Thursday, November 13, 2014

Predators Battle But Fall to the Blues 4-3

The Nashville Predators faced the St. Louis Blues for the second time in a week and for the second time this game would decide which team would occupy the top slot in the Central Division.

Pekka Rinne was in net for the Predators, while the Blues had Jake Allen between the pipes.

The Blues struck first on the power play as T.J. Oshie, back after missing several games with a concussion, fired a wrist shot through traffic that beat a screened Rinne high over the glove at 3:25 of the first period.

Carl Gunnarsson made it 2-0 with a blast from the blue line that caught the post and ricocheted under the crossbar. The play continued and a video review was conducted after a call from Toronto where it was determined that the puck had actually entered the net at 12:35 of the first period.

Filip Forsberg continued his hot scoring streak as he ripped a shot past Allen from the face off circle off a nice pass from James Neal at 13:21. This was a critical response by the Predators as to this point in the game they had been outplayed by the Blues.

Shea Weber tied the game at 3:41 of the second period as he blasted a shot over the shoulder of Allen stick side. Forsberg had drawn a delayed penalty but carried the puck into the zone and dished it to Weber, who absolutely stepped in to the shot to beat an unscreened Allen.

Vladamir Tarasenko gave the Blues a 3-2 lead at 15:18 as he cut across the slot and fired a shot through traffic that eluded Rinne glove side.

The Predators tied the game on the power play with .9 seconds left on the clock in the second period as Roman Josi let a shot go from the face off circle that beat Allen glove side.

A back and forth third period saw both teams trade scoring chances until a shot by Kevin Shattenkirk was tipped through the five hole by Paul Stastny at 14:06.

The Predators had a furious late flurry, but could not get a puck past Allen and fell 4-3.

Some observations:

  • While we have all enjoyed the performance and productivity of the top line, the Predators are going to need consistent production from the rest of the lines, especially the second and third lines. If these guys can begin to chip in some goals, this team will be much tougher to play against.

  • Filip Forsberg is the real deal. Years from now, people will still be talking about how the Predators fleeced the Capitals when they got him in a trade for Marty Erat.

  • Colin Wilson missed his second game with a lower body injury.

  • Vladamir Tarasenko took a shot from Eric Nystrom in the second period, and Nystrom was called for a roughing penalty. Tarasenko went ballistic and charged into a scrum after the whistle and fought with the first Predator he could get his hands on, which happened to be the smallest Predator on the ice, Ryan Ellis. Ellis handled himself well in the scrap, which wasn't much, but he did stand his ground and get a few shots in.

  • Even though Tarasenko lost his mind for a brief moment, this kid is good. Really good. Great skater and a nose for the net with a very good shot. The Blues have a real talent in this player.

  • I really like the attitude and compete level of this team. The game got chippy at times and the Predators stood their ground. They got down on the scoreboard and were unrelenting in their push back. This team just has a different personality, and it is one I like.

  • Shots were even at 25. Forsberg led the Predators with 5 shots on goal.
This contest was one that had a playoff feel even though it is early in the season. Two teams that have developed a rivalry and dislike for each other and play skate to skate.

Keep playing like this and it may happen for the Predators.

My three stars:

1. Filip Forsberg

2. Jake Allen

3. Vladamir Tarasenko

No comments:

Post a Comment