Frankie. They drop gloves and the Cube held his own for what I'd call an even bout.
*15:58 and the Preds Captain Shea Weber gets tabbed for a 2 minute cross-checking minor. He really earned this one with knocking over Tomas Kopecky from the crease during Chicago's power play. This put the Preds down to a 5 on 3 since Cody Franson was already put in the box :38 seconds earlier for a delay of game call.
* 1:55 to go and the Preds have killed off the entire 1:22 of 5 on 3 thanks in part to an amazing save by Rinne on Patrick Kane. Kaner had what appeared to be open net but Rinne sprawled to pipe and made the leg pad save to prevent the Hawks from taking a two goal lead.
* 1:21 to go and Bickell lights up Hornqvist with a hit. Problem is that Bickell clearly left his feet. Well, the Beast known as Shea Weber was on the ice and immediately went after Bickell to drop gloves. Before punches could be exchanged Bickell lost his footing and dropped to the ice so both players received double minors for roughing which was the right call. The wrong call was that Webs was the only player to get the double minor, giving the Hawks a power play.
* END OF THE 2ND PERIOD – NSH: 2 CHI: 3 Positives
- Got the offense going in the first half of the period. Still in this game. Negatives
- Chicago leading shots on goal 26-18. Hawks have won 64% of faceoffs. Chicago has been exploiting Rinne's high glove.
* 3RD PERIOD
* 18:48 to go. The go-to-the-net nature of Patric Hornqvist pays off… or does it? Preds appear to have a goal however in looking at the replay you notice Hornqvist's stick does not make contact with the puck. He does appear to swing his leg and hit the puck with his thigh. The play is reviewed and rightfully called no goal.
* GOAL for NASHVILLE - 9:37 to go. This one does count. Hornqvist was screening Turco in front as Franson let off a slap shot from the glove side point. The puck went through traffic and found a home in the back of the net stick side. That goal certainly brought the crowd back into this one. Franson (4) from Bouillon (4) and Sullivan (4). We are tied at 3 all.
* TO OT WE GO
* 2:31 to go. The Preds will go on a 4 on 3 man advantage after Patrick Kane gets called for a clear trip on Martin Erat. Great chance for Nashville to end this one right here and they call a time-out to talk it over as well.
* Some great scoring chances created for the D-men but no goal so to a shootout we go.
* In the shootout Peks was perfect and continued to be his normal stellar self when it comes down to a shootout. O'Reilly scored the lone shootout goal with a nice move that showed a fake 5-hole shot then roofing the puck high glove.
* FINAL SCORE – NSH - 4 CHI - 3.
My Three Stars:
1. Jack Skille
- 2 goals, +2 rating, 3 shots on goal, and 1 hit.
2. Cody Franson
- 1 game tying goal, 4 shots on goal, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot.
3. Shea Weber
- 1 PP goal, -2 rating, 6 PIM's, team leading 8 shots on goal, 3 hits, 1 takeaway, and 1 blocked shot.
Goalie Grade: B-
– The starting goaltender tonight was Pekka Rinne. Peks struggled early with his high glove and got scored on 3 times that way. As the game got into the crucial moments Pekka came through for his team. Then finally in the shootout he blanked the entire Chicago side. Rinne finished the game with 29 saves on 32 shots against. It wasn't his best game but he redeemed himself in the shootout to earn a B- grade from me.
- "Did you feel like they were targeting your high glove early on in the game?"
- "Yeah. I'm sure during pre-scouting… I've given up a few goals that hit the spot there and obviously I'm not happy about that. I usually feel confident with my glove but a couple times a couple of good shots have beat me there. In the future for sure you know, I'm ready."
- "It must've been nice to Suter back out there. Did that give you a little bit of extra confidence?"
- "Yeah absolutely. It put the D-pairings back to normal. It was really good to have him back. There's not too many guys who can miss that many games and then come back and play like that. He played with a lot of poise and he looked like himself. He got the puck, made the easy plays, and defended really well. Just a solid game all around. It just goes to show how good a player he is."
- "Does getting back to the normal D-pairing help out with communication and things like that or does it even have that much of an impact?"
- "Yeah it does. With the D-pairings when they are used to playing with each other it makes things a little easier. The guys have been doing a really good job. It's not the D. We've had a tough stretch and it was everybody. It was me, the whole team. Right now it's just feels better to play. Everybody sticks together and works a little bit harder. I think that's the difference now."
- "Ryan Suter seemed to have a pretty immediate impact on the power play for you guys."
- "Yeah, he's really poised there. He can go across the blueline as well as anybody in the National Hockey League. He really can change the angle, and that was some of the difficulties with our power play is that we weren't able to change a lot of the angles, and then you have to execute from there, and those two things were giving us a little bit of a problem. I think hopefully getting Marty back, you know the power play has different elements, and getting Sutes back, he's a transporter, he's a guy that can go across the blueline really well, and entry and retrieval. They're a good penalty killing team. They're a solid penalty killing team and they have some real talented people that do it."
Yet another entertaining game at the Bridgestone Arena, but this one saw the home team come back for a victory and critical 2 points to regain some position after that 5 game losing streak the past few weeks. I was especially impressed with the way the Predators did not let the disallowed goal affect their momentum. In fact, they appeared more determined to come back and win after that play to me.
The Predators next game is Tuesday night in Toronto. The Preds make a rare visit to see the Maple Leafs and have a scheduled face off time of 6 pm CST. This game will not be televised so you'll have to dial into the radio, fire up Center Ice, or find one of "those" websites to get your Pred updates that night.
Till the next time, take care my friends.
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