Call it a game of superstitions. The Nashville Predators mounted a comeback, winning in overtime in Dallas. Fans everywhere played a part.
I am not very superstitious, but the writing was on the wall today. The second game of the Nashville Predators five-game road trip certainly appeared to be a bit easier before it started. First off, Viktor Arvidsson returned from the injured reserve allowing the talented JoFA line to be at full strength. Additionally, the Dallas Stars were forced to call up players as injuries depleted their roster.
Spoiler Alert: it was not that easy of a game. Sometimes you just have to believe in what you don’t understand. That was this game.
The Predators came out firing, gaining several shots on Ben Bishop in net. Ten minutes into the game, Nashville already had a +8 Corsi shot advantage. However, as we well know, it is not how many shots you take that matters. It is how many find the back of the net.
Just four shots were taken by the Stars in the first period. One passed Saros. Tyler Pitlick gathered the puck and blasted a shot into the net. Saros was blocked by Blake Comeau on the play and never saw the shot. At the end of the first period, it was Stars up 1-0.
Broke the looking glass
Like many people who watch the games at home, I got up and went to the kitchen during the intermission. Dishes needed to be cleaned. This chore caused me to watch the game from the kitchen. When the second period started, Ryan Hartman quickly scored the first goal for the Predators. A steal, a rush, and a goal.
However, the Stars gained puck time in their offensive zone. They would only get six shots off during the period, but two more pucks made it to twine. First, Julius Honka flips a pass to Tyler Sequin on the open side of the net. Nothing Saros could do about that one. The second goal for the Stars was scored by Jason Spezza during a power play. It was the 110th power play goal for the veteran who was playing his 1000th game. Stars extended their lead, 3-1 after 40 minutes.
Back to the kitchen for me. It is fall and I love pies. So, I decided to make a pie. Another Predators’ writer decided to go thaw out some eclairs. And then, this also happened.
Yes. A Nashville Predators’ fan threw a catfish on road ice. It worked.
Just like the start of the second period, a “Ryan” scored just 17-seconds into the third. As I witnessed from my kitchen, Ryan Johansen scored skated toward the crease and collected a Roman Josi misfire. Predators down 3-2.
Shortly after, defensemen Yannick Weber gained his second goal on the season on a blast from just inside the blueline. Yes. I was still in the kitchen. However, the Stars would not be deterred. Denis Gurianov and Ben Gleason are both new players to the Stars’ roster. The two combined to gain their first points on the season as Gurianov scored a goal on a helper from Gleason. The score was 4-3, Stars.
It stayed that way until the waning seconds of the game. The Stars were called for slashing Arvidsson – who went off the ice immediately afterward – giving the Predators a power play. Yet, just 16 seconds into the man-advantage, Filip Forsberg was called for interference. The play was now 4v4. With 43 seconds left, and still down a goal, Roman Josi found the open side of the net and Johansen found Josi. Tie game. And, I was still in the kitchen.
The Predators fought off the remaining penalty, but Mattias Ekholm was called for a cross-check with 13 seconds left. The game went to overtime. Ekholm skates out of the box after the PRedators kill of the 4v3 Stars advantage. With the puck in the Nashville offensive zone, Ekholm joined the play, and scored the game-winning goal.
Whether it was me in my kitchen, the eclairs, or the catfish, the Predators won. They are not 8-0-0 on the road and are 13-3-0 on the season. They are atop the NHL with 26 points on the season. The Stars fall to 9-6-2 on the year, with 20 points.