Nashville Predators: Reasons for the Gutsy Shootout Win Over New York Islanders

Nashville Predators left wing Tanner Jeannot (84) celebrates with teammates after a goal during the second period against the New York Islanders at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Nashville Predators left wing Tanner Jeannot (84) celebrates with teammates after a goal during the second period against the New York Islanders at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s the most impressive win of the season for the Nashville Predators, and definitely the gutsiest. The Predators beat the New York Islanders 3-2 in a shootout to move to 4-4-0 on the season.

It was a win that required resiliency and not giving up on the gameplan as the Islanders lived up to their defensive reputations. There just wasn’t much room to operate offensively the entire afternoon, but the Predators kept at it.

The Predators have now won three in a row and four of their last six games after opening the season with two losses. They’re starting to really play to their strengths and not waver in that approach.

It took the first overtime action of the season to get it done, but here’s why the Nashville Predators were able to get the win over a very formidable New York Islanders team.

1. Nashville Prdators Bend, but Don’t Break

This terminology is used a lot in sports, and it’s the perfect way to open up why the Predators won this game. They never let this get to a two-goal deficit, which would’ve likely meant game over.

The Islanders played with a slim one-goal lead twice in this game, and with the way they were playing defensively, it felt like much more than just one goal. The Predators went a long stretch in the middle portion of the game struggling to even register a shot on goal.

However, the Predators also didn’t allow the Islanders to build on the lead. They also stuck to their guns and played stiff defensively. They killed off a big penalty late in the first period that ended up leading to a power play in the next period.

This is how the Predators are going to make their hay this season. Win games ugly, and win games because they’re a nightmare to play when it comes to that rugged style of play.

It’s also worth noting that the Islanders looked somewhat content on protecting the slim lead at times, but they still managed to put up 36 shots on goal, which leads to our next reason the Predators got this win.

2. Saros did Saros things

Juuse Saros was the victim of two power play goals by the Islanders today. Two goals that were honestly the products of a meticulously ran power play.

Aside from those two goals, Saros was completely locked in. He saw the puck well, made some difficult saves and handled a high volume of shots.

Particularly in the final moments of the third period after the Predators tied it at 2-2, Saros came up extremely clutch. The Islanders put together a relentless offensive attack and it felt like the Predators were hanging on by a thread to get it to overtime, at the very least.

Saros now has back-to-back wins and has only given up three goals in those games. Aside from the Winnipeg Jets game where he gave up six goals, also with some bad puck luck, he’s been pretty solid in net. Look for his numbers to start climbing up as the season progresses.

3. The Herd Line delivers again

This line is reunited and is now considered the third line after being the fourth line last season when they took the team by storm. We’ve all become accustomed to how productive Tanner Jeannot, Colton Sissons and Yakov Trenin can be together on the same line.

Jeannot scored both goals, including a sniper of a goal to open the scoring for the Predators. A goal that kind of caught everyone off guard, but he snuck it past Ilya Sorokin.

After the Islanders retook the lead, the Predators had to start really grinding away. Who better than the Herd Line to get you another goal? Once again, Jeannot was crashing the net, and Matt Benning made an outstanding play towards the netfront to get it past Sorokin with Jeannot in there.

Here’s a look at Jeannot’s second goal to tie it at 2-2 after Benning made a really strong play along the boards for his first point of the season:

Sissons finishes the game with two assists and two hits as his season is off to a productive start. And can we give General Manager David Poile credit now for protecting Jeannot in the expansion draft?

Up Next….

The Predators just had a three-day break before today’s game, and now will get another two days off before having another road back-to-back against the Calgary Flames (5-1-1) and the Edmonton Oilers (5-1-0).

Another two really tough tests for this young and growing Nashville Predators team. They’re proving to be a resilient team that has a high ceiling to keep improving.

We’re still waiting for more news on David Rittich‘s status as he’s officially off the Covid-19 protocol list. It’s possible we see him make his Nashville Predators debut this week and Connor Ingram is reassigned back to the Milwaukee Admirals.