You can’t keep playing with fire and expect to keep winning. The Nashville Predators fell behind again, and nearly made another thrilling comeback.
Less than 48 hours prior, the Nashville Predators completed a thrilling comeback to get a victory over the Washington Capitals. They didn’t get rewarded with the same result against the Los Angeles Kings yesterday, losing 7-4.
It was a wild turn of events that led to the seven goals scored by the Kings. Even more wild, the Predators entered the third period trailing 4-1 and without much hope.Yes, the Predators defense was pretty bad. It’s starting to become a concern that as great as the Predators offense is, their defense may be a liability that forces the team to score four-plus goals per game to win.
The Predators came into this game with a 3-1 record, all coming at home to start the new season. Even their lone loss to the Detroit Red Wings showed some good things. However, this game can be considered the first ugly loss of the season. Let’s see how it all shook out.
Insane 3rd period
Diving right into the crazy third period, the Predators entered trailing 4-1. Nothing seemed to be clicking offensively, and it seemed like this would be the first game of the season that they would be held below three goals. They finally woke up from their slumber and the comeback was on.
Viktor Arvidsson scored just a little over a minute into the third period after cleaning up a loose puck in front of the net. The chance was created collectively between Ryan Johansen and Calle Jarnkrok. This experimental top line has looked fairly decent in the last two games.
The next goal to trim the deficit to one goal was on the power play from
. It was his second of the season, and comes thanks to his outstanding presence in front of the net. Here’s a look at the goal from the Predators website:
Shortly thereafter, Ryan Ellis creates a scoring chances by getting a shot towards the net, and Colton Sissons tipping it in. There was still over eight minutes left at this point with the score tied. Most people probably felt the Predators had all of the momentum and would at least get this to overtime. Instead, the Kings proved that they may not be the doormat that they were last season.
To rip out the hearts of Predators fans, the Kings would score three goals in the last 60 seconds of the regulation to hold serve on the three-goal lead that they already had heading into the period. Four different Kings players finish this game with multiple points, and their seven goals are scored by seven different players.
No help for Saros
You can’t just jump to hasty conclusions when you look at the box score for Juuse Saros. Sure, he only saved 31 of 37 shots faced from the Kings, but a lot of these chances were caused by poor defense in front of him. The Predators surrendered 11 high-danger chances, making the task at hand for Saros all the more difficult.
Does Saros have to stop more of these high-danger chances? That’s definitely true, but he also wasn’t as bad as what the box score reveals. His teammates in front of him did him no favors. In return, the Predators managed just four high-danger chances themselves. That’s way down from the game before when they got the comeback win over Washington and got 11 high-danger chances while only surrendering five in front of Pekka Rinne.
Saros has now been in net for both of the losses for the Predators this season. Hopefully this doesn’t shake his confidence early on as he’s being relied upon to at least come close to splitting the starts down the middle with Rinne. He’s obviously the future of the franchise in net, but the team has to start playing better in front of him.
Can’t overreact too much
It’s a long season, and these things are going to happen. This is what makes hockey so exciting. We have to hope this doesn’t become a disturbing trend for the Predators. They clearly have the ability to make up for multi-goal deficits, but it can’t become the norm.
Duchene remains on his hot start as he has at least one point in every game to start his Predators career. Filip Forsberg‘s goal streak comes to a halt at four games, which is still a franchise record. Also have to mention that Jarnkrok has looked pretty good in his role on the top line, tallying three assists over the last two games.
This team will be just fine. Heading into this matchup it looked like a trap game. It was the home-opener for the Kings, and the first road test of the season for the Predators. They came out flat, and couldn’t recover. The focus going forward has to be playing better defensively in front of their goaltenders as they’ve given up five-plus goals in thee of their five games played.
Up next for the Predators is a trip to Las Vegas to play a very good Golden Knights team on Tuesday. Perhaps their toughest test of the young season. We know that crowd will be nuts, and I’m sure Rinne will be in net. Puck drop is scheduled for 9 P.M. CDT.