Holy moly, Nashville Predators, and what a game, Filip Forsberg.
Coming off a Tampa Bay series where the Nashville Predators got swept, they needed to make a big statement, and a statement they made indeed.
The game was an absolute scoring spree, so let’s dive right in and break it down.
Decent Start to Set the Pace
The Nasvhille Predators fell behind quick, just under a minute and a half into the first period, when Jonathan Huberdeau scored his first goal of the night to give the Panthers the 1-0 lead, and it felt like it might be one of those nights early.
To the Predators’ credit, they didn’t get bogged down by the early deficit, and Filip Forsberg scored off an absolute snipe to tie it 1-1 with a power play (yes, a POWER PLAY) goal.
Huberdeau showed early on that he was going to have himself a night, because a minute later he retook the lead for the Panthers, making it 2-1.
The Predators evened up the score again on a goal from Calle Jarnkrok who recently returned from injury.
Just when it looked like the Predators were going to get their cleanest period of the season, Dante Fabbro took a penalty with less than 23 seconds in the period, which carried over into the second.
Second Period Nashville Predators Scaries
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: the Nashville Predators looked shaky in the second period.
With a power play at their disposal to start, the Panthers quickly went up 3-2 on a power play goal from Aaron Ekbald.
Still, the team showed fight, and the player who has arguably been the most criticized on the roster, Matt Duchene, buried his first goal of the season off another beautiful assist from Forsberg to tie the game 3-3.
Florida, however, would not be kept down. Once again, stupid penalties showed how capable the Predators are of shooting themselves in the foot.
Colton Sissons was called for interference, and it led to a power play goal by Aleksander Barkov to give the Panthers a 4-3 lead.
They would add to their lead with another Huberdeau goal, giving him a hatrick, and the 5-3 lead to end the second period.
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Cardiac Catfish Come Alive
If the Predators have done one thing well this season, it’s been taking their game to the next level in the third period (why they couldn’t do it sooner, I can’t say).
The third period started with Pekka Rinne replacing Juuse Saros in net. The team would play well in front of him, not giving up another goal for the night.
However, time ticked away with no scoring relief just yet.
With a little over three minutes to go, the Predators pulled Rinne and got a 6-on-5 goal from the captain, Roman Josi, to bring the score within one goal, 5-4.
What then transpired is what some would call a “gift”. Joel Quenneville challenged the goal claiming a high stick assisted it – it did not, and the Predators were given a power play with less than two minutes to go.
It was all they needed.
Duchene added on to his already great game with the clutch goal, his second of the night, punching the goal needed to tie the game at 5 apiece.
Rinne stood on his head in the final seconds to ensure the lead wouldn’t be surrendered again, and the game was sent into overtime.
Prince Filip Forsberg, Duke of Smashville, #Scorsberg, First of His Name
The Nashville Predators and Panthers traded offensive blows in the 3-on-3 overtime, with both teams producing catch-your-breath opportunities.
Just before the four-minute mark, Forsberg was getting ready for his shift, but had to step off the ice to avoid a penalty for too many men.
Arvidson stole the puck from the Panthers, sprung Forsberg loose as he began his shift, and the prince himself sealed the deal with a game winning beauty to give the Nashville Predators their first lead of the night, and the 6-5 victory.
Duchene finally got the anti-venom for the metaphorical “snake bite” he’s been dealing with to begin the season, and it was REALLY good to see him score not once but twice.
Johansen looks like he went down in the third with an injury so it will be interesting to see if he’s sidelined for an extended period of time.
The power play is showing signs of life as the Nashville Predators scored not one but TWO(!!) power play goals in one night.
However, the team has to stop taking unnecessary penalties or they will be hard-pressed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat on a regular basis.
That new line of Forsberg, Duchene, and Granlund may just be the scoring threat the Predators have been searching for.
The team’s much needed win came off a historic night from Forsberg who joins four other players all-time in Predators’ history to log five points in a game with three assists and two goals, including the go-ahead dagger.
Filbruary is off to a blazing hot start, as Forsberg now has 72 points in 82 games in the month of February for his career – let’s hope he and the rest of the team can ride the momentum and stay hot.
As we look ahead to a quick turnaround, facing the Panthers again tonight, let’s end it on the beauty that is Forsberg’s overtime winner, courtesy of the NHL and Fox Sports Tennessee: