In what ended up being a game that kept the scoreboard operators busy, the Nashville Predators took a big win over the New Jersey Devils.
This win was needed in a bad way to give us the feeling that the Nashville Predators truly are turning things back around. With this latest win, the Predators have points in six of their last seven after having a dismal month of November.
The youngsters really showed out in this one with two of the six goals coming from players who have already spent time in the AHL this season with the Milwaukee Admirals. Those scorers were Daniel Carr and Yakov Trenin, both with their first of the season.
Carr did have a game-winning shootout goal against the St.Louis Blues later in November. The depth really showed up in a big way for the Predators as all of their goal scorers came from either the bottom six, with the exception of Filip Forsberg and Dante Fabbro‘s goals.
How it unfolded
Carr got the scoring going with a goal less than 60 seconds into the game. He scored on a deflection and the assists came from some unlikely sources in Dan Hamhuis and Yannick Weber. It’s Weber’s first assist of the year and Hamhuis’ third.
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Not long after that Fabbro got his third goal of the year on a great transition play from the Predators. Plays like this is when the Predators are usually most effective. Crisp passing, including this one from Nick Bonino, makes the Predators very tough to defend.
These kinds of plays just weren’t working during the slump. Things weren’t going smoothly, passes weren’t accurate and bounces just weren’t going their way. They were also going up against some stellar goaltending on some nights.
The Devils would roar back to tie it at two and the track meet was on. Both goals came at 5-on-5 even strength and within the first four minutes of the game.
The second period would get underway and nearly six minutes in Trenin would score his first career goal. He’s ripping through the AHL right now with 14 goals in 19 games, and gets his first with the Predators in a fortunate set of circumstances. Rocco Grimaldi fired the shot, but it bounced off Trenin’s skate.
Hey, you take them anyway you can get them. In most of November, the Predators weren’t getting those bounces.
The Predators would widen the lead back to two goals on a vintage Forsberg power move in front of the net. He took the rebound and muscled the puck into the net. He wasn’t going to be denied by anyone, and he gets his 11th goal of the season.
The Predators wouldn’t be able to sit back and cruise as Rinne wasn’t extremely sharp in net on this night. Luckily the Predators were buzzing all over the zone and creating enough offense to offset Rinne’s off night.
Bonino would add his 11th goal of the season to continue his very successful 2019-20 season, and Grimaldi would round out the scoring to put it away with his third goal of the season. The Predators win with a final score of 6-4 in a game with plenty of offense.
Who stood out and what’s ahead
Grimaldi gets the first star of the game, Bonino the second star and Fabbro the third star. A sore spot for the game is the Predators went 0-for-6 on the power play and also gave up a Devils power play goal. So special teams still needs a lot of work and improvement.
P.K. Subban was held without a point in his return to Nashville. He received a well-deserving warm reception from Predators fans. He was on the ice for over 18 minutes of playing time, but his rough start to his Devils career continues.
The Predators don’t play again until Tuesday when they’ll be at home against the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks are playing much better hockey than the last time these two teams met in the second week of November. That game went to shootout in a defensive grudge match that the Sharks would win. The Predators won the first meeting in dominant fashion with a final score of 5-2.
This was a refreshing outcome to see the Predators beat a team they were supposed to beat. It wasn’t all pretty with the power play having zero success and Rinne giving up four goals, but getting two points at any cost is what the Predators need more than anything right now.
With the win the Predators are now 13-10-5 with 31 points, and three points shy of the final wildcard spot. They’re six points behind Dallas for a top-three spot in the Central Division, but also just two points shy of being in last place with Chicago.