Nashville Predators cough up late lead, lose to Islanders in shootout 4-3

The Nashville Predators appeared to take control of tonight's game in Long Island with an early 3rd period power play goal by Steve Sullivan to give them a 3-2 lead, but careless penalties in the final minutes of regulation led to a goal by Mark Streit with just 12 seconds left. Ultimately, they lost in a four-round shootout as John Tavares scored the winner for the Islanders to end their 7-game losing streak.

There's no question this was an ugly, ugly loss, and a lousy way to start a four-game road trip. Instead of 

Check the NHL widget down on the right sidebar for the video highlights (should be available about 30 minutes after the end of the game), and follow after the jump for the recap and advanced even-strength stats...

The Predators resume their home schedule after the Olympic break with 10 home games in the month of March. If you're looking for cheap Nashville Predators tickets, we've got you covered.

This was a game that seemed to swing back and forth several times. The Preds came out with some decent pace in the first period, out-shooting New York 9-3 but failing to score. 

In the 2nd, however, the Islanders took over in the early going. Pekka Rinne made a few sensational saves, but a 7-1 shooting edge for New York led to a goal for Freddy Meyers, just his 2nd of the season. It came off a bad line change by the Preds, which allowed Meyers to wind up from between the circles on a shot that Rinne got a piece of, but not enough.

A few minutes later, Nashville appeared to have tied it up on the power play when Patric Hornqvist put one in, but upon video review it was (correctly) ruled that he kicked the puck, negating the goal. He was apparently just trying to kick the puck up to his stick, but missed on the shot attempt; the puck went in anyway, but since the kick propelled it, the goal was disallowed.

That could have been a momentum killer, but the Predators seemed to take over from that point. Shortly after the power play expired, Ryan Jones and J.P. Dumont created havoc around the Islanders net and Cal O'Reilly scored his first goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1. A few minutes later, the Preds took advantage of a bad line change by New York, as Joel Ward got loose on a breakaway and scored (for the second consecutive game), giving Nashville the 2-1 lead.

Late in the period, the Preds put themselves in a hole, however, giving New York an extended 5-on-3 power play. Nashville killed most of it, but a rebound scramble ended with the puck squirting out into the high slot, where Bruno Gervais stepped into a shot for the easy score.

Thus, despite a series of swings back and forth, the teams ended the 2nd period tied 2-2. Nashville came out flying to start the 3rd, however, and capitalized on an early power play opportunity when Steve Sullivan scored on a nice wrist shot to make it 3-2.

Down the stretch in the 3rd, the Predators gave the Islanders a couple opportunities to get back into it. J.P. Dumont was whistled for high-sticking, which Nashville was able to kill off, but in the final minute Martin Erat boarded Andy McDonald. That time, the Islanders did cash in, thanks to a big wrist shot from Mark Streit with just 12 seconds left.

The overtime session featured plenty of chances each way, and when it got to the shootout, Pekka Rinne stopped two of four Islanders shooters, while Martin Biron stopped 3 of 4 from Nashville.

Looking at the even-strength stats, one positive that jumps out is the play of Cal O'Reilly. J.P. Dumont also looked very assertive on the attack, maintaining possession in the offensive end and drawing a penalty as well. He appears to getting more confident with handling the puck in the offensive zone, and that paid off in setting up multiple shots. Outside of the breakaway goal, the Ward-Legwand-Smithson goal didn't seem to get much going at all. Colin Wilson played just 4:51 in his return to the NHL, which was understandable considering his late-afternoon arrival in New York.

 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
 Jason Arnott C 16:32 2 1 0 1 8 6 2 12 17 -5
 Joel Ward R 15:14 2 1 0 3 5 7 -2 8 14 -6
 David Legwand C 14:42 0 0 1 1 4 5 -1 9 14 -5
 Steve Sullivan L 14:23 1 1 0 1 7 5 2 13 14 -1
 Martin Erat R 13:41 2 1 0 1 7 6 1 14 16 -2
 Cal O'Reilly C 13:04 2 1 0 1 10 7 3 19 16 3
 Patric Hornqvist R 13:01 4 0 1 1 6 5 1 11 17 -6
 Jerred Smithson R 11:55 0 0 0 0 5 4 1 6 10 -4
 J P Dumont R 10:45 2 1 1 0 9 4 5 15 11 4
 Ryan Jones L 7:41 1 1 0 1 3 2 1 8 5 3
 Jordin Tootoo R 5:42 0 0 0 0 2 3 -1 5 3 2
 Colin Wilson C 4:51 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 3 1 2
 Shea Weber D 19:03 0 0 1 2 6 6 0 14 13 1
 Ryan Suter D 17:04 0 3 0 0 6 5 1 13 10 3
 Dan Hamhuis D 16:50 4 0 0 2 12 6 6 17 22 -5
 Kevin Klein D 15:48 1 0 1 0 9 5 4 13 17 -4
 Alexander Sulzer D 14:51 1 2 0 0 7 9 -2 15 20 -5
 Francis Bouillon D 14:31 0 2 0 1 6 10 -4 14 18 -4
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