Welcome to the Predlines Monday Morning Recap – November 18, 2013 edition. Let’s take a look back at the week that was for the Preds.
Your Nashville Predators spent most of the last week on the road as part of a season-long seven game road trip. The Preds played three games and finished with a 1-2-0 record. They struggled offensively in the first two games, losing 3-1 to the Islanders and 4-1 to the Penguins before returning to Bridgestone and exploding for 7 goals against the Blackhawks. Shea Weber, Patric Hornqvist and Craig Smith all had three points over the course of the week.
In the first game last week, the Preds lost 3-1 on Tuesday night against the New York Islanders. This was the sixth game of the seven game road trip and the Preds came out flat. They allowed 16 shots on goal in the first period on Marek Mazanec, who was making his first NHL start. Mazanec provided solid goaltending but the Preds could not get on the scoreboard until 5:30 remaining in the game. The goal by Hornqvist ended a 174:48 goalless drought. The Preds must have been a little road weary and it showed against the Islanders.
In the second game, the Preds went into Pittsburgh to wrap up their road trip. The Preds showed some life early and jumped out to a quick lead on a goal by Gabriel Bourque 2:28 into the game. Unfortunately, the Penguins responded with two unanswered goals in the first and two more in the second to get the victory. Mazanec got his second straight start but was pulled after the second period in favor of Carter Hutton. Mazanec was not as good against the Pens, he let in a couple soft goals and did not look confident in his crease.
Saturday night marked the Predators return to Bridgestone and the team’s first home game in three weeks and what a return it was. The Preds jumped out to an early lead and kept pouring on the offense. The seven goals scored by Nashville was more than the team could muster in their last five games combined. The Preds got goals from Matt Cullen, Nick Spaling, Patric Hornqvist, Viktor Stalberg, Mike Fisher, Craig Smith and Shea Weber. These are names that need to consistently be on the score sheet if Nashville is going to be successful and push for the playoffs. Mazanec also got his third consecutive start and looked very confident against a talented Blackhawks lineup.
The Preds play on the road again this week with games in Detroit and Toronto before returning home to play the Rangers on Saturday night.
Be sure to check in with us later for more discussion on the Preds playoff chances.