Predators Flip the Switch vs. Stars: 3 Reasons they Got Revenge in Dallas

After the meltdown at home vs. Dallas in December, the Predators put forth one of their best games of 2023-24 in a 4-2 win on Saturday.
Jan 6, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) scores a goal
Jan 6, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) scores a goal / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

Chalk this up as one of the best wins of the Andrew Brunette era after the Nashville Predators went into Dallas on Saturday with a 4-3 victory.

This game went back and forth and displayed two evenly-matched division rivals. It felt like a playoff atmosphere, and the Predators came in on a mission to rectify Thursday's very dissappointing effort against the Calgary Flames.

It's been a theme all season that the Predators can't hold leads and tend to take periods off to allow momentum to swing back to the opponent, and it looked like they were in danger of letting that happen again when the Stars tied it late in the 2nd period.

Going into the 3rd period, the Stars had a 55% chance of winning according to MoneyPuck. The momentum was on the side of the Stars at home and the Predators had to bring a massive response in the final frame.

Let's get to my three reasons why the Predators were able to secure this victory to move their season record to 22-16-1 and only four points behind Dallas for third place in the Central Division.

Organized Defensive Pressure from Predators

Nashville Predators, Luke Schenn
Jan 6, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars left wing Mason Marchment (27) draws a penalty shot as / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

We have to start with the complete 180 shift in defensive structure by the Predators from Thursday to Saturday. Against Calgary in the 6-3 loss the Predators surrendered 22 High Danger chances, and in this one they slightly improved by only giving up 18. Still not great, but improvement at least.

One of the most noticeable stats that sticks out from this game is blocked shots. Both teams did a superb job affecting shooting lanes and protecting their goaltenders. One goaltender faired better than the other, but we'll get to that later.

Dante Fabbro and Ryan McDonagh led the way in blocked shots with four each. McDonagh in particular really showed off his timeliness and willingness to put himself in harm's way to block Dallas' shots.

When the Stars emptied their net with around two minutes remaining, nightmares of the December 23rd loss came back. The Predators as a team had to stay organized in their defensive zone to get this one over the finish line.

Even with better defensive structure, the Stars still managed to finish with 3.8 Expected Goals, while the Predators finished with just 2 Expected Goals. Which brings us to the next reason for the win.