Predators beat Minnesota 4-1 to halt losing streak

The Nashville Predators wrapped up 2010 on a high note, halting their 5-game losing streak with a 4-1 win at Minnesota. Pekka Rinne made 22 saves and fended off some late pressure by the Wild after they pulled their goaltender, while Cody Franson and Patric Hornqvist provided the early scores, allowing Joel Ward and Sergei Kostitsyn to add empty-netters.

[Game Summary] - [Event Summary] - [Faceoff Report] - [SB Nation] - [Hockey Wilderness]

Follow after the jump for video highlights and a few thoughts...

The Columbus Blue Jackets come to town Sunday, January 2nd, so make sure to use our coupon code for discount Nashville Predators tickets

First here's the video highlights (may have to wait up to an hour post-game for availability):

Some scattered thoughts on tonight's game:

  • Marek Svatos began the game on a line with David Legwand and Colin Wilson, and while he didn't stand out, he didn't look out of place or make any major mistakes, either. 
  • The Predators, for what seemed like the first time in forever, notched the first goal of the game on a delayed penalty. Cody Franson released the shot quickly, and it beat a screened Niklas Backstrom. The moral of the story here was, as usual, those who are quick to shoot find themselves more likely to score.
  • Speaking of releasing shots quickly, that's exactly what Shea Weber did on Patric Hornqvist's 2nd period goal. Upon receiving the puck at the point, Weber immediately put it on net, and Hornqvist just tipped it out of the air for his ninth goal of the season.
  • For once, Nashville came out flying, able to outwork an opponent over an entire period for the first time in a while. It was an encouraging sign for a team desperately needing some momentum.
  • Pekka Rinne has been playing well enough to keep his team in the game of late, but tonight, he was simply stellar, stopping the first shot well and the rebounds even better. Obviously, the better Rinne plays, the more games Nashville will win - he's that good.
  • Pretty much all night, the Preds played fantastic team defense, which was a component that had been missing from their game. They quickly eliminated chances in front of Rinne, and gave the Wild all kinds of problems entering the offensive zone.

Tonight's recap is pretty brief, as Chris had to step out early, and I (Dirk) just caught the final minutes. I'm spending New Years Eve with family, including a brother who peeked over my shoulder at the NHL GameCenter Live feed and said, "so who is this Nashville's playing, the Minnesota North Stars?"

Happy New Year, everybody!

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