Nashville Predators 3, New Jersey Devils 2: Shea Weber, the Alpha & Omega

John Russell, National Hockey League

Shea Weber wrote the beginning and final chapters of tonight's 3-2 Nashville Predators victory over the New Jersey Devils, after uncertainty clouded his chances of even playing in the game. Having suffered an injury against the Winnipeg Jets, Weber was talked about as a "game-time decision" to play this evening, but his two scores made the difference in keeping Nashville's ever-so-faint playoff hopes alive.

The Preds captain opened the scoring for Nashville, ringing a slapshot home off the crossbar early in the first period, but the Devils came back with two goals in the second period to take the lead. Carter Hutton, despite making several impressive stops earlier on, gets the lion share of the blame on each, as a Patrik Elias shot simply slipped through his glove hand, and Jaromir Jagr found a hole to shoot through after coming around from behind the net.

In the third period, the Preds looked lackluster, unable to mount sustained offensive pressure, until they pulled Hutton for an extra attacker and David Legwand scored with 10.8 seconds left, sending the game to overtime. In the extra session, it was Weber once again, scoring off the rush to seal the win.

Next up, the Predators (25-23-8) head out immediately to play at St. Louis tomorrow night.

Random Observations

  • Yeah, Weber looked OK on that big blast to open the scoring, didn't he? Those goals put him into the league lead all by himself for goals by a defenseman, with 15 ahead of Erik Karlsson and Zdeno Chara with 13.
  • Weber also led all Predators with seven attempted shots on goal, so he was thoroughly involved in 25:57 of action.
  • Matt Cullen & Viktor Stalberg were still out of the lineup with their upper body injuries. Colton Sissons played the least among Nashville skaters (5:06) and took his first NHL penalty.
  • All in all the defense seemed to have a decent game, and the penalty kill was successful in two tests.
  • Good golly Jaromir Jagr's dreamy, isn't he? A goal and an assist tonight give him 48 points on the season!
  • In case you're looking forward to Devan Dubnyk getting the start tomorrow night, just know that he has a 0-7 record with an .843 save percentage all-time against St. Louis. Cheers!

Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary - Fancy Stats

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