After clutching defeat from the hands of victory on Tuesday, the Nashville Predators found themselves down after two periods. But, that changed quickly.
The task was not easy no matter how you looked at it. The loss on Tuesday was earth-shattering for many fans, and it led to lineup changes from the Nashville Predators. Losing a game in which you had a two-goal lead in the final 20 minutes will do that. Add to this going onto the road and facing a solid team who has not played in five days and you stare a losing streak in the face.
The New Jersey Devils were rested and hungry after losing their last two games. While the Predators were looking at their tenth game of the season, their fifth on the road, the Devils have only six games under their belts. All but one on home ice. Nashville needed a great effort in order to pull out a victory.
Not helping the Predators’ chances were the aforementioned lineup changes. Rocco Grimaldi was called up from Milwaukee, where he was leading the Admirals in points with eleven. He found his name with Kyle Turris and Craig Smith. Kevin Fiala was dropped to the fourth line while Zac Rinaldo gained time with the third line.
Action packed game
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Most of the offensive attention has been paid to the Nashville Predators’ top line. When you are gained nearly 70% of the team’s high-danger chances, you are a threat to your opponents. The trend continued for most of the night against the Devils.
New Jersey got out to an early 1-0 lead. Just three minutes into the game, Damon Severson blasts a shot passed Juuse Saros. The action in the first period was up and down the ice, with both teams gaining a high number of shots. With about five minutes left in the first, defenseman Yannick Weber took a shot and scored the first Predators goal of the game. It was taken just inside the blueline and shocked everyone.
The second period saw a slowing of action. While the Predators and Devils gained 17 and 18 shots on goal, respectively, in the first, they combined for just 13 in the second. Viktor Arvidsson rifled a slapshot in the back of the net to tie the game at 2 goals each. Yet, just forty seconds later, Hischier gave the Devils a 3-2 lead.
One of the most concerning parts of Predators’ games this season is their special teams. Against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, Nashville allowed two powerplay goals and a short-handed goal. Tonight, it was close to happening again. Nischier’s first goal was on a power play, but the Devils continued to pressure Nashville all night. During the third period, Juuse Saros stepped up and saved chance after chance, including this shorthanded breakaway.
While Saros kept the Predators in the game, FIlip Forsberg gave them an opportunity to win. Just moments after the brilliant save by Saros, the Predators settled their power play in their offensive zone. Some decent puck movement left Forsberg wide open. He knew exactly what to do.
The game was tied and Nashville played more aggressive hockey. It earned them at least one point. Kyle Turris wanted more. And he didn’t require any help. He went the length of the ice and let loose a laser by Keith Kincaid.
After losing to a team that rallied on Tuesday, the Nashville Predators won their first comeback game of the season. With the win, they are 8-2-0 on the year, the first team to earn 16 points.