Your Nashville Predators took on the Philadelphia Flyers at Bridgestone on Saturday night without a couple of key defensemen. Both Shea Weber and Kevin Klein were out of the lineup and for Weber, this would have marked his first game against the Flyers since he signed the offer sheet in the summer of 2012.
When we previewed the game, we noted the Flyers propensity for taking penalties and that the Preds would need to take advantage. The Flyers took five minor penalties and the Preds were not able to capitalize on any of them and only had one shot in goal in the ten minutes of power play time. This may be one of those game the Preds look back at on the schedule and remember as one they should have won.
Even without any power play success the Preds were still able to grab a point after losing 3-2 in the shootout on a goal by Vincent Lecavalier (I feel like Trotz should have Legwand shoot before Lecavalier for good karma or something). Without considering how they played, a point in a game without Shea Weber and Kevin Klein in the lineup is a pretty good result. However, the Preds outplayed the Flyers at even strength and generated a number of good scoring opportunities by getting the puck to the net and attacking after it. The forwards were also responsible in their own zone and came back hard to support the shorthanded defense corps. On the Flyers first goal, all of the forwards were back before a bad bounce left Claude Giroux open at the top of the circle to blast one past Marek Mazanec.
Mike Fisher was able to provide the Preds with a quick answer scoring a minute later on a feed from Patric Hornqvist. The score remained 1-1 until early in the third period when Colin Wilson slipped a backhand past Steve Mason, but the Preds could not hold the lead. Sean Couturier added the equalizer on a nifty pass from Andrej Meszaros. Mazanec had no chance on either goal, but the defensive coverage could have been better on the second one, especially that late in the game.
The Preds defense still looked good overall without Weber and Klein. Seth Jones and Roman Josi played together as the top pair and both logged more than 30 minutes of ice time. Joe Piskula was called up from Milwaukee and played a steady 10:27. He was a plus 1 and added 2 shots on goal. Mazanec continued his streak of strong play and looked comfortable all night. He put the Preds in a position to win the game and looks poised for whatever news comes this week regarding Pekka Rinne.
- The game against the Flyers was Matt Cullen‘s 1100th NHL game .
- After going 0-5 on the power play against the Flyers, the Preds only have one power play goal in their last twelve chances.
- Mazanec has not allowed more than 2 goals against in eight straight starts.
The Preds are at home again on Tuesday night against the Vancouver Canucks. Be sure to check in with us for a preview of the game and other Preds’ news. Thanks for reading.
Scott Gardner is the Editor at Predlines.com and can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @scottcgardner. For the latest updates in Predator news, follow @PredlinesNSH or like us on Facebook.