The Nashville Predators preseason production kept on coming tonight with a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets, takign their record to 4-1 ahead of their next contest Wednesday when the Washington Capitals come to town. Ryan Suter and Shea Weber each led the scorers with two assists, while four different goal-scorers led the way for Nashville.
And get this, three of those goals came on the power play. Follow after the jump for the details, and an updated Predators scoring list!
It was Spencer Machacek who opened the scoring, taking a feed from Brian Little who drew all the Preds' attention behind the net. Machacek was able to fire from right between the faceoff dots and put the Jets up 1-0. Not much later, while Martin Erat sat in the box for holding, Paul Postma fired a shot from the point which bounced off a Preds defenseman and behind Chet Pickard for a 2-0 lead just past the halfway point of the first period. The penalty killers for Nashville got plenty of practice, with 3 shorthanded situations in the opening frame.
Jordin Tootoo was able to answer early in the second, giving the crowd a chance to break in a new goal song video featuring Tim McGraw wearing a new gold jersey. It was kind of a funny sequence, actually, as Cal O`Reilly did some good work controlling the puck down low, before Tootoo wound up for a two-handed baseball swing as the puck bounded through the slot. A moment later he got another whack as he turned around, and caught Chris Mason by surprise for the score.
While the Jets did stretch out the lead to 3-1 on a Derek Meech goal, the real shockey came next, as the Predators scored three straight power play goals to take the lead. First it was Sergei Kostitsyn banking in a shot (attempted pass, it looked like), followed by a long wrister by Martin Erat from near the right point, and then a classic Patric Hornqvist stuff job right in the crease. The crowd got their
Crosbys Frostys, and the party was on.
A good bit of credit for those PP goals goes to Zack Stortini, who laid out a big hit deep in the Winnipeg zone that drew the wrath of Troy Bodie, who took a double-roughing penalty for his efforts. A disciplined Stortini turned the other cheek and gave his teammates the advantage. For a guy looking for an NHL roster spot, that combination of spirit and savvy can go a long way (he also got the tempo kicked up early in the game in a fight with Chris Thorburn).
Shortly after the Preds took the lead, Pekka Rinne left the game with an undisclosed injury. My guess is that he went into shock after seeing the power play click like that three times in a row.
Chet Pickard came back in to mop things up, and Rinne did return to the bench, so hopefully it was only a minor issue.
The full NHL boxscore is here, and your updated list of Nashville Predators scorers on the preseason follows...