Saturday, October 17, 2015

Predators Defeat the Senators 4-3 In A Shoot Out

The Nashville Predators wrapped up a three game road trip with a stop in Canada's capital to take on the Ottawa Senators.

Pekka Rinne got his first night off of the season and Carter Hutton was between the pipes for the Predators, while the Senators had Craig Anderson in net.

James Neal staked the Predators to a 1-0 first period lead on the power play as he took the puck from behind the net and beat Anderson to the far post.

That lead lasted all of 15 seconds of the second period as Mark Stone skated alone in the slot and beat Hutton with a backhand to tie the game at 1. A defensive breakdown left Stone by his lonesome in front of the net and he beat Hutton with a well placed shot.

Mike Hoffman made it 2-1 by beating Hutton with an unscreened shot from just inside the blue. This is a goal that Hutton cannot give up, one  that he has shown an annoying tendency to give up too frequently.

The Predators showed some life as Craig Smith tied the game at 2 with a snap shot from the slot that beat Anderson over the blocker.

James Neal broke the tie at 11:36 of the third period scoring again on the power play.

Mike Hoffman tied the game at 16:28 of the third period with a long shot from just inside of the blue line (again).

And so for the first time this season, the Predators would participate in 3 on 3 overtime.

After a scoreless overtime, the teams headed to a shootout.

In the shoot out, Bobby Ryan scored for the Senators, while Filip Forsberg and James Neal scored to seal the win for the Predators.

Some observations:

  • James Neal scored his second goal in as many games. Neal is a streaky scorer, and it would be good to see Neal get a hot streak going. Neal would add another power play goal midway of the third period.
  • Once again, the Predators had a second period nap. The Predators went almost 10 minutes with just one shot on net. This is something that plagued the Predators last season and appears to have carried over to this season as well. We have seen this type of play in every game this season except the Islanders game. It is inexplicable and more often than not, the good teams are going to make the Predators pay for their lapses.
  • Carter Hutton is consistent. Consistent in getting beaten by a long shot that is unscreened. Ugh.
  • Ryan Ellis took a shot off the inside of his knee halfway through the third period and did not return to the game.
  •  I gotta tell you, Hutton is frustrating. He battles and makes some very good saves but he also allows goals that never should occur, notably long shots from the blue line that are unscreened. 
  • Roman Josi is quietly proficient on the ice. He is so smooth with the puck but an underrated aspect of his game is his defensive presence. Josi logs big minutes with his partner, Shea Weber, against the best forwards of the opposition and is rarely caught out of position. Josi is deceptively strong and does a good job of winning puck and positional battles. Josi picked up 2 assists in the game.
  • The second period lapse really showed up in the shot totals, as the Sens out shot the Predators 41-25.
  • The Predators blocked 21 shots.
  • Josi led all Predators with 29:05 TOI.
  • It is good to see the Predators power play becoming more productive this season. The Predators were 2 for 6 with the man advantage, both goals coming from Neal.
  • The Predators penalty kill has been strong this season, and they were again tonight, killing both of the Sens power plays.
This was a big win for the Predators. Not their best game, but they kept battling and fought back to secure the win in the shoot out.

Sometimes (most of the time for this team) you have to win ugly.

But win nevertheless.

My three stars:

1. James Neal

2. Mike Hoffman

3. Roman Josi

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