The Nashville Predators won a hard-fought battle against the Ducks on Saturday. It wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win and that’s all that matters.
Two Western Conference powerhouses faced off in an explosive battle that left both teams battered and bruised. Hits were thrown, scoring chances attempted, and punches were thrown. I swear that I even saw some WWE moves thrown in there as well. The game was crazy but ended in a 3-2 shootout win for the Nashville Predators. Let’s go through the game and see what went right and wrong.
The Predators got off to a really slow start and the Ducks dictated play for the majority of the period. Defensive lapses were common on both sides as the Ducks tallied 11 scoring chances while the Predators managed 7, most of which came at the end of the period. As the horn blew, the Ducks edged out the Predators with 16 shots to 9.
The period was as physical as ever, with both teams landing blows and cheap shots. Everyone knew this game was going to be chippy and physical, and boy did it not disappoint. It all culminated in a fight between Cody McLeod and Josh Manson. Both teams headed to their respective dressing rooms with a 0-0 tie.
This period saw a new Predators as they started to find their own way. The Predators started to take shots from high danger areas and it showed. A bad hit from the Ducks led to a power play on which the Predators capitalized on. A few good passes led to a Kevin Fiala goal. A bit of shenanigans prior to the goal also resulted in a Ducks penalty killer trying to put Fiala’s head through the ice. This is where things started to get really chippy.
Ryan Johansen was, of course, chirping throughout the game which led to some tension between him and others. He chased after a dump-in and took down a Ducks defender as he made the turn. The resulting power play resulted in a Ducks goal that seemed avoidable. Sometime after the penalty, Johansen made his way down the tunnel. This period saw the Nashville Predators win the scoring chance column (6-5) and shots column (9-6).
Third periods are a bit of a touchy subject among Predators fans as it usually means giving up a lead. The Predators did the exact opposite on Saturday night though. The Ducks scored about five minutes into the game and the Nashville Predators came alive. They started driving to the net and made the risky plays. It all paid off when the Ducks took an ill-advised penalty. A few great shots and one huge rebound later, and Calle Jarnkrok knotted up the score. He was filling in for Johansen, who was not going to return to the game.
The Predators continued to pour it on with chances going back and forth. The period ended with both teams looking to strangle two points out of the match. The period ended with the Predators 16 shots for and 11 against as well as 9 scoring chances for and 4 against. Both teams were deadset at two goals and it looked like it would be solved in overtime.
The game ended in a shootout after Kyle Turris and Kevin Fiala sniped two past Ryan Miller. The Nashville Predators are happy to take two points and climb within one point of first place in the Central and the West.
3. Calle Jarnkrok- Jarnkrok notched the game-tying power play goal and did it in style, putting the puck through a defenders legs. Not only that, but he played the entire game against the Ducks second line and only gave up three normal chances and one high danger chance. A solid two way game from a solid two-way player.
2. Kyle Turris- Turris was a power play monster tonight like normal but was as lethal at five on five. Even though his line didn’t produce offense at five on five, Turris was on the ice for four high danger chances for and none against. He also owned a 75% Corsi and dominated shot generation.
1. Pekka Rinne– Another game, another Rinne highlight. Rinne ended the night with a .943 save percentage even though the Predators gave up 20 scoring chances and 6 high danger chances.
The next game is in Nashville against the Boston Bruins at 7PM Central. Catch it on Fox Sports TN or on 102.5 The Game.