Up and down we go with this year’s version of the Nashville Predators. A team that’s streaky and unpredictable no matter who they’re playing.
On Saturday night against the LA Kings, it was easy to count the Nashville Predators out after they fell behind 3-2 and had lost all momentum, and the home crowd.
After opening the game with two goals in 39 seconds, the crowd was buzzing and the Kings looked a little shellshocked. It doesn’t happen very often in the long history of the NHL:
Nashville Predators had to show resiliency after scoring two quick ones
Unfortunately, there was almost an entire game left to play and the Kings are no slouches. They chipped away at the early deficit to take the lead in the final minutes of the second period. A goal via the power play from Quinton Byfield.
Considering the Predators have a hard time ever scoring more than three goals, this game was feeling like another loss. However, the third period saw a Predators team that refused to go down like this yet again. It took some patience.
got the score tied back up, and it came on the power play. Another cursed area for the Predators this season. But not on this one. A crafty touch pass from
to the guiding stick blade of Johansen to beat
Quick was forced into the game in the opening minute after the two quick goals were surrendered by Phoenix Copley.
It was a welcoming sight to see the Predators finally muster up a well oiled power play structure and get rewarded with a goal.
The Predators would retake the lead just four minutes later as Alexandre Carrier rushed up the ice in transition to find a streaking Matt Duchene, who scored his second goal of the game. A flashy offensive play that we haven’t seen nearly enough of from this team through 46 games.
It was Duchene’s first multi-goal game of the 2022-23 season. He did it 10 times last season, including one in the playoff series against Colorado.
Juuse Saros faced another 30-plus shot night, making 31 saves for a .912 save percentage. He is now 17-13-5 with numbers that mirror last season’s numbers, which netted him his first Vezina Trophy nomination.
It caps off a week where the Predators had three critical opponents just ahead of them in the postseason race. They beat Calgary and Los Angeles, but lost in lopsided fashion to St. Louis.
Overall fan sentiment for the Nashville Predators remains low and despite once again having a chance at another playoff appearance, it’s hard to get many fans confident that anything will change even if they sneak in.
A huge win for the Nashville Predators who refuse to fall too far out of the playoff picture. They’re now just four points behind a top-three spot in the Central Division. So the wildcard isn’t the only avenue to the postseason. The Predators remain right near the doorstep with a lot of games left.