Nashville Predators Stun Golden Knights, Show they Can Win in Different Ways

Just after gutting out a 1-0 shutout win over Detroit, the Preds had to dig deep for offense to make one of the best third period comebacks in franchise history on Tuesday.

Mar 26, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) and center
Mar 26, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) and center / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

After making just the fifth third period three-goal comeback in franchise history, the Nashville Predators are putting the entire NHL on notice that they're legit and they can win in a variety of different ways.

You don't reel off an 18-game point streak by any kind of fluke, and you certainly don't achieve this rare feat by being a one-dimensional team. The Predators can beat you by playing the defensive struggle, or by getting into a high-scoring affair.

With that said, I'm sure if you ask Head Coach Andrew Brunette, he would prefer that his team doesn't get in a habit of digging themselves into three-goal deficits over the last 10 regular season games and the march to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Preds Streak Hits 18, Showcasing their Ability to Win in Different Ways

Entering the third period against the Golden Knights on Tuesday, the Predators were down 4-1. They had just surrendered back a goal after grinding away so hard just to get on the scoreboard and make it 3-1 on a goal from Mark Jankowski at 14:38 of the second period.

It would've been so easy and understandable if the Predators packed this one in and moved on to their next opponent knowing they're still very much in the driver's seat to claim a playoff spot. But this team just isn't built that way. They never seem satisfied despite now being 16-0-2 since February 17 to build this franchise record 18-game point streak.

After William Karlsson put the Golden Knights up 4-1, MoneyPuck gave the Predators a 94.9 percent chance of losing this game. Even when Nyquist made it 4-2, the Golden Knights had a 93.6 percent chance to get out with the win.

The rally caps were back on after Ryan O'Reilly scored from his wheelhouse close in on the net to pull the Predators to 4-2 with around 14 minutes left in regulation. Plenty of time to mount the comeback, but the margin for error was zero at this point.

It's O'Reilly's 25th goal of his first season with the Predators, his highest total since 2018-19 with the St. Louis Blues, the year he won the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe. He's just four goals away from setting a career high in goals.

The Predators remained relentless, which is the word they've adopted during this point streak. And it fits so perfectly for this game in particular because it took everything they had in the tank to pull this comeback off.

Time was starting to tick away with the defecit still at two goals, and you were starting to wonder just how early Brunette would pull Juuse Saros to get the extra attacker and try to get the score to 4-3.


Well, luckily that wasn't necessary with Filip Forsberg and Gus Nyquist scoring just 40 seconds apart thanks to a failed coach's challenge by Vegas on an offsides call that the officials couldn't confirm, so they stood with the call on the ice which was a good goal from Forsberg, his 40th of the season and just three away from setting his new career high.

So you have both Forsberg and O'Reilly within striking distance of setting personal bests for goals in a season in the last 10 games, so something to really watch there.

The Captain Asserts his Dominance in Overtime, Scores Goal No.19

We know the Predators are a tough team for anyone to deal with in the 3-on-3 overtime format because of so much chemistry and raw skill they have out there with Forsberg, O'Reilly and Roman Josi.

Thanks to some brilliant skating and puck possession, Josi would crash his way towards the net in an aggressive move to beat Vegas goalie Jiri Patera, who is actually the third string goalie and played very well to keep Nashville at bay up until the third period comeback.

The win puts the Predators in commanding position now to return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs after missing in 2023, and they also have a strong opportunity to even catch the sliding Winnipeg Jets for third place in the Central Division.

The reason why the Predators' stock is sky rocketing isn't just because of the point streak, but it's how they're doing it. They're not just riding the wave of a hot goalie like they have so many times in the past.

The play in net has certainly been a positive factor, but it's so much more than that. This team has speed. It has physicality. It's improving in their special teams play. They have the depth with guys like Jankowski, Kiefer Sherwood and Michael McCarron. It can win the gutsy, low-scoring game or the track meets.

I'm sure there will be a game or two where Saros does have to save the day, but more so than any time in at least their last few playoff appearances, the Predators have a multi-pronged formula to win postseason games.

Beating Vegas in this fashion after the win in Vegas back in February was really where this all started, cancelling the U2 concert and getting down to business. How can you not love this sport?

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