The Nashville Predators put on a show for Fan Appreciation Night, posting their first win in three weeks by beating the Calgary Flames 4-3 at a sold-out Bridgestone Arena.
The early highlight was the Predators' first goal, a fitting combination of the franchise's past, present & future. Filip Forsberg (the future, duh) earned his first career NHL point by setting up a Shea Weber blast (the present, natch), before the rebound was stuffed home by David Legwand, who as the team's first-ever draft pick has been with the organization right from the start.
That look at the future continued in the third period, as 2009 1st-round pick Austin Watson scored his first career NHL goal, on as pretty a wrister as you could wish for to make it 3-2. Craig Smith ended a 12-game scoreless streak by feeding Watson the puck on that one.
With the win, Pekka Rinne lifted his record to 15-16-8.
- Big ups to Dennis Morgan for giving the anthem a little extra oomph tonight, he and PA announcer Paul McCann left it all out there for the home finale.
- It's so hard to take much out of a game like this, with so many unfamiliar players, in a game that only matters in the draft lottery standings. That said, I thought Matt Halischuk, Daniel Bang and Bobby Butler all created scoring chances pretty consistently.
- It's a good thing that Smith ended that scoreless streak, because he was invisible for most of... well, April.
- The fans were clearly enjoying this one, relishing their last dose of hockey for the next few months. Games like this (with so many AHL callups for both teams) can be snoozers, but the crowd was fully engaged.
- Don't worry too much about the win jeopardizing Nashville's draft chances, Carolina won tonight as well!
Corsi Numbers - Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary
Roll the video highlights (wait 30-45 minutes post-game)...