Predators Fall 3-1 To Panthers At Rookie Tournament


The Nashville Predators were defeated by the Florida Panthers by the score of 3 to 1 in the team’s second game of the rookie tournament.

Rob Madore got the start in net tonight for the Predators and split-time with Magnus Hellberg who got the start in net the night before against Tampa Bay. Madore stopped six of the seven shots he faced, letting up a goal in the second period scored by Logan Shaw. Hellberg stopped thirteen of the fourteen shots he faced.

Shaw’s goal was assisted by number-one overall pick of this year’s NHL Draft, defenseman, Aaron Ekblad. The Panthers final goal was an empty-netter with 56 seconds to play, giving Florida the 3 to 1 victory.

The Predators found themselves in another chippy, chirp-filled contest just like they did the night before in their 2 to 1 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. On numerous occasions there was after the whistle jawing and extra curricular activity taking place. The game saw a total of six minor penalties committed by Nashville and thirteen minor penalties committed by Florida.

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Despite the many chances the Predators were given on the power-play, they couldn’t get things going with their power-play unit. Milwaukee Admirals head coach who is also coaching the Predator’s prospects at the tournament spoke about their chances on the power-play tonight and the different combinations on the power-play unit; “It’s tough; we’re going off of where we think people fit and we switched it up there with Fiala on the point, and you’re just playing with the skill-level and trying to find a mix.”

Speaking of the physical play and chippiness of the game, Predator’s forwards Brendan Leipsic and Colton Sissons caught high-sticks during the game, Sissons even had to leave the ice. Sissons, who is the captain of the Predators tournament team, returned to action after a visit to the locker room.

Sissons spoke on the physical contest against the Panthers in comparison to the Tampa Bay Lightning game the night before, “Last night the first period was a bit chippy, really physical but it was like that all night [tonight] and it was good to see guys stepping up for each other and playing as a unit.”

Despite the chippy-play on the ice, Sissons did find the back of the net in the second period to tie the game at one goal a piece from the feed from Filip Forsberg. Sissons described his first goal of the tournament; “There was a little bit of a scramble up front. I think [Forsberg] tapped it off his pad, and I knew I had to get it upstairs. Fortunately, I did that.

With Sissons’ second period goal, the Predators and Panthers found themselves knotted up at one at the end of two periods.

The physical game continued into the third period where there were a total of seven penalties; two minor penalties suffered by Nashville and five minor penalties suffered by Florida.

The Predators couldn’t get the puck past the Panthers second goalie of the night Clarke Saunders in the third period while Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck beat Magnus Hellberg for the Panther’s game-winning goal with 7:10 left in the third period.

Random Observations And Thoughts

– Ekblad, in my opinion, looked good on the ice. Good with the puck, good passer, still growing into his six-foot three-inch frame. I do think he will be NHL ready sooner, rather than later. No, of course not “Seth Jones ready”, Jones is a very rare case.

– Trocheck, who scored the eventual game winner for Florida, was the one Panther who most impressed me. He had a breakaway opportunity at one point and put on a great move, but Hellberg made a fantastic stop in net. Trocheck saw time with the Panthers last season; I think he’ll see more this year, especially if injuries happen down in Sunrise, FL.

– Fiala was a little more quiet than he was in the previous game against Tampa Bay, but he still looked very good. Excited to see how he does in the rest of the tournament and at training camp.

– Filip Forsberg had some glimpses of greatness, along with Sissons and Brendan Leipsic.

– Leipsic impressed me the most out of the forwards tonight. No points on the score-sheet but was very good with the puck, had some fantastic passes, and of course chirped with the best of ‘em.

The Predators are set to take on the Boston Bruins Tuesday afternoon at one-o’clock at Ford Ice Center in their rookie tournament finale.