After sputtering its way through recent games, the Nashville Predators offense busted open to an extent tonight in Atlanta in a 4-3 win. David Legwand scored the clincher 8:12 into the third period off a battle in front of the Thrashers net, and Anders Lindback went the distance for Nashville, turning aside 23 of 26 shots.
Follow after the jump for a brief recap and the advanced stats...
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The encouraging news out of this one might be some power play effectiveness shown by the unit of Martin Erat, Matthew Lombardi and Patric Hornqvist up front, backed up by Shea Weber & Ryan Suter. They converted on opportunities twice during the middle portion of the second period, first when Suter cut towards the net and wristed home a pass from Hornqvist, and secondly when Martin Erat scored off a Suter assist. In total, the Preds PP went 2-for-3 on the night.
Earlier in the first period, Erat also opened the scoring for his first goal of the preseason, but Atlanta tied it shortly before intermission. After the two Nashville power play goals in the second period, the Thrashers responded quickly and brought the game back to a 3-3 tie within 4 minutes. Despite giving back the lead so quickly, the Preds buckled down from there and kept things tight in the 3rd period, outshooting Atlanta 7-5 down the stretch.
As for the advanced stats...
For a recap of what this table represents, take a look at what I posted Tuesday morning:
|Even Strength||Individual Totals||Team Totals While Player Is On Ice|
|Player||Pos||EV TOI||Shots||Shts Blkd||Missed Shts||Blocks||SOG For||SOG Ag||SOG +/-||Tot SF||Tot SA||Corsi|
So who helped themselves in the battle for NHL jobs tonight?
Aaron Johnson assisted on the first and final goals, but his overall numbers as he was paired with Kevin Klein were not encouraging (-7 Shots On Goal +/-, and -10 Corsi). Sulzer didn't hit the scoresheet, but the Shots For & Against numbers were on the positive side as he spent the night paired with Cody Franson.
The fact that Anders Lindback got the entire action does not look good for Mark Dekanich. As Seth wrote after the game on Twitter, "Hmm, can't see Pekka not playing in the final preseason game. Lindback playing 60 minutes tonight = trouble for Dex. Want to hear from Trotz". This may have been Dekanich's last chance to make an impression on the coaching staff, and the fact that he didn't get in the game speaks volumes.
Cal O'Reilly had a quietly effective game, and while he didn't figure in the scoring his Shots For & Against numbers were strongly positive, and were matched by an excellent night on faceoffs, going 12-for-17. Jonas Andersson didn't do much to draw attention, and since he doesn't require waivers to go to Milwaukee, he would appear to be on the outside looking in.
So what are your thoughts on the roster heading into the final preseason game at Washington Sunday afternoon?
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