With the game on the line midway through the final period, a shorthanded breakaway by Jerred Smithson gave the Nashville Predators the winning goal in a 4-3 decision at Minnesota. For the Wild, it was their first loss on home ice.
The Preds had to overcome a second period collapse before rallying back to take charge of this game. After the jump, we've got video highlights and the statistical breakdown...
Once again, the early story had to do with the Preds' inability to hold a lead. After taking a 2-0 advantage (on goals by J.P. Dumont, and Shea Weber on the power play) into the 1st intermission, Nashville gave up 3 goals quickly at the beginning of the 2nd period. Dan Ellis was pulled and the Preds found themselves battling to get back into the game.
Fortunately enough, a 4-on-4 situation yielded Mike Santorelli's first career NHL goal; Joel Ward cut into the slot and fired off a shot, which deflected off Santorelli's skate as he camped out near the Minnesota net, and the game was tied at 3.
When Cody Franson headed into the penalty box for holding midway through the 3rd, things were starting to look dicey for Nashville. But a breakaway by Jerred Smithson on the PK, and a breathtaking toe-drag on his part, led to a shorthanded goal that put the Preds ahead 4-3 with just over 9 minutes left. Nashville managed to hold on despite a furious charge by Minnesota with the goalie pulled in the final seconds.
Steve Sullivan finished with 2 assists, Shea Weber ended with a goal and an assist, and somewhat surprisingly, Kevin Klein led all Predators with 24:05 of ice time. Pekka Rinne made all 12 saves in relief to pull out the victory.
As for the even-strength breakdown, it looked like this:
|Even Strength||Individual Totals||Team Totals While Player Is On Ice|
|Player||Pos||EV TOI||Shots||Shts Blkd||Missed Shts||Blocks||SOG For||SOG Ag||SOG +/-||Tot SF||Tot SA||Corsi|
All in all, that's a pretty balanced effort; yes, the 4th line of Goc, Belak and Smithson got outshot at even strength, but that's not surprising, especially when on the road. A large number of shots that missed the net is part of why Suter & Weber's SOG totals don't look so good.