Welcome to the Predlines Monday Morning Recap – December 2, 2013 edition. Let’s take a look back at the week that was for the Preds.
Your Nashville Predators started their busy week with a 4-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night at Bridgestone. The Preds scored three goals in the first period to take an early lead that proved to be the difference. The first period was one of the Preds’ better periods this season. They were sharp at both ends of the ice and generated scoring chances by using team speed to get to the net. The Coyotes brought more pressure in the second and third that forced the Preds back on their heels but Phoenix could not close the gap. Shea Weber finally banked in an empty-net goal with less than a minute to play to seal the game.
Nashville took a short trip to Ohio to face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night. The Preds came out fast again but this time they never took their foot off of the throttle. The Preds played a complete game at both ends of the ice and never allowed Columbus to get their footing. The 4-0 victory was the first shutout of Marek Mazanec‘s NHL career in just his seventh career start. He looked confident in the net and was out challenging shooters all night. The defense in front of him was also strong and effective defensive zone coverage led to a number of scoring opportunities of turnovers.
The Edmonton Oilers came to town for Thanksgiving and it certainly looked like the Preds had a little too much turkey. They did not come out with the same intensity that was on display over the last few games and it allowed the Oilers to take advantage. The Oilers had a lot of chances before scoring two goals a minute apart in the second period and effectively closing out the game for Nashville. Both of the goals came off poor defensive zone coverage and there was not much Mazanec could do to help the team. The Oilers added an empty net goal to take a 3-0 victory back to Canada and earn a shutout for Ilya Bryzgalov.
Saturday night brought the Philadelphia Flyers to town. The Preds went into the game without Kevin Klein or Weber (who took a puck to the face against Columbus) in the lineup. The Preds outplayed the Flyers at even strength but could not capitalize on any of the five power play opportunities. While Weber’s minutes were certainly missed, his presence and big point shot on the power play could have been the difference maker. Seth Jones and Roman Josi both stepped up in terms of quality of play and amount of minutes, but the Preds simply could not get the Flyers to go away. Philadelphia hung around long enough to force a shootout where Vincent Lecavalier beat Mazanec for the deciding goal.
The Preds have three games this upcoming week, Tuesday at home against Vancouver, Thursday at home against Carolina and then on the road in Washington on Saturday. Be sure to check back in for game previews and other Preds’ news.
Thanks for stopping by this morning.
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 and like Predlines on Facebook.