In a game that even the most loyal of Predators fans had given up on, Blake Geoffrion put on easily the best performance of his young career, leading Nashville to a 4-3 overtime comeback win over the Buffalo Sabres. The Preds looked all but out, however Geoffrion scored a hat trick, Martin Erat chipped home the game-winner in overtime and the Predators left HSBC Arena with two critical points.
Follow after the jump for video highlights and some thoughts on the game:
- So, the first goal was a little fluky. It looked like Bam-bam was trying to pass it over to Dumont, but the puck deflected off of a Sabre and went into the net. I'm glad Geoffrion got credit for the goal, though, because Dumont had no idea where the puck was until it was in the net.
- After the first goal, Nashville had a couple of missed opportunities to extend their lead. Tootoo hit the pipe on a shot, and shortly after Martin Erat had the puck alone in front of the net, just made a bad move, and Miller was able to gobble up the puck. Then, in the second period, Shea Weber whiffed on a one-timer that certainly would've gone in.
- It was all Buffalo from there, however. The much maligned Kevin Klein lost track of his man in front of the net, and Nathan Gerbe was able to slot one home. Then, just 42 seconds later, Tim Connolly wristed a two-on-one chance right by Lindback. You hate to say it, but it just felt like that was one that Rinne would've had. Suter played the pass, and Lindback looked hesitant and just let the puck beat him on the glove side.
- Later in the second, Nashville, on the penalty kill, got caught in a bad change, letting up a three on two rush for Buffalo. Tyler Ennis took the pass and Lindback got a piece of it, but the puck found the back of the net.
- After Nashville's missed chances, the second period was all Buffalo, and they continued their dominance in the third. Count me as one who thought the Predators were done. Their offense had shown no signs of life, and the Sabres were methodically putting this one away. Until Blake Geoffrion decided that enough was enough.
- In the game preview, I said one of the things they had to do was attack the net, and that's exactly what Geoffrion did, not once, but twice to tie the game up. On his second goal, he simply won the puck from behind the net and kept hacking at it until it got through Ryan Miller. Then, with 1:24 left, the net empty, and still down a goal, Geoffrion stood in front of Miller and tipped in a Cody Franson snapshot to knot the game up at three apiece, and complete his first career hat trick.
- Ok, so the game went to overtime, we're lucky to even have a point, but there's no way we win this one, right? Don't tell Martin Erat that. Not 30 seconds into the overtime period, Erat put home a perfect pass from Ryan Suter to give Nashville the win and 2 precious points.
- Anders Lindback is no Pekka Rinne, but he did his fair share in the win. Maybe there was a shot or two he could've stopped, but the 6'6" netminder stopped 35 of 38 shots including a few fantastic saves, and got the win. Still, Rinne should start every game from here on out, including, hopefully, the playoffs.
- One more bullet point about Geoffrion. In just his tenth game as a Nashville Predator, the Brentwood native has 7 points, 6 of those being goals, something Nashville has been desperately searching for. Could he be the goal-scorer this organization has been looking for? That remains to be seen. One thing is certain, however. At the moment, he is playing at as high of a level as anyone on this team.
The Predators will get some much needed rest as they get the day off tomorrow before taking on the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday night. Don't look now, but Nashville has jumped Chicago and Dallas in the standings and, as of this writing, sit in 6th place in the Western Conference. There are still games to be played tonight, however, so keep an eye on the scoreboard. For more coverage of today's game, check out Die By The Blade.
Also, feel free to leave your caption for the picture in the comments. The look on that fan's face is priceless.