MVP Sports Channel

November in Nashville

Hi, Everyone…

Deb here, coming to you from the zone with your weekly update on the Nashville Predators. It has been a successful month of November for our Preds, and fans are eager to see our team continue forward with that same solid play across the board from all of our guys.

On Friday night, post-Turkey Day, the Preds were at home taking on the Winnipeg Jets in another important divisional matchup. Pekka Rinne got the start for Nashville. It was physical play from both teams from the opening face-off. There was no score during the 1st until 15 minutes in, when the Jets got a little “puck luck” on a strange ricochet over Rinne’s shoulder giving them a 1-0 lead. There was no scoring for the rest of the 1st. The 2nd period saw no scoring early, but about 6 minutes in, Colin Wilson found the back of the Winnipeg net, assisted on a beauty of a pass by Captain Mike Fisher to tie the game. About a minute later, Fisher assisted again, this time setting up Ryan Johansen to blast one in, and suddenly the Preds had a 2-1 lead.With seven minutes left, Colton Sissons was hit hard from behind and driven into the boards. Several Predators came to his defense…(there is no love lost between these two teams). When it was all sorted out, the offending Jets player received a five-minute major penalty. The ensuing power play resulted in a goal by James Neal…..boom, 3-1 Nashville! The period concluded with another scuffle, but no other scoring. The final period began with high tensions among the players from both teams. Nashville got another power play chance right away, and Colin Wilson made it count by tapping in a perfect pass….again by Mike Fisher, giving him his second goal of the night, and giving our guys some breathing room on the scoreboard with a 4-1 lead. The final score of the game came when Ryan Johansen blasted another one by the Jets’ net-minder, picking up his second goal of the evening. From the Predators’ initial goal, they never looked back. Rinne tore it up in our net by making 22 saves on 23 shots, taking home the big win, and making it a victorious 3-in-a-row home stand.

It was a rare noontime game on Sunday as the Preds took on the Jets again, this time in Winnipeg for the second outing of the back-to-back series, looking to extend their winning streak and add points to their total. Nashville had issues to deal with in this one though, as Ryan Ellis, James Neal, Miikka Salomaki, and Colton Sissons were out of the lineup with injuries. Our backup goalie, Juuse Saros got the start in the net for the Preds, giving Rinne a bit of rest. There was no score in the opening period, but with Nashville winning the shot count, it was “so far, so good.” About 5 minutes into the 2nd period, the Jets lit the lamp to get on the board. With only one penalty for each team, the game seemed even otherwise, and the 2nd period ended 1-0 Jets. The final period was an even-strength and power play shooting surge for the Predators as they made 20 scoring attempts in that period alone. Unfortunately, they were not able to get a single puck by the Jets’ net-minder Conner Hellebuyck (boy, what a name!) who played a heck of a game, stopping a season-high 42 shots on goal by Nashville. Down by only one goal, the Predators pulled Saros out late in the game to get in an extra attacker, but still could not put one in. With our net empty, the Jets were able to get two empty-net goals, and win the game 3-0. Road wins remain elusive for our guys who have a 8-1-1 record at home, but a 2-7-2 record on the road…yikes! Hopefully, we can get that fixed…..and SOON!

The Preds were in Denver on Tuesday night facing another Central Division foe, the Colorado Avalanche for the second time this season. Backup goalie Calvin Pickard was in goal for the Avs and Pekka Rinne was back between the pipes for Nashville. The opening period began with the skaters at a fast pace. About 15 minutes into the period, Mike Fisher capitalized on an Avalanche turnover and hit pay dirt to put the Predators out in front 1-0. But Colorado answered right back with a goal to tie things up about a minute later. With no additional goals, the score remained knotted up at the break. Scoring took off though, when only seven seconds into the 2nd period, Viktor Arvidsson rifled one into the back of the Colorado net off the opening face-off to give the Preds a 2-0 lead. The momentum continued for the Preds as Kevin Fiala lit the lamp only a couple of minutes later…3-1 Preds! But soon after, the Avs got through heavy traffic in front of the Nashville net, to score and cut the Preds’ lead to one. The 3rd period began as the 2nd one had…with a Nashville goal less than a minute in as Ryan Johansen launched a shot by Pickard, extending the Nashville lead; then Austin Watson redirected one in to make it 5-2 Predators! But the Avalanche responded quickly making it a 5-3 game. Nashville got a power play chance on a infraction called for a Colorado player using a broken stick….(who knew that was a penalty???) but the Preds were not able to convert. With no additional goals, the Preds held on to pick up a much-needed road win 5-3. Austin Watson was notably a stand-out in the game getting a “Gordie Howe hat trick” which occurs when a player scores a goal, makes an assist, and gets involved in a fight all in the same game—way to go, Austin!

Our Predators added some crucial points to their total this week. With three home games coming up, we look forward to them adding more to that total and showing fans the thrills that keep them in the arena and in front of their televisions each game yelling “Go, Preds!” And speaking of that……..

Go, Preds!

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