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The guys in gold | Weekly recap of the Predators!

Hello, Fellow Predators Fans!

Deb back here in the zone to bring you up to speed on our team. The guys in gold bring their current record of 25-19-8 into this upcoming week with a mix of home and road games. We need to pick up wins and points in them all to continue moving forward in the standings.

Our guys were back on home ice in Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday evening with conference opponents the Vancouver Canucks in town for the third matchup this season, having split the wins in the previous games. All kinds of moves have been taking place within our roster as the trade deadline of March 1st approaches, and players are sent back and forth to Milwaukee  as different personnel are needed in different situations. Pekka Rinne was in net for Nashville. He was not able to keep the first goal of the game out of the Predators’ net, and the Canucks took the early lead 1-0. Then a cross-body pass from Colin Wilson set up a humdinger of a wrist shot by Viktor Arvidsson with about 7 minutes remaining in the 1st, tying the score at 1. A goal by Callie Jarnkrok came a minute or so later putting the Preds out in front 2-1. Period #2 yielded no score from either team. It was a fairly even shot-count as play got underway in the 3rd with Nashville still out ahead. At the 11- minute mark, Arvidsson put a shot (first credited to Forsberg) on net that leaked through the goalie’s glove and was called a no-goal. It was reviewed and the call was overturned and it was ruled a good goal—-woohoo, 3-1 Preds! But the Canucks were not going away; about 3 minutes later, they got a puck past Rinne on a power play closing the gap to one goal. As expected, Vancouver emptied their net, and after high drama, Mike Fisher stole the puck and sailed it into the wide-open net to seal the deal for a 4-2 victory, bringing the Preds’ points total to 60.

On Thursday night, the Preds were in New York at Madison Square Garden to take on the NY Rangers. Backup goalie Juuse Saros got the start in net for the Predators. Nashville got the first goal of the game about 4 minutes into the opening period when Cody McLeod got a puck past Henrik Lundqvist to get on the scoreboard. Then, early in the 2nd, they notched a second score on a wrist shot by Callie Jarnkrok to go further out in front. However, the Rangers got their scoring sticks going and put 2 goals on the board to tie the game and carry that score to intermission. The Rangers took the 3-2 lead about 5 minutes into the 3rd on a goal that was challenged by Nashville, but was upheld after review. The Predators were on their heels to try to tie the game, but instead, NY took the puck on a Nashville turnover and their shot took an unfortunate bounce off Mattie Ekholm’s skate and into the net—4-2 Rangers. Needing 2 goals to tie, the Preds pulled Saros out and went on a power play, so a dandy scoring chance was there. Sure enough, with the 6 on 4 situation, Roman Josi was able to slip one by Lundqvist…4-3. In spite of a valiant effort by Nashville, time expired before they could get the equalizing goal, and NY took this one 4-3 on a come-from-behind victory

On Saturday, the Preds were at home for a matinee game vs. the Florida Panthers hoping to bounce back from Thursday night’s loss. Pekka Rinne was in net for Nashville and allowed a tip-in goal a bit over 4 minutes into the game. But the Preds evened the score about halfway through the 1st on a power play goal by Roman Josi, his 7th of the year. Florida made it 2-1 early in the 2nd on a power play goal 6 minutes in. The guys in gold were having none of it; Viktor Arvidsson lit the lamp for Nashville, tying it up. Then 28 seconds later, Florida broke the tie, and only few seconds later, added another goal making the score 4-2 early in the 2nd period—Yikes! With the Panthers putting in 4 scores on only 16 shots, Coach Laviolette decided that Florida had Rinne’s number and sat him out to allow Juuse Saros the opportunity to shut down the scoring. But that didn’t work either; less than a minute later, Florida hit pay dirt yet again, scoring their 4th goal in about 5 minutes’ time—-Geezaloo; someone stop the bleeding! With 3 minutes remaining, Viktor Arvidsson helped the situation with a short-handed goal, making it a 5-3 game. The 3rd period was fraught with scuffles and infractions, and the Predators continued to be out-shot, out-defended, and out-played. Shortly after the puck dropped for the 3rd, the Panthers added another score, bringing their lead to 6-3. Arvidsson found the back of the net for the third time this game, making the score 6-4 and giving him his first career hat trick—-way to go, “Arvy Hustle!” But it was of little help; Florida put their final mark on the scoreboard with an empty net goal to mercifully end the game with a season-high 7 goals to the Predators’ 4—–not pretty; this one was a real stinker! The Preds can only hope to pick themselves up and dust off for tomorrow’s game.

And dust off they did! It was division opponents the Dallas Stars who came to town to face the Preds. With Rinne between the pipes, and the team feeling the need to redeem themselves after an unacceptable level of play in the previous game, there was a feeling of urgency when the puck dropped. Tensions were high as there were fights and more fights from the very beginning, and it seemed that the penalty boxes stayed more full than empty. Dallas struck first with a power play goal about midway into the 1st, and then again about 3 minutes later. The Predators’ penalty box contained gold jerseys far too often, and things were not looking good in Smashville. The Stars exited the locker room after intermission with a 2-0 lead and added to it early in the 2nd to go up 3-0. But Roman Josi got the Predators going in the right direction with a goal about 5 minutes in and that score held through the remainder of the 2nd. Then, to the delight (and relief) of the Nashville Faithful, the Preds got their skates under them and the scoring sticks going and never looked back. Only 45 seconds into the 3rd period, Josi did it again, and only a few short minutes later, Jarnkrok added the equalizing goal—–woohoo! With 6 minutes remaining, Filip Forsberg put in the go-ahead goal. The icing on the “come-back cake” was an empty-net goal scored by Captain Mike Fisher with a minute or so left making the final score 5-3. Now THAT was a Predators game!

Our guys added 4 points to their total this week. We were certainly hoping for more, but having ended the series of games on a very high note, we will take those points. The Predators have a rare, for this point in the season, break for the next five days; the team has no games and no practices, so a bit of R & R will hopefully get the guys rejuvenated and ready to attack the season’s final segment of games with the energy and determination needed to get them into secure playoff position. See you all back in the zone after the break!

Go, Preds!



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