Nashville Predators Make Up for Miscues, Beat NHL’s Top Team

Jarred Tinordi #24 of the Nashville Predators (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Jarred Tinordi #24 of the Nashville Predators (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

There’s just no predicting what the Nashville Predators are going to do anymore. Last night was both thrilling and frustrating all at the same time.

It seemed like for much of the game that the Nashville Predators were doing everything they could to lose another game and do it in ugly fashion. This time they were doing it with self-inflicted wounds and blunders.

The type of errors the Predators were committing will normally get you beat against a team like the Washington Capitals, but somehow they figured out a way to persevere and get a much-needed win.

The 5-4 final score caps off the season series sweep for the Predators over the Capitals. Not only that, but they’ve also now won eight in a row over a historically great regular season team. It’s a pretty incredible stat to say the least.

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Predators blunders

Let’s get to the miscues that the Predators had that should’ve probably cost them this game. First off, Juuse Saros wasn’t on his game at all. He looked locked in to start, but quickly after the speed and offensive pressure from the Capitals took a toll.

However, Saros’ first goal he gave up wasn’t entirely on him. Yanick Weber got caught napping a bit in the neutral zone, and then got caught back-pedaling to offer no resistance on the shot. Saros would get beat by Washington’s RIchard Panik.

After scoring three unanswered goals with scores from Jared Tinordi, Mikael Granlund and Rocco Grimaldi, the real miscues began to happen.

Saros would mishandle the puck off the boards badly and allow none other than

Alex Ovechkin

to crash in for the easy goal. It’s Ovechkin’s 693rd career goal, and probably one of the easiest of his career:

Another Predators mishap would occur after in the 2nd period, and this one is way worse than the first two as

Nick Bonino

essentially scores on his own net. He attempted to pass it out from behind the net, but instead leaks the puck up underneath Saros’ pads to tie the game for Washington.

Bonino doesn’t get credit for the goal, and instead Panik gets credit for his 2nd of the night. At this point, confidence is pretty low that the Predators are going to pull this victory off as they kept shooting themselves in the foot.

They kept battling

The Capitals would end up taking the lead 4-3 while the Predators were trying to stay alive. That’s when Ryan Johansen would score a massive tying goal shorthanded and change the whole complexion of the game.

This was a clutch play from Johansen as he made the steal in the neutral zone and finished it off by scoring the goal. How many times have we seen Johansen not be able to finish? Well he finished on this one and it was a big momentum shift.

And then of all people to score the game-winner over the Capitals, Yanick Weber would slap a shot from the outside through traffic to beat Braden Holtby and give the Predators all they would need to get this massive upset win.

It’s Weber’s first goal of the season as he joined Tinordi as players to score their first goals of the season. It was actually Tinordi’s first career goal in the NHL.

As frustrating as the Predators have been, we have to be uplifted by how they didn’t give up last night. It would’ve been easy to pack it in and fall deeper into the hole after seeing all of the miscues. Somehow they managed to keep plugging away.

Could this be a springboard to getting on a hot streak and making a playoff push? They have the New Jersey Devils tonight for a quick turnaround. The Predators go from the first-place team to the last-place team in the Metropolitan Division.

It wasn’t a good night for either goaltender, but this win gets the Predators out of last place in their own division with 53 points and two games in hand over the next two teams ahead of them, Chicago and Winnipeg.