Saturday, March 28, 2009

From A SinKing Feeling To Elation

Okay, seriously guys. Enough with the overtime excitement. Four of the past five games going to OT; 10 of the last 21. Regulation wins are not a bad thing. The Preds rallied back twice from one goal deficits to take a 3-2 lead in the third, only to have L.A. tie the game with 1:02 remaining in the period. Steve Sullivan garnered the extra point for the Preds after taking a nice feed from Ryan Suter and burying the game winner. This was a huge win for the Preds with the two points vaulting them back into 7th place over Edmonton by one point and extending their lead over 9th place Anaheim by two points. The Preds now have 82 points with seven games remaining.

Congratulation to Cal O'Reilly, who notched his first NHL goal to tie the game at one in the first period. Trailing 2-1, Joel Ward took a nice pass from Marty Erat and scored short handed to tie the game at 2. Shea Weber blasted home a goal to give the Preds a 3-2 lead that held up until Jack Johnson tallied late in the third to send the game to OT. As mentioned, Sully hammers home the game winner on an OT power play. Cal O'Reilly has been impressive, showing poise and skill as he centers Marty Erat and Steve Sullivan. Nice to see him notch his first goal. What can you say about Joel Ward? There is no stronger player on the boards, and he brings hustle and energy every night. His short handed marker changed the complexion and energy in the game. To wit: L.A. had been 21-3-1 this season when leading after two periods. After Wardo's marker, the energy level of the team increased notably. Kudos to Jerred Smithson for his quietly strong game. Smithers draws the top players from the other team, and he has done an exceptional job holding them off the scoresheet. Tonight was no exception.

Preds fans should be proud of their effort. There is no louder barn in the league when we are energized. And there are no more enthusiastic fans than those in Nashville. Call me a homer, but having watched games in all the Canadian barns and several in the U.S., I will say that no group of fans can will their team to victory more than those in the Sommet Center.

It's now time to take the energy and momentum of this home stand and take it on the road. A 4:00 tilt tomorrow at the Joe against the Wings, and the Preds have to continue to build on this string of games that have amassed points. It's a 7 game season now. Heart and jam, boys. It's the way you have been bred.

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