Predators 3 Senators 2: Recap and Thoughts


The Nashville Predators opened their 2014-2015 campaign with a new head coach and a new era of hockey making its way to Nashville with a come from behind victory over the Ottawa Senators.

The Predators got off to a good start in the first five or so minutes of the game; carrying the puck into their offensive zone and putting some shots on Senators’ goalie Craig Anderson. Things then calmed down pretty quickly and the game didn’t really reach a consistent pace/flow for the remainder of the period. The first period ended scoreless with the Predators leading in the shots on goal category by the count of 13 to 9.

The second period got underway and the bad guys scored very quickly. Senators’ forward Kyle Turris shot a very impressive wrist-shot past goaltender Pekka Rinne just 1:15 into the second period.

Later in that second period with 5:30 to go in the period former Predators’ forward David Legwand was called for tripping. Legwand slowly made his way to the penalty box, but he went to the wrong one. Legwand played 956 games with the Predators, it’s safe to say going to the Predators penalty box is still just a natural action for Legwand when playing at Bridgestone Arena.

The Predators and Senators both committed three minor penalties in the middle period, but neither team converted and the second period ended with the Senators leading the Predators by score of 1-0.

The final period got underway and the goal-hungry Predators lit the lamp with a powerplay goal just 1:36 into the third period. Craig Smith tallied the goal off of a fantastic feed from Filip Forsberg.

This would be the beginning of a Predators dominated final period.

More from Predators News

Seven minutes and seventeen seconds later Predators’ captain Shea Weber got in the offensive zone and scored a wrap around goal to give the Predators the lead for the first time all night. It was a beautiful move, and it’s not every night you see a 6ft 4in defenseman attempt/score on a wrap around.

Head coach Peter Laviolette spoke on the Weber goal saying “It’s an instinctive play by him. Our defensemen have the greenlight to get up and join the rush. He saw an opening and he took it and coming out the other side and finding his way in.”

The Predators weren’t going to sit on a one goal lead. Courtesy of a fantastic feed from Paul Gaustad, Eric Nystrom found the back of virtually an empty net to put the Predators up 3-1 just past midway of the final period.

Eric Nystrom described his goal and his line getting it going in the third period, saying “It was fun. Our line had a little bit of a tough time early on. It’s good we stepped up at the right time and made a difference. It’s a lot of fun. It’s good to get the building to erupt, and it’s a good start at home.”

The Senators would cut the lead to one goal late in the third courtesy of a powerplay goal by Alex Chiasson, but the Senators late comeback efforts fell short with the final score falling in the Predators favor 3-2.

Pekka Rinne ended the night saving 18 of 20 shots and recording a .900 save-percentage in the Predators first win of the season.

Roll the film:

Head coach Peter Laviolette had the quote of the night describing what it meant to get the win in his first game as the Predators head coach. Laviolette said “There’s a lot of new players, not just a new coach, there’s lots of people that were added. When you talk to the fans, they’ve been waiting for this first game and wanting this first game to happen. That being said, you don’t want to come in and play a game that you’re not happy with. I’m not so much happy for me because its coaching for the first game, I’m happy for our organization and our fans and our city and really happy for the players.”

 Thoughts about the game:

  • The one-ice projections used in the crowd pump up video and with the players introduction was incredible. If you have ever seen the Montreal Canadiens on-ice projection show, that is a good reference point. I’m not saying the Predators is as good as the Canadiens, but nevertheless a very cool new feature at Bridgestone Arena.
  • Filip Forsberg was extremely impressive out there tonight. Forsberg played on the second line with a little added time on the 4th line late in the game. Forsberg put a move on Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson that was incredible. Between the legs, around Karlsson, and barely missed the net with his backhand attempt. Forsberg ended the night with two assists.
  • The first-line (Neal, Ribeiro, Bourque) was very impressive to me. Ribeiro showed some great skill with the puck and found himself with a lot of time behind the opposition’s net looking for that pass to set up a goal; he will most definitely be fun to watch and be an effective player for the Predators when everything gels together. Neal had a steady game; physical, seven shots on net, one minor penalty. Bourque also looked good. I see him on the top line as that guy that is told to go get the puck in the corners, find Ribeiro, and allow him to dish the puck to anyone cutting on net (easier said than done).
  • The defensive group as a whole looked very good. Not great, but very good. Josi lead all defensemen in ice time with 27:59.
  • Pekka Rinne had one of those ‘Pekka Rinne saves’ late in the third to keep the Predators ahead by one. He too looked good all night. Rinne said, “Overall, it’s just a good start. I thought it wasn’t a fluky win; I thought we deserved it. We played really well. Now it’s time to celebrate this win and get ready for Saturday.”

The Predators host a Central Division rival in the Dallas Stars Saturday night. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. CST.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @PredlinesNSH and like us on Facebook at Predlines for all up to date news about the Nashville Predators.