It was a fitting end to a losing streak of 5 games for the Nashville Predators, one that started and ended with St.Louis.
The dreadful streak began just before the Predators went on a 5 game road trip. They were at home against none other than the Blues and lost that game 3-0. Before that game, the Predators were atop the central division and slowly fell, being taken over by their opponents of tonight the Blues. It seems as for now the ship has been righted and a streak that began in Nashville and ended in St.Louis is a fitting end and a game that lived up to the division rivalry hype.
The Predators and Blues had already met twice before and both had taken a game in the season series before tonight. The blues had just come off a royal beating by the jackets the night before and the preds had lost a heartbreaker to the Ducks with 1.7 seconds left. SO both teams were looking to rebound in a huge way but as we all know, only one would and the other would have another let down.
• The Predators looked awful in the first period only registering 4 shots on net and the Blues getting 9
• The blues were getting tons of time in the offensive zone and Rinne was keeping the preds
• The blues eventually scored off a bizarre play as the puck went flying into the air, and as Sullivan waved at it with his stick was buried by Backes who then received a pass from McDonald and put one past Rinne
• In the second the Preds picked up the tempo and started to play predators hockey
• O’Reilly once again gave the Preds life by scoring on a screened play to tie up the game
• The Preds had a 5 on 3 for 1 min 30 sec and could even get a shot on net
• The momentum had switched with the preds getting 10 shots on Halak and the Blues only 3 on Rinne
• The third period started and not before too long the Blues capitalised on a beauty of a pass from Berglund on four on four play to D’Agostini who out on five-hole on Rinne to give them the lead
• The Preds than pressed the issue and after some great back to back shift Dumont scored on a soft backhand form a puck that came out of the corner beside the net
• The play after that seemed fairly even as both sides got some chances and Rinne made some key saves, things that the Preds weren’t getting in games prior on this losing streak
• The Preds once again outshot the Blues 12 to 8 in the third period
• Then came overtime, the Preds had to kill of a penalty with a minute thirty left in OT
• The only shots on goal were by the blues and they had three of them
• With OT settling nothing, it went to a shootout, where both teams first skaters scored, than no one scored till the 4th round where Goc made a sweet move and pulled one backhand past Halak to end the streak for Nashville
Final thoughts on the game:
Tonight’s game showed the depth and character of the Nashville Predators, they refused to give up and getting clawing their way back in. When teams are doing that even on losing streaks it shows that they are committed and that it will all soon turn around. Maybe it should have happened against the Ducks before but at least it’s over for now. With all the positives to take out of this game such as Rinne looking like he may be on his way to finding his old groove which is key for the Preds to be winning, and O’Reilly looking like a good first line center and great second line center when Lombardi returns there are still negatives. Especially when it comes to the teams power play, as it confuses me that a team that has a struggling power play and offense tries to get super creative on the Power play instead of just use Weber and get some shots on net with the goalie screened. One last thing is that every year someone seems to be in Tortz’s dog house for whatever reason and it seems his new dog may be Wilson as he played on the fourth line mostly tonight and had only 10 minutes of ice time.
Thanks for reading.