Thursday, March 27, 2014

Predators Blast Buffalo 6-1

The Nashville Predators needed a home win. Dropping 6 straight home games had sapped the energy of the home crowd not to mention the team.

The Buffalo Sabres were just what the doctor ordered.

The Predators pounded the Sabres 6-1 in front of a happy home crowd at Bridgestone Arena.

There was scoring early and often, and Colton Sissons and Calle Jarnkrok participated in the scoring deluge as both of the young forwards tallied their first NHL goals. They were joined in the scoring fest by Colin Wilson (YEAH!), Eric Nystrom, and Shea Weber with two markers.

Matt Hackett was in net for the visitors and was under siege, giving up 4 first period goals. He would give way in the second period to Nathan Lieuwen.

Carter Hutton was rarely challenged and gave up one goal to Rasmus Ristolainen in the second period.

Sissons opened the scoring by banging home a rebound under the crossbar at 6:26 of the first period. Colin Wilson scored from the slot at 11:44 of the first. Just 9 seconds later, Jarnkrok snapped a shot from the slot past Hackett. Weber finished the scoring in the first period with a bomb from the blue line with the Predators on a 5 on 3 power play at 19:17.

After Ristolainen scored a 2:06 of the second, Weber notched his 20th goal of the season at 6:18 to make it 5-1.

Eric Nystrom finished the scoring, taking a pass from Rich Clune a firing a shot from the slot at 19:20 of the third period.

Some observations:

  • Good to see Colin Wilson finally tally a goal. it has been 33 games since Wilson last scored. I like his jump and tonight he skated hard and handled the puck well, creating some quality opportunities in the offensive zone. It was good to him finally break the longest goalless drought of his career.

  • Congratulations to Jarnkrok and Sissons on their goals. They were rewarded for their hard work with the scores. Sissons scored by going hard to the net and jarnkrok worked his way to an open spot to capitalize on his scoring opportunity. Both of these young players have been logging some quality minutes and have been productive with their ice time.

  • How critical is it for the Predators to score first? After tonight's game, the Predators are 24-3-6 when they score first.

  • This was the first time this season that the Predators have scored 4 goals in a period.

  • All 12 forwards picked up a point in tonight's game.

  • Weber is now tied with Ottawa's Eric Karlsson for the lead in goals by defensemen. This is the second time in Weber's career that he has hit 20 goals in a season (2008-09).

  • Eric Nystrom picked up two points tonight (1G-1A) to give him 20 points for the season. That is one shy of his career high of 21 points in the 2011-12 season with Dallas.
  • Seth Jones missed his third game with an upper body injury.
This was a fun game for the team and for the fans. make no mistake, the Sabres are struggling, but the Predators did what they had to do to win this game.

No, they exploded and exploited a weak Sabres squad.

Now they need to bring this kind of effort in their remaining games.

My three stars:

1. Shea Weber

2. Colton Sissons

3. Calle Jarnkrok

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