For the first time of the 2022-23 campaign, the Nashville Predators have reached a winning streak that’s more than two games. Granted, it’s only three, but it’s something and suddenly this team is finding their collective grooves.
The Nashville Predators defeated the New York Islanders 5-4 on Thursday night as their long stint at Bridgestone Arena rolls on. It was their third consecutive one-goal win. The common theme in all three wins is they’re digging deep and finding their winning formula.
Thursday night’s win over the Islanders, who have been no slouches out East, featured another Predators lead evaporate and some good fortune helped push them over the finish line to push their record to .500 at 8-8-1.
The Predators are now just five points behind the first place Dallas Stars, but also just four points clear of the last place Arizona Coyotes.
How the Nashville Predators squeaked out another win
After a pair of 2-1 wins, the Predators offense erupted early on against the Islanders. Filip Forsberg got the scoring going just past the first minute of regulation as the Predators pounced into the zone and didn’t give up on the loose puck to beat Ilya Sorokin:
This is a prototypical Predators style goal. Staying aggressive on puck possession and not allowing the opposition to break out. Eventually, one is going to get past the netminder.
It was Forsberg’s sixth goal of the season and quietly he’s keeping a point-per-game pace at 17 points in 17 games.
The Predators padded a healthy 4-1 lead after rookie phenom Juuso Parssinen tallied his second goal of his NHL career.
The tide turned in the 3rd period when the Islanders began the push to comeback and the Predators fell back on their heels. The Islanders would outshoot the Predators 16-3 in the final frame and hit several post shots as well.
Isn’t it nice to be on the lucky end for a change?
Parssinen was finish with three points on the night, including two goals and now has four points in his first three NHL games.
A big theme for the Predators lately in their five wins over their last seven games is blocking shots. This stuff isn’t glamorous, but it can win you a lot of close games. Roman Josi and Dante Fabbro led the team with four blocks each.
The Predators racked up 22 blocks in the win over the Islanders after blocking 19 shots against the Wild, and another 22 blocks over the Rangers over this three-game winning streak.
This team blocks so many shots. It’s not always pretty, but they have been laying it all out there lately. #Preds with their first 3-game win streak of the season and have won 5 of their last 7.
— Chad Minton (@chad_minton) November 18, 2022
Despite surrendering a power play goal to the Islanders, they have been very reliable on the penalty kill this season. They had back-to-back games of holding the opponent to 0-for-5 on the power play before finally giving one up to the Islanders.
Is This Team Repaired after Sluggish Start?
The hockey season comes at you in waves for many of the teams. You have your juggernauts who rarely hit rough patches, and the really bad teams who just can’t find much success at all. But a majority of the NHL will experience their ups and downs over the course of 82 games.
For the Nashville Predators, you have to respect the response they’ve shown lately. They’re finding ways to win and are doing so with a model that fits their style.
Head Coach John Hynes has seemed to have found his lineup to move forward with after the Parssinen effect, and also the addition of Mark Jankowski who shouldn’t be overlooked in all of this.
You’re seeing Forsberg get into a hot streak and forcing the issue offensively, while Josi is generating points via the assist. Everyone is pulling the rope right now and it’s leading to much better hockey.
No one wanted to accept that this was going to be a team flirting with last place, but are they a team that can challenge in the postseason? That remains to be seen.
Preds Next 5 Games
- 11/19: vs. Tampa
- 11/21: vs. Arizona
- 11/23: @ Detroit
- 11/25: vs. Colorado
- 11/26: vs. Columbus
The competition and defensive challenge ramps up even more in their next matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. A team they’ve had virtually zero success against in recent memory.
The Nashville Predators will have to bring this same defensive intensity and willingness to get into shot lanes to take down a Lightning team that is starting to look more like the Stanley Cup contender they have been for many years.