The quality of the Nashville Predators' prospects were on full display this evening in South Florida, as the Nashville rookies coasted to a 5-0 win over the youngsters from the Florida Panthers. Taylor Beck scored twice, while Blake Geoffrion had a goal and two assists.
Chet Pickard started the game in goal for the Predators and made 16 saves, while Anders Lindback played the last 30 minutes, finishing off the shutout.
Ryan Ellis started the game with a goal from around 30 feet at 1:17 of the first period which was unassisted. Beck scored a few minutes later (from Geoffrion and Ellis), and the rout was on.
In addition to Beck, Ellis, and Geoffrion; Michael Latta scored in the 2nd period by redirecting a shot from defenseman Charles Olivier-Roussel. After Nashville's first goal, Ryan Flynn dropped the gloves with a Panthers prospect. Linus Klasen was drilled in the slot late in the game, resulting in some blood on the ice. He appeared to be okay, though, and soldiered on. Here's video of the hit, thanks to Seth in the comments below for providing the link:
Apparently there was a bonus shootout after the game, which the Predators also won. Austin Watson and Mark Santorelli scored.
It was an impressive display for Nashville, but not an overly surprising one. The team the Predators fielded tonight was older, stronger, and more experienced than Florida's. Many of the players who suited up are part of a farm system that is regarded by Hockey's Future as the number one in the NHL. Check back tomorrow afternoon for a report on the second game between Nashville and Florida's rookies.
- Jonathan Blum, Ryan Thang, and Mark Santorelli were tonight's alternate captains.
- Most of the production came from the same 2009 draft - Ellis, Beck, Roussel, and Latta all registered points.
- Anders Lindback starts in goal tomorrow.