With his father in attendance looking on, Steve Sullivan scored twice and Pekka Rinne made 20 saves to earn his 2nd shutout for Nashville as they dominated the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night at the Sommet Center. In their first home game in over two weeks, the Predators set a franchise record with 55 team shots, led by Sullivan's 11. J.P. Dumont, Shea Weber, and Jason Arnott all picked up one assist each.
After tonight's win, the Predators have now won 6 of their last 8 games.
You can click through the picture above to the photo gallery from tonight's game, and following the jump, there's video highlights, the recap, and advanced even strength statistics...
The Preds carried the play right from the start, racking up a 24-4 Shots On Goal advantage by the end of the first, which included Steve Sullivan's 3rd goal of the season. Those 24 shots represented a franchise record for a single period, eclipsing the previous best (23) set on February 28, 2004 in the 2nd period of a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers.
Heading into this game with a 6.8% Shooting Percentage in 5-on-5 play, the Predators already have difficulty turning shots into goals (that figure is 6th-worst in the NHL). Thursday night in St. Louis, despite beating the Blues 3-1, it was opposing goaltender Chris Mason who was voted the first star.
Preds fans would probably prefer that Nashville make opposing goalies look like the goat of the game, not the hero.
That said, it was very encouraging to see the consistent effort given across the entire Predators lineup; this wasn't a case of just one or two lines playing well. No matter who was out there, the play kept heading deep into the Montreal zone. While it got nerve-wracking watching the team take only a 1-0 lead into the 3rd period, a 5-on-3 power play proved the cure for the goal-scoring ills.
A long blast by Shea Weber led to a rebound that Sullivan fired back behind Price to put the Preds up 2-0 with just minutes left in the game, and from there, it was a matter of denying the Canadiens proper entry into the zone and perhaps trying to get Sully the hat trick.
Looking at the advanced even-strength statistics below, it was an absurdly good night across the board; everyone in the lineup had positive Shots On Goal +/- and Corsi values, and when you bring power play performance into the mix, all but one player (Ryan Suter) ended up with a shot on net tonight.
The Preds will want to bottle up some of that energy for Tuesday night, when the San Jose Sharks come to town.
|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|
Who is your Predator of the Game?
Steve Sullivan, 2 goals on 11 shots (98 votes)
Pekka Rinne, 20 saves & shutout (13 votes)
111 total votes