The Nashville Predators kept the good times rolling with another big win over a key Western Conference rival, storming to a 5-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Pekka Rinne stopped 32 of 33 shots to win for the 8th time in his last 9 games, and push his save percentage to .930, good for 2nd-best in the NHL behind only Tim Thomas in Boston.
Five different Preds scored goals tonight, with Cody Franson & David Legwand earning a goal and an assist each, and Patric Hornqvist adding two assists. The win gives the Predators a bit of breathing room at 4th place in the Western Conference, as they head to Alberta for back-to-back games in Edmonton and Calgary on Sunday and Monday.
Follow after the jump for video highlights, reaction, and the advanced even-strength stats!
The Preds have 9 home games coming up in the month of February, including dates against the Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks, and Chicago Blackhawks. Save some cash and get yourself some cheap Nashville Predators tickets for these, or any other home game.
First, the video highlights and Predators vs Avalanche boxscore:
- It was nice to see the Erat-Goc-Kostitsyn line put together another crisp tic-tac-toe kind of goal, eh? They've been quiet lately. Kostitsyn had gone 5 games without a point, and Goc 4.
- Cody Franson's goal was really a thing of beauty, too. Notice the way he positioned his feet so that when he took that pass, he could put his full weight into a quick wrister? That's goal-scoring talent, the ability to react to an incoming puck and get a quality shot off right away.
- As Seth noted on Twitter, the Avs were intent on rattling Pekka Rinne right from the start. Wingers were taking every opportunity to skate through the crease and give him a subtle bump, not quite enough to earn a penalty, though.
- Holy cow, that video review in the 2nd period sure looked like a goal to me, but you have to use the old stock car racing slogan, "drive it like you stole it", and move on from there. The Avs really had the Preds back on their heels for much of that period. Matt Duchene, for example, at one point circled the entire offensive zone with the puck and the Preds didn't have any gas left in the tank to challenge him.
- Getting that early 3rd period goal from Matt Halischuk was just the momentum-turner the Preds needed, but that's a soft goal for Craig Anderson to give up in the Colorado net. Wrap-arounds are the least-dangerous shots in hockey, and he should have had that post covered. Anderson's reaction after the puck went in says it all.
- As Terry Crisp diagrammed afterwards, the Legwand goal to make things 4-0 was a classic example of the opportunities you can get by breaking through an overly-aggressive forecheck. That shot looked like an instant replay of his goal against Florida last week.
- Colin Wilson's score to push the gap to 5-0 has "Preds Goal of the Year" potential, mostly for the way he put a slick move on Kyle Cumiskey to cut into the slot. Again, probably not a shot that Anderson should let by him, but backhanders can be difficult for a goalie to pick up.
- By the end of the game, I liked Tim P's assessment of the Avs' effort from our 3rd Period Game Thread: "they look like the Washington Generals".
- I give the Avs a bit of credit for competing down the stretch, though. Besides the Duchene goal, guys like Koci and McLeod were trying to stir things up and create some momentum for their team.
- Major credit goes to the witty and wonderful OTF readers, who filled out 3 full Game Threads, combining for 1210 comments in total! I hope you all had fun, it's a great way to follow these road games with your fellow Preds fans. For a complete breakdown of who participated (and how many comments each racked up), check out the "roll call" posted by Aditya.
|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|