Thursday, October 15, 2015

Predators Blow 2 Goal Lead, Fall to the Islanders 4-3

The Nashville Predators made their first visit to the Barclays Center to take on the New York Islanders in the second game of a three game road trip.

The Predators would face the most talented team that they have encountered in this young season, and jumped out to a two goal lead before falling 4-3.

Austin Watson picked up his first goal of the season in the first period as he threw the puck into the crease from a bad angle and Marek Zidlicky knocked the puck into the net while trying to clear it.

Filip Forsberg banged a puck past Thomas Greiss from the blue paint off a nice drive to the net by James Neal early in the second period to give the Predators a 2-0 lead.

Anders Lee cut the deficit to 2-1 as he beat Pekka Rinne between the pads on a wrap around attempt. Lee's goal came just 41 seconds after the Predators had scored their second goal.

Kyle Okposo tied the game at 2 with a wrist shot on a breakaway that beat Rinne over his shoulder.

The Isles rally in the second period made this a 20 minute game. The team that wanted it more would get the win.

Nikolay Kulemin gave the Isles a 3-2 lead as he took a puck that came hot off the end boards and was able to sneak it under Rinne before he could get into position.

John Tavares scored just after the Predators had killed off a penalty to make it 4-2.

Filip Forsberg launched a shot from the blue line that was tipped over the shoulder of Greiss by James Neal to cut the deficit to 4-3. The Islanders challenged the call, saying that Greiss was interfered with but the call stood.

Despite great pressure from the Predators in the final minutes with Rinne pulled and out shooting the Islanders 47-28, the Predators dropped the game 4-3

Some observations:

  • The Islanders have implemented a policy that prohibits fans (both home and visiting fans) from watching the pre-skate on the glass unless you have a ticket for lower bowl seats. Obviously, there are some growing pains with the Islanders move to their new home as this has irked many long time Isles fans, who were able to watch the warm up from the lower bowl glass regardless of where they were sitting.
  • More line changes as Mike Fisher centered Filip Forsberg and James Neal. Mike Ribeiro dropped down to the second line and centered Colin Wilson and Craig Smith.
  • Good to see Austin Watson get his first goal of the season. Watson has paid his dues and is getting time on the 4th line with Paul Gaustad and Eric Nystrom. Watson is a big body that has the tools but has seemed slow to adjust to the speed of the NHL. Hopefully some consistent playing time will get him settled into a productive role for the team.
  • Great jump and energy by the Predators in the first period as they out shot the Islanders 17-7. The real challenge for the Predators would be to play the final 40 minutes the same way they played the first 20 minutes.
  • You can't say the Predators let down in the second period. They matched their first period total of 17 shots in the second frame and created some good chances in front of Greiss. Forsberg's goal from the tough area in front of the net was his second of the season and his third point in as many games.
  • Although the Predators kept pressuring the Isles net, the Islanders had the better scoring chances and it showed, as the Predators blew a 2 goal lead and gave up 4 straight goals. The Islanders amped up their effort and the pressure in the offensive zone and the Predators didn't match the intensity of the home team.
  • Rinne didn't play a bad game, but he wasn't excellent either. And this Predators team has shown early in the season that they need Rinne to be excellent to win games.
  • The coaches challenge of the Neal goal by Islanders Coach Jack Capuano was the first challenge that the Predators have faced this season.
  • I liked the play of James Neal tonight. He went hard to the net and battled in front all night. That is the kind of play that the Predators need consistently from Neal. He had a goal and an assist tonight in a superb effort.
  • How about the hustle from Filip Forsberg to prevent the empty net goal? That is a heart and character play. 
  • The Islanders have defeated the Predators 4 straight games.
The Predators didn't play a bad game. In fact, this was probably the first complete game that the Predators played all season. Yet when the Islanders turned up the pressure in the second and early in the third, the Predators didn't match the effort of the talented opponent form the East.

No doubt the Islanders are a very talented team, but the Predators can't blow two goal leads. They must develop the killer instinct and lock teams down.

A learning experience.

Not fun, but a learning experience nevertheless.

My three stars:

1.John Tavares

2. James Neal

3.Anders Lee

No comments:

Post a Comment