Saturday, November 30, 2013

Predators Fall to the Flyers in a SO

The Nashville Predators fell to the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in a shootout at Bridgestone Arena. The game was tied at 2 at the end of overtime.

The Flyers Vinnie Lecavalier scored the only shootout goal in the first round.

The Flyers opened the scoring at 16:49 of the first period as Claude Giroux cruised down the slot and roofed a shot over the shoulder of Predators goaltender Marek Mazanec.

The Predators answered back at 17:49 of the first period as Mike Fisher used two Flyers as a screen and fired a shot from the face off circle that beat Steve Mason.

After a scoreless second period, the Predators took a 2-1 lead at 5:05 of the third period as Colin Wilson beat Mason five hole with a backhand off the rush.

That score stood until 13:06 of the third when Sean Couturier was left alone by the Predators defense at the top of the crease and he lifted a shot over Mazanec to tie the game.

In the overtime, the Predators out shot the Flyers 3-1, and Colin Wilson banged a puck off the post, but the could not neat Mason.

Some observations:

  • The young and mix and match defense corps did a commendable job. There were some breakdowns but generally the blueliners played well. Seth Jones steadied his game and he played a monstrous 30:43, second only to roman Josi's incredible 32:26.

  • The Predators will be without the services of Shea Weber for the next few games. Weber took a puck to the face and suffered an eye injury. According to head Coach Barry Trotz, Weber is "very lucky" and the injury could have been much worse. The Predators were also without Kevin Klein, out with a lower body injury.

  • The Predators called up Joe Piskula from Milwaukee, and he logged 10:27 tonight.

  • Patric Hornqvist returned to the lineup after missing two games. Hornqvist picked up an assist in 22:24 of ice time.

  • The compete level of the Predators was much better than in their previous game. Their speed advantage against the Flyers was obvious and they used it to their advantage to create scoring chances. The Predators out shot the Flyers 36-24, and Mason made some good saves to prevent the Predators from scoring.

  • That said, the Predators power play was abysmal. Entry into the zone was a struggle and their was little movement and flow once in the zone. The power play appears to have taken a big step backwards the past several games, and this has to improve for this team to have success. Tonight, the power play was 0-5.
The Predators did some good things in this game, just not enough to notch the win. The team can get back to their winning ways if they continue to bring this kind of effort and finish their chances.

My three stars:

1. Vinnie Lecavalier

2. Colin Wilsom

3. Sean Couturier

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