Predators Defeat Lightning 2-1 At Rookie Tournament


The Nashville Predators welcomed NHL rookies and prospects plus hundreds of spectators into their brand new, state of the art Ford Ice Center today for the start of their rookie tournament.

First off, before we get to the recap of the action today, my hat goes off to the Nashville Predators organization for building and creating such a great hockey facility. Today was the first time I had seen the new facility, and, wow. The hockey fans and Predators fans that made their way out to the new facility today seemed to very much so enjoy themselves and created an amazing atmosphere to cheer on and watch their favorite hockey team.

More from Predators News

The first game of the day featured the Boston Bruins prospects going up against the prospects of the Florida Panthers. The Panthers defeated the Bruins two to zero.

The Predators started their hopeful tournament-run against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second game of the afternoon. Magnus Hellberg started in net for the Predators while Andrei Vasilevskiy started in net for the Lightning.

The Predators starting first-line consisted of three highly sought out forwards in Filip Forsberg, Colton Sissons, and Kevin Fiala. Starting the game on the blue-line were defensemen Johan Alm and Garrett Noonan.

This rookie tournament is a place for rookies and prospects to get off to good starts and deliver good impressions to the Nashville organization ; defenseman Jonathan-Ismael Diaby emphasized how getting off to a good start for himself and the team getting off to a good start was very important.

”I didn’t get to play last year, so I want to leave a good impression this year. It’s kind of my first camp so I want to play hard and leave a good impression.” – Jonathan-Ismael Diaby

The Preadtors and Lightning found themselves knotted up at zero at the end of the first period. Predators first-round pick from this year’s NHL Draft, Kevin Fiala, changed the scoreline by lighting the lamp early in the second period. Filip Forsberg had a great assist to Fiala on his power-play goal.

The Predators found themselves on the penalty-kill for a lot of the night. The Predators racked-up a total of thirteen penalties in comparison to Tampa Bay’s seven penalties on the night. The Predator’s worst period when it came to penalties was the second, where they committed seven minor penalties while the Lightning only committed one minor penalty in the second.

Filip Forsberg ended up with a total of three minor penalties on the night, a bit surprising from one of the more experienced players in the tournament. Forsberg spoke on his three penalties saying, ” [Getting] three penalties is not acceptable, but we were really good on the penalty kill today, and I am very thankful for that.”

Killing that amount of penalties for a defensive group that hasn’t really had a ton of experience along side one another and a group who only had one official practice together on Friday is a tough situation to be thrown into; especially for basically half of the second period. Diaby spoke about the penalty-kill situation and that they will improve in that area; “We had a lot of penalties tonight and were on the power play as well. We tried to work on [special teams] a little bit yesterday, but we’ll get better.”

The Lightning did get a goal later in the penalty-filled second period via a power-play goal from Brayden Point. Point beat the Predators second-goalie of the night, Rob Madore. This would be the final goal of the period and the Predators were locked up at one a piece after two periods of play.

The third period got underway, and as it continued, had its own share of penalties with Nashville and Tampa Bay both committing four minor penalties each. Each team had it’s share of power-play opportunities but neither managed to get the go ahead goal.

“Getting one penalty is bad, but taking two makes you want to get out there and make it up to the team. Sometimes it happens where you get three, but I was lucky that I was able to pay it back to them with a goal at the end. – Filip Forsberg

The game headed into a special seven-minute, first-goal wins overtime period.

The overtime period started with each team having a player in the penalty box; neither player in the penalty box would get the chance to get back on the ice . Less than one-minute into the overtime, Filip Forsberg lit-the-lamp with a game winner off the feed from Brendan Leipsic.

Forsberg finished the night with two-points (1G, 1A). Kevin Fiala had one-point with his second-period goal. Brendan Leipsic had one-point on the night with his assist on the overtime winner. Magnus Hellberg saw 29:53 in net and stopped 11 of 11 shots, while Rob Madore saw 31:42 in net and stopped 21 of 22 shots.

Random Observations And Thoughts:

– The Forsberg, Sissons, and Fiala line looked really good.

– Sissons was wearing the “C” on his sweater tonight; I assumed Forsberg would have the “C”.

– Leipsic looked really good. Had a few scoring opportunities. He also loves to chew on his mouth piece like Patrick Kane.

– Rob Madore, who is an undersized goalie ,looked really good in net for the Predators. He finished the night with 21-saves on 22-shots. His move from post-to-post is extremely quick. Yet another solid goaltender in the Predators system.

– Jonathan-Ismael Diaby, who is six-foot-five, 240 pounds hit a slap-shot from the point and caught Slater Koekkoek in the shoulder/neck area. He went down to the ice in pain for about three-seconds then hopped back up and skated to the bench. More power to him.