Nashville Predators 2, Boston Bruins 3: Preds give Bruins a run for their money, but Brad Marchand ruins everything.

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Predators were within reach of a victory against one of the league's best teams, but ultimately came up short

The Nashville Predators and Boston Bruins met on a frosty New England night, with the Preds seeking retribution for the shameful effort they posted on Dec. 23rd. The game went scoreless for almost 40 minutes, but the product on the ice didn't reflect that in any way.

Then the third period started. The Bruins really woke up and the Predators decided they didn't need to play defense anymore. Both Johnny Boychuk and Jarome Iginla scored their goals by taking advantage of awful defense, and there could have been three or four others. However, the Captain decided to redeem his defensive squad and tie the game with his 10th of the season. He's now tied with Ottawa's Erik Karlsson for the league lead in goals by a defenseman.

Amazingly, the pace picked up as the clock wound down, but nothing was settled. Nashville, last place in the Central division and 12th in the West, put up a solid game against the 2nd place Bruins and were taking them to overtime. Alas, despite all their hard work, Brad Marchand undressed Mike Fisher so bad that Carrie Underwood will be jealous. He fired a shot that Marek Mazanec never saw, and Boston skated away with a 3-2 win.

Random Observations

  • If Seth Jones had scored on that attempt he had during the second period, you would have seen it on all the highlight shows for the rest of the year. The 19-year-old waltz through the entire Bruins team and narrowly missed getting his third goal of the year. Legend has it he was raised by bald eagles and only subsists on a heavy diet of apple pie and freedom.
  • As predmama pointed out in the game thread, Fisher has eight points in his last three games. That torrid pace should be enough to help you forget getting burned by Marchand so bad.
  • Also, if it makes you feel better, just watch that same jerkface get lit up by Weber over and over again. I'd GIF it, but I'm not on my personal computer.
  • The box score reads that Nashville outshot the Bruins 35-25, but those are only shots that made it on goal. The B's are a top five puck possession team, and they put way more shot attempts on goal than the Preds. At the end of the game, Boston had 54.5% of the total shot attempts at 5v5, and completely dominated in the third period, attempting 21 shots to Nashville's 12. "So what?" you say. "The Preds had way more shots ACTUALLY hit the net." That's true, but shots on goal are more about than what hits the goalie. The Bruins spent more time shooting the puck than the Preds did, which means they had the puck more. That will eventually lead to more goals over the corse of many games, mostly because you can't get scored on when you have the puck. It will also lead to winning in the playoffs, which Eyes on the Prize has meticulously plotted. Just food for thought.
Moral victories aren't always the greatest thing to praise after losses, but after the way this season has gone so far, I'm going to do it. The Predators have been playing scores better than they have all season. Though they didn't win tonight, they brought it to a Stanley Cup contender and were one shot away from a third consecutive victory. It remains to be seen if this is a facade or a new way of playing, but I've been enjoying the crap out of the games recently.


Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary - Fancy Stats

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