The Nashville Predators rebounded from their loss against Chicago in a big way tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes, winning by a 5-2 final, in a game that featured pretty much everything - blown leads, good goaltending, and high scoring.
At first, it seemed as if the Predators were attempting to one-up their performance on Sunday, jumping out to a two goal lead then blowing it shortly thereafter in the first period. It wasn't to be, though, as they were able to pick up two goals in the second period and coast to the win.
Ten Eleven thoughts on tonight's game:
- I mentioned it in the game preview, but the play of Chris Mueller is flying under the radar right now. Matt Halischuk kept a puck alive behind the net on the Predators' first goal, and Mueller was able to hit J.P. Dumont in front with an accurate pass. For a team as decimated by injuries as Nashville, it's nice to get scoring from the fourth line.
- Speaking of Dumont, he's now scored five goals in two games, and seems to have regained some zip playing with two youngsters. If that's what it takes to get him going, then so be it - Dumont has the capability to be an important piece to the Predators' offensive puzzle, which he's proved in the last two games.
- Its understandable for Shane O`Brien to attempt and get the puck to Pekka Rinne on the penalty kill in order to freeze the puck, but surely there have to be better ways of getting that done than O'Brien's "own goal" in the first period...right?
- Whether it was another fiery speech by Barry Trotz, or just a general change in mentality, the Predators showed a clear ability to up the intensity in the 2nd period after giving up a two goal lead in the first. They were stronger on the puck, and put more shots on net. It was, essentially, two steps forward and two back - failure to protect a lead, but good resilience.
- Pekka Rinne? He remains pretty good at this goalie business, staying tied for 2nd in the NHL in both goals against average and save percentage with another great performance, making 32 saves.
- It's been a while since I've seen Ilya Bryzgalov play, but tonight did not seem like his best of performances. He lost the puck on both of Patric Hornqvist's goals, and completely whiffed with his glove on Matt Halischuk's weak backhander that hit the pipe and led to Dumont's hat trick goal. Put simply: five goals on 21 shots.
- When discussing underperforming players, we'd be remiss not to mention Sergei Kostitsyn. He was very good for an extended period of time, but has seemed to cool off along with the entire "Euro Line". Sure, the team's playing well now, but when the losses come, you may want to look first at what had been the Preds' top scoring line.
- The Coyotes seemed to have a lot of trouble keeping the puck on their sticks tonight. Perhaps it was good forechecking by the Preds (and certainly so in the 3rd period), but it seemed to be a poor effort from a team fighting for a playoff spot.
- Besides combining for five goals, J.P. Dumont and Patric Hornqvist also combined for a grand total of 26:46 in ice time, compared to Martin Erat and David Legwand's 33:12. That's efficiency.
- With the win, the Predators move to 56 points on the year, tied with Anaheim for 4th in the conference. They now head to Colorado to take on the Avalanche for the first time this year, which should be an interesting test - the Avs are one of the fastest and most exciting teams in the NHL.
- In your free-of-charge eleventh bullet, props are due to the OtF game threaders tonight, who put in as good a performance in the GDT as their team did on the ice. Keep it coming, folks.
|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|