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Music City Hits High Note Against Blues | Nashville

Hi Folks,

Deb here, back in “the zone” with your update on our Nashville Predators.  After last week’s disappointing showing, fans are hoping for better performances from our guys in gold.

Our schedule kicked off with the Preds returning to Bridgestone Arena on Saturday night facing the Carolina Hurricanes.  With Pekka Rinne in the net, the Predators created numerous scoring opportunities in the opening period.  Our first goal came on a break-away by James Neal at the midway point.  Rinne stopped all 8 shots by the Canes to protect the Preds’ 1-0 lead at the first break.  In the 2nd period, fast action continued from both teams.  Carolina tied the game 1-1, but Matt Irwin put one in goal to give the Preds back the lead 2-1 before the intermission. The 3rd period saw Nashville with a power play opportunity which “went south” when Carolina scored a short-handed goal to tie the game at 2 each. Neither team could light the lamp after that, and the second straight Preds game was headed to overtime. The 3-on-3 OT period saw no score, and for the second straight Preds game, the outcome would be decided by a shoot-out.  Unfortunately, Jacob Slaven got one by Rinne in the 3rd round of shooting, giving the Canes the 3-2 victory.  With two consecutive shoot-out losses, this might be a good time for a personal note… Did I mention that I am NOT a fan of shoot-outs??????

Forging ahead, the Predators hosted the Ottawa Senators in Smashville on Tuesday night.  Our guys seemed a bit sluggish in the first half of the opening period, but Pekka Rinne did an outstanding job in goal. Early in the 2nd, Rinne made an unbelievable save which would surely make it to all the NHL highlight reels.  This amazing save seemed to generate a fire under the Predators, and things began to happen. James Neal and P.K. Subban each hit pay dirt with goals in the first four minutes, giving our guys a 2-0 lead. In the final period, Defenseman Ryan Ellis scored his first goal of the season to make it 3-0.  The Senators did put up a score with a goal from Kyle Turris, one of their big-time scorers, but the Predators’ lead held with Pekka making 33 saves on 34 shots. Much to the relief of the home crowd, our guys picked up an important victory (and the 2 points that come with a win), and played a much more solid game.

On Thursday night, the Preds took on one of their “big 3” rivals (the Blues, Blackhawks, and Red Wings) facing the St. Louis Blues at Bridgestone Arena in an important Central Division game.  Fans were quick to notice, two good friends would be eyeing each other from end-to-end across the ice as the Predators’ current #1 goalie, Pekka Rinne, would be opposing the Predators’ former #2 goalie, Carter Hutton, who left the Preds for St. Louis in the offseason. This is the stuff that makes great games even greater! The Blues struck first about four minutes in. Nashville had a slow start out of the gate, and although they got several good looks, could not score, leaving St. Louis with their 1-0 lead at the end of the 1st period.  With the shot count fairly even, the Preds began the 2nd period with lackluster play, committing turnovers and not completing scoring opportunities.  After a couple of power play chances, including one that had 2 Blues players in the penalty box at once, giving the Preds a 2-man advantage and thus a huge scoring opportunity– still no puck in the net. GRRRR! Finally, Callie Yarnkrok got a shot past Hutton to tie the game at one apiece near the end of the 2nd. The 3rd period saw the Predators catch fire with an important penalty kill, followed by a goal from James Neal about 4 minutes in to give Nashville their first lead 2-1.  Then Yarnkrok again fired a rocket by Hutton to get his second goal of the evening and extend the Predators’ lead to 3-1 with 15 minutes remaining. St. Louis went on the power play and also emptied their net giving themselves a 2-man advantage as time was winding down, but an outstanding job by Nashville’s penalty kill unit turned aside the Blues’ push and sealed the Preds’ victory. Although they struggled early, it was a strong finish by Nashville with solid play by several players including Rinne with 23 saves on 24 shots.

The week began with some serious concerns by Predators team leaders and fans alike that the team had not been performing up to pre-season expectations.  But there are so many things to feel encouraged about as things seem to be falling into place for our guys. We look forward to that continuing as we forge ahead!  See ya next week.

Go, Preds!

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