Nashville’s Power Play Awakens in 3-2 Win Over Dallas


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The Predator’s power play was impressive tonight; something the Predators haven’t seen in quite some time. Also, Filip Forsberg remains a point per game scorer as he lit the lamp for one of the two Predators’ power play goals.

The first period got underway and just 1:03 into the game Shea Weber was called for a hooking penalty and Nashville’s struggling penalty kill would be tested extremely early in this contest. The Predators’ penalty kill would pass the test, and in pretty good fashion as well as Dallas did not have any quality scoring chances with their man advantage.

The Predators’ first quality scoring chance came from the red-hot Filip Forsberg as he sent a shot off the corner of the post just past the midway point of the opening period.

The Stars’ top duo of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn found themselves with a quality two-on-one situation around the six-minute mark of the opening period and Pekka Rinne made a quality save on a shot from Benn.

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Nashville would get a power play chance of their own in the opening period as Seguin committed a slashing penalty at 16:39. The Predators had the 27th ranked power play coming into the night and the power play would not manage to put one-shot on net with their man advantage and continue to struggle in organizing play in their own zone as they have done for most of this season when on the power play.

The opening period would end just as it started, 0-0.

1st Period Takeaways:

  • A pretty balanced opening 20-minutes, Nashville out shot Dallas 11-10.
  • The Predators’ power play continued to show their struggles in their first opportunity. Getting established in the zone by entering the puck through the neutral zone has been a problem for Nashville all season.
  • Rinne looked great in net; no surprise.
  • Nashville won nine-faceoffs while Dallas won 11.
  • Weber lead all Predators in ice time with 8:26

Ex-Predator Patrick Eaves started off the second period with a very quality scoring chance for Dallas but the puck was slightly tipped by Victor Bartley and Eaves’ shot was sent wide after receiving a great pass a the backdoor of the net via Benn. This would spark the Stars to take early control for the first three-minutes of the middle period. Things would quickly change however.

Ryan Garbutt was called for slashing 3:17 into the second period and the Predators power play would get their second opportunity of the night, and this time they would strike. Craig Smith would receive a pass from Derek Roy in the scoring slot and Smith would light the lamp to give his team a one-goal advantage 4:10 into the middle period.

Sergei Gonchar would be called for high-sticking 12:27 into the period and the Predators’ power play would be successful yet again. Forsberg would send a puck past Kari Lehtonen with his impressive wrist-shot for his fifth-goal of the season. Roman Josi and Mattias Ekholm would get the assists on the goal to give the Predators a two-goal advantage.

The Stars would cut the lead in half just 2:29 after the Forsberg goal courtesy of a Trevor Daley tally. Daley held the puck going down the middle of the ice with three Predators harassing him for the puck but he held on to send a wrist-shot past the glove side of Rinne.

The goal heavy second period would come to an end with the Predators holding onto a 2-1 advantage.

2nd Period Takeaways:

  •  Forsberg is really, really good at this game called hockey.
  •  Smith’s goal was a beauty of a one-timer.
  • Rinne really came up big in the final minutes of the period, the Stars could have easily tied the game up.
  • Predators out shot the Stars 15-12 in the second.

The third period would see the Stars hold an early bit of momentum as they out shot the Predators 5-3 thru the first 6:30 of the final period, with a few of those five early shots ending up being fantastic saves by Rinne.

The Stars would eventually light the lamp with 12:47 remaining in regulation to tie the game courtesy of Eaves as he put back a rebound into virtually an open net.

The Predators wouldn’t let the tie hold for too long as Matt Cullen scored a fantastic, somewhat lucky goal with 6:13 remaining in the contest. This marked Cullen’s first goal of the season as he sent the puck off the leg of Stars’ defenseman Vernon Fiddler which threw the puck between Lehtonen’s shoulder and the post. Roy and Ekholm would each get their second assists on the night on the Cullen goal.

The Stars would have plenty of chances to tie the game up but Rinne would come up huge for the Predators to secure the win for Nashville. Rinne had countless strong saves in his team’s 3-2 win in Dallas.

Final Takeaways:

  • First star of the night has to go to Rinne who stopped 33 of 35 shots. At least 10 of those 33 stops were highlight-reel saves.
  • Forsberg remains a point per game player with 13-points in 13-games this season.
  • Ekholm has looked really impressive the entire road trip including tonight. He had two-assists in tonight’s contest.
  • Colin Wilson continues to put pucks on net with his four-shots tonight.
  • The power play lit the lamp twice, it looks to finally be awakening after a long, long dry spell.

Next up for the Predators is the St. Louis Blues who won their seventh straight game tonight over the New Jersey Devils.