Predators 5, Lightning 3: Finally, Frosties

Hmm... it looks like Mike Fisher and an obscured Lightning both dig the Easton Stealth RS, too...

Tonight was one of those nights that can help boost a team's confidence, as nine Nashville Predators made the score sheet, three Preds scored their first goal of the season, and the team blew open the game during the second period. Pekka Rinne made 29 saves for the win, many of the absolutely sensational variety, and the Nashville fans knew they'd get a free Frosty before the game was even halfway over.

Follow after the jump for the scoop!

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First up, the video highlights:

Post-game quotes are available from (click each name for the MP3): Mike FisherPekka RinneNick Spaling, and Barry Trotz.

Scattered thoughts on tonight's game:

  • The Kostitsyn-Fisher-Smith line sure looks like a keeper, eh?  Of course, I had to write that before SK74 left the game with a leg injury. Ugh! If you missed what happened, check here. It sounds like he isn't expected to miss any game time, but stay tuned.
  • I really didn't like the way Matt Halischuk coughed up the puck for the first Tampa goal, he had time with the puck along the boards to move it along, and Ryan Malone just came in and took it from him to set up the play.
  • One nice consequence of Francis Bouillon's return is that it allows Barry Trotz the option of dropping Jonathon Blum down to the 3rd pair as he did tonight. Blum still has some time before he becomes a rock-solid Top 4 kind of guy, and while The Cube's not fit for that duty long-term either, at least now Trotz has a choice.
  • It was like a breath of fresh air seeing Patric Hornqvist get on the board, eh? He's been hobbled in the early going, and anything to get him rolling is a huge help.
  • The same goes for Mike Fisher, who certainly hasn't wasted any time stepping into a major role. Dare I mention at the same time that David Legwand is now pointless in five straight games?
  • It's like Seth said after that Hornqvist goal, Mathieu Garon was frustrated after a bounce off the ref led to that Hornqvist goal, and sure enough, the Preds chased him from the game just a few minutes later after pushing their lead to 5-2.
  • Tampa is a team that always has you worried, however, and give full marks to the Preds for bottling them up in the 3rd, only yielding 6 shots while trying to close out the win. Typically, teams with a lead like that ease off the gas pedal and risk letting their opponent back in the game. The final shot total was 32-27 in favor of Tampa, but at least that's a lot closer than those figures have been so far this season.

As regards the advanced even-strength stats? A rough night for that fourth line, while the Spaling-Smithson-Tootoo trio really locked down on the shots against...

 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
 Mike Fisher C 16:04 4 0 0 3 7 7 0 12 20 -8
 Colin Wilson C 15:57 3 0 1 0 9 8 1 17 12 5
 David Legwand C 15:55 1 1 1 1 8 9 -1 16 14 2
 Nick Spaling C 14:59 1 0 2 0 7 3 4 11 13 -2
 Jerred Smithson R 14:59 1 0 0 0 7 3 4 9 9 0
 Jordin Tootoo R 14:45 1 1 0 0 8 4 4 11 9 2
 Craig Smith C 13:53 2 1 0 1 7 6 1 11 19 -8
 Matt Halischuk R 12:10 1 0 0 0 5 8 -3 7 12 -5
 Patric Hornqvist R 11:08 2 1 1 0 6 8 -2 12 14 -2
 Sergei Kostitsyn L 8:11 1 0 1 0 4 2 2 7 7 0
 Blake Geoffrion C 6:59 0 0 0 0 3 8 -5 3 14 -11
 Niclas Bergfors R 5:27 1 0 0 0 1 7 -6 1 11 -10
 Francis Bouillon D 19:19 1 1 0 0 9 7 2 12 15 -3
 Kevin Klein D 19:12 1 1 0 3 9 9 0 14 17 -3
 Shea Weber D 19:11 1 2 1 3 7 9 -2 15 22 -7
 Ryan Suter D 19:09 0 0 0 3 7 11 -4 15 23 -8
 Jonathon Blum D 13:09 1 0 0 2 8 10 -2 12 16 -4
 Jack Hillen D 12:03 2 0 0 1 8 8 0 10 15 -5
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