After going 5 games without a goal, the Nashville Predators' power play sprung to life tonight thanks to the work of Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn, who connected for a pair of PP goals which led the Preds to a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings in front of a raucous sellout crowd at Bridgestone Arena. The victory brings Nashville to within 4 points of Detroit for 4th place in the Western Conference, with the Preds holding a game in hand.
Tonight was only the second time the Kostitsyn brothers had combined on the scoring of multiple goals in a single game. Back in Game 7 of the first round of the 2008 playoffs, they each assisted on a goal by the other in a 5-0 Montreal win.
Follow after the jump for your highlights and breakdown...
Cue the video (might take 30-45 minutes post-game to work):
Your random observations:
- Early on, this looked like a replay of Tuesday's game against Los Angeles. Leggy & Hornqvist did a great job getting the opening goal on a 2-on-1, but then 13 seconds later Detroit got it back on a verrrrry weak goal.
- Have you ever seen a prettier power play goal by Nashville to take the 2-1 lead? Even though there are only 2 assists on the play, I went back through the replay and counted 11 straight passes by the Preds which led to the score. Just a beautiful display of puck movement there, a great example of why it's nice to be able to have both Roman Josi & Ryan Ellis in the lineup.
- In the second period, the heavy lifting fell to the penalty killers, and Hal Gill got to throw his weight around a bit in front of the net. Thank goodness the refs let quite a bit go, as he got away with a well-timed cross-check just as a shot came in from the point.
- While Colin Wilson got back in the lineup tonight, he didn't get a whiff of power play time, despite being pretty productive there earlier in the season. Craig Smith is the top goal-scoring forward on the Preds' PP, and he can't even get on the ice these days. Strange stuff indeed.
- Then again, maybe it's Andrei Kostitsyn who is squeezing those guys out. He seems to be well suited to camping out Hornqvist-like around the slot, as evidenced on his second goal of the night. That one got the folks on Twitter buzzing about whether we've got a new set of Sedins on our hands.
- You have to admire the work by Justin Abdelkader to bring Detroit to within 3-2 late. Suter was trying to flatten him, but he had the presence of mind to keep on the puck.
- Paul Gaustad did his part, winning 11 of 17 faceoffs.
- Somebody give Shea Weber a fine in the kangaroo court for taking a roughing penalty with just seconds remaining and a one-goal lead, eh?
- The Preds were out-shot in every period tonight, and Detroit really poured it on in the 3rd, once they were down by 2 goals (Score Effect, folks). That 37-20 margin was pretty scary, though.