For 55 minutes, Tomas Vokoun and Pekka Rinne put on a display worthy of their common goaltending coach, Mitch Korn, turning aside all of the shots from both teams. We saw power plays for each side, dangerous shorthanded chances, odd man rushes, etc., but the two goalies commanded the stage tonight.
Until, that is, a furious outburst in the final moments which saw the Preds emerge victorious.
Follow after the jump for video highlights, reaction, and the advanced even-strength stats...
- It's too bad the Preds couldn't build an early lead out of the dominance they showed for the bulk of the first period, as the team clearly took advantage of my advice in the preview! The most disappointing aspect of the first were the two penalties called against Nashville - the first, on Weber, was a totally unnecessary play by him to slash the stick out of one the Caps' hands, while the second was a bizarre phantom call on Suter.
- The second period was almost a reversal of the first, with Washington carrying the play more often, and Nashville getting the spark late after successfully working the penalty kill, then following that up with a strong even strength shift.
- It looked like we were heading for a scoreless regulation when Brouwer finally got the opening goal with less than 5 minutes in the 3rd, and with Vokoun at the other end of the ice, the outlook wasn't so great. Weber's savvy feed to Erat just seconds later, however, restored the game into its proper balance, and restored the goaltending duel.
- That goal to put the Preds up 2-1 may be the most impressive shift I've seen by Colin Wilson in his time with the Preds. He hustled to gain possession of the puck deep in the Washington end, hung on to it under pressure, fed it to Erat behind the goal line then busted his butt to get to the front of the net, where he buried Erat's return pass. Stellar, stellar stuff indeed.
- 13 games for Sergei Kostitsyn, 10 shots on goal. I like the guy, but COME ON.
- One of the most enjoyable parts of this game were the star-on-star battles we saw at certain points. Alex Ovechkin banging with Shea Weber in the corner, Rinne swiping an Ovechkin wrister out of the air... that's why I love the idea of making sure each NHL team visits Bridgestone Arena at least once each season. The Caps are just a fun team to watch.
As for your advanced even-strength stats...
|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|