Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Predators Win A Wild One Over the Senators 7-5


That is the only way to describe the Predators effort against the Ottawa Senators at Bridgestone Arena.

After an atrocious first period that saw the Predators surrender goals to Milan Michalek and two to Zach Smith, the last a short handed goal, The Predators battled back to take a wild 7-5 win.

Colton Sissons, called up to replace an injured Paul Gaustad tallied a first period goal to send the Predators into the intermission trailing 3-1.

The Predators came out flying in the second period and notched three straight goals to take a 4-3 lead.

Shea Weber scored on the power play to make it 3-2.

Just 1:34 later, Roman Josi undressed Eric Karlsson with a sweet move a t the blue line, walked in and roofed shot over the shoulder of Craig Anderson to tie the game at 3.

Austin Watson deflected a puck that Seth Jones shot from the blue line to give the Predators a 4-3 lead 54 seconds after the goal by Josi.

Eric Karlsson beat Pekka Rinne for his first goal of the season just 41 seconds after the Watson goal to tie the game at 4.

Curtis Lazar scored with just 52 seconds left in the second period to send the Sens to the locker room with a 5-4 lead.

That lead would not stand up as Mattias Ekholm, Barret Jackman, and Gabriel Bourque all scored in the third period while the Predators held the Senators off the board to secure a win in a game that was more pond hockey than a structured NHL game.

Some observations:

  • Big ups to Shea Weber. The Captain recorded his 150th goal and 400th point in his 699th game of his career. Weber has been a steady, physical presence on the blue line and has been a consistent scoring threat throughout his career. And in my humble opinion, there is no way Karlsson should have won his Norris Trophy over Weber two years ago. Karlsson is a one dimensional player that can amass points, but Weber is a complete player that plays well in all situations and can put up points. I'm just saying...
  • Big ups to Colton Sisson. He was called up to replace an injured Paul Gaustad and recorded a goal and logged some quality minutes. He was thrown out on the penalty kill as well and was solid.
  • How about the Swedish Chef, Gabriel Bourque getting his first goal tonight? Bourque plays hard and it was good to see him get rewarded for his efforts. he went hard to the front of the net and was able to bat in a rebound off the pads of Anderson for the 7th goal of the night.
  • Did you notice the scoring tonight? 5 of the 7 Predators goals came from defensemen. This is a talented group of blue liners that play solid defense (on  most nights) but can activate and contribute offensively. I would suggest that this is the best blue line corp in the NHL.
  • One could look at the 5 goals allowed and say that Rinne did not have a good night. He wasn't getting much help out front from the skaters in front of him and gave up some goals through traffic. Yet Rinne shut down three break away attempts by the Sens and did make some very good stops during the course of the game.
  • I said the effort by the Predators was relentless. Here are the shot totals by period: 12 in the first; 12 in the second; and 14  in the third. 38 total shots. More importantly, the Predators held the Sens to 10, 3, and 14 shots over the three periods. The Sens went 12 minutes in the second period without a shot.
  • It was good to see the response by the Predators after a bad first period. The Sens have suffered only one road loss before tonight, and one could see the Sens just choking the life out of the Predators in the final 40 minutes. Instead, the Predators stepped up the intensity and took the attack to their opponent. That is the kind of response that the Predators had to have to secure the win.
  • The best line on the ice for the Predators tonight was the 4th line. Bourque (1G-1A), Sissons (1G) and Watson (1G-2A) were major contributors to the win.
  • The Predators were better in the face off dot tonight, winning 56% of the draws.
  • Shea Weber lead the team in shots (6) and blocks (4). Roman Josi led the team in TOI with 24:38.
This was a wild game that took fans for a ride. It certainly is not the way the coaching staff would draw up a game, but the main take away from this contest is that the Predators battled and turned up the intensity to secure the win. That is heartening and a good sign for this team.

My three stars:

1. Austin Watson

2. Gabriel Bourque

3. Colton Sissons

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