Saturday, February 7, 2015

Blue Line Powers Predators Past Blue Shirts

The Blue Shirts from Broadway traveled to an different Broadway, one filled with honkey tonks and musicians singing sad songs. It was the New York Rangers that left Nashville singing their own sad song as the Nashville Predators got back to their winning ways with a 3-2 victory.

After Rick Nash scored on the power play to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead early in the second period, the Predators used goals by Roman Josi and Shea Weber to take a 2-1 lead going into the second intermission.

Ryan McDonagh tied the game in the third period with a shot through traffic before Mike Ribeiro scored the game winning goal at 7:14 of the final frame. Ribeiro blasted a shot from the face off circle past Cam Talbot for his 700th career point.

Pekka Rinne picked up his league leading 30th win and his first since coming back from a knee injury. He made 30 saves on 32 shots for the win.

Talbot, playing in place of an injured Henrik Lunqvist, stopped 20 of 23 shots, including a first period flurry from the Predators and a point blank shot from Filip Forsberg in the low slot in the third period.

Some observations:

  • With the three points from the blue line ( Josi 1G-1A and Weber 1G) today, the Predators defensemen have 36 goals and 134 points, the most in the NHL. Josi picked up his 10th goal of the season, while Weber tallied his 12th goal.
  • Josi had a stellar game and is shooting more. While his shot doesn't rival Weber's, it is a very good shot and his slap shot from the circle beat Talbot cleanly.
  • Good night, Weber's bomb from the back of the face off circle was a blast. If that puck had hit Talbot, it might have gone through him.
  • Rangers Coach Alain Vigneault did a good job of trying to keep Rick Nash and his line away from Shea Weber. That meant that Seth Jones was often on the ice when the Nash line was on the ice. Jones and Matty Ekholm did a good job of keeping that line in check, not allowing an even strength point.
  • The Rangers are a talented team that brought an aggressive forecheck and once again, it created problems for the Predators. They often had a difficult time getting out of the defensive zone and struggled through the neutral zone. This almost cost the Predators as they turned the puck over several times at their blue line, allowing the Rangers to keep possession in the offensive zone.
  • Colin Wilson got blown up by Dan Girardi with a huge open ice hit in the first period and did not return. He was listed as being out with an upper body injury. 
  • The Rangers lost Jesper Fast in the second period with a sprained knee.
  • The Predators had not beaten the Rangers on home ice since February 28th, 2004.
  • The Rangers had won 3 straight coming into this game and were 7-1-0 on the road against Western Conference teams.
  • The Predators were dominant in the face off circle, winning 41 of 64. 
  • The Predators did a much better job of playing disciplined hockey, taking two penalties in this game. A nice change after the parade to the penalty box over the past few games.
  • The Predators had a nice tribute video to Kevin Klein in his first game back to the Bridge since being traded to the Rangers.
  • The Predators are 11-0-1 after losing the previous game, and are a league best 21-3-1 on home ice.
This was a big bounce back win by the Predators and it puts them back into first place in the Central Division with 74 points. The Blues are in second with 72 points, and the Predators are one point behind the Ducks, who have 75.

The grind of February continues with the Predators on the road tomorrow against Florida with another 2:00 start.

My three stars:

1. Roman Josi

2. Mike Ribeiro
3. Ryan McDonagh

No comments:

Post a Comment