Your Nashville Predators continued their winning ways north of the border last night with a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The win was Nashville’s third straight and sixth road win of the season (one more than they won all of last season).
Nashville started the game with high intensity that seemed to wear on the Leafs and drag down their level of effort. The first period was an even back-and-forth period, but the Leafs did not have much push-back in the second half of the game. The Leafs generated some good offensive changes, but Nashville’s hustle and aggressive forecheck really made the Leafs look sloppy in their own. The Preds got a ton of good scoring chances and had a lot of success moving the puck around in the Toronto end. It seemed like every battle or race for the puck went Nashville’s way. While that will not always be the case, the hallmark of a hardworking club like Nashville will be an aggressive forecheck and willingness to win every battle for the puck.
This game also saw a continuation in the trend of offensive contributions from the right players. Matt Cullen had a four-point night with a goal and 3 assists, including 2 on the power play. Craig Smith scored two goals (both assisted by Cullen) and also assisted on Cullen’s goal. Seth Jones also added a power play goal of his own. Having another big right-handed shot on the top of the power play seems to be paying dividends.
The power play looked sharp the entire evening for Nashville. They barely missed opening the scoring when Cullen was robbed on the doorstep by Jonathan Bernier on the first power play of the game. Overall, Nashville went 2 for 4 on the power play and generated consistent chances with the man advantage. If Nashville can continue to have the power play be this succesful, it could prove to be a big difference maker down the stretch.
The penalty kill was also important in this game. The Leaf’s power play has been very succesful lately and Nashville was able to kill both first period penalties. The Leafs created good scoring opportunities on both advantages, but the penalty kill collapsed down to the net well and cleared rebounds. The Preds maintained their discipline the rest of the way and didn’t give Toronto any extra chances to score on the power play.
- Marek Mazanec made his fifth straight start and lowered his goals-against-average to 2.37.
- The Preds have scored 5 power play goals in the last three games, going 5 for 15 during that stretch.
- David Legwand‘s first NHL goal came against the Maple Leafs all the way back in 1999.
If you’re In Toronto, make sure to grab some Preds vs. Leafs tickets to cheer on Nashville in enemy territory. The Preds return home for a game Saturday night against the New York Rangers and one on Monday against the Phoenix Coyotes. Be sure to check in with us for a preview of those game and other Preds’ news. Thanks for reading.