The victories, as meaningless as they are in preseason, continue to stack up for the Nashville Predators (5-1), as they rolled to a 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals tonight at Bridgestone Arena. Perhaps the most encouraging item to come out of this game for the Preds is the continued diversity of offensive producers, as 10 different players made the score sheet. Nashville now has 21 goals through 6 preseason games, a 3.5 GPG clip (Vancouver led the NHL last year with 3.15 goals per game).
Matthew Perrault and Colin Wilson exchanged first-period goals, and it took a fine play by Jordin Tootoo to put the Preds ahead 2-1 early in the 2nd. As he carried the puck out of the left corner of the Washington zone, he looked towards the point and drew the attention of the entire Caps D, then threaded a pass through to Matt Halischuk who stood all alone on the far side of the crease for an easy tap-in past Tomas Vokoun for the goal.
Later on in the second, another slick passing play led to the 3-1 lead, with Shea Weber cutting down from the point. Martin Erat fired a pass from behind the goal line that Weber blasted from right between the circles, giving Vokoun no chance at all to make the save.
The third period was more of a special teams exercise, with five penalties handed out to the two teams, but the only goal coming when Cal O'Reilly stuffed home a crossing pass from Weber, going down on one knee almost Brett Hull-style to make sure he got good wood on it. Frosties were on the line for the fans in attendance, so it was good to see him take extra care there.
Weber ended up leading the scoring with a goal and an assist, while Craig Smith chipped in two assists of his own, playing on a line with Sergei Kostitsyn and Martin Erat, and not looking out of place at all. Tomas Vokoun and Pekka Rinne both went the distance for their respective teams. The three stars were Colin Wilson, Pekka Rinne, and Matt Halischuk.
From here, the Preds travel to Winnipeg for a game on Friday, then come home for their preseason finale Saturday against Carolina, as part of Preds Fest.