The end of the Predators' century-long road trip is finally at an end. The only thing separating them from a warm bed, a home-cooked meal and, presumably, some doggies kisses is a meeting with the St. Louis Blues. No big deal. The Blues have only won seven games in a row prior to tonight, boasting the hottest player in the NHL while doing it. Oh, and that free agent they took out a second mortgage for? He's back, as well.
Well, don't look now, but the Preds and the Blues may be playing many memorable and meaningful games throughout the season. The game was a back-and-forth tilt, with both teams getting great chances, plenty of shots, and timely goaltending. The Predators stars shined, though. Filip Forsberg and James Neal both scored to help the Predators win their long, long road trip.
I swear I heard a voice say "HE'S ON FIRE" as Vladimir Tarasenko barreled through a wall of Predators players and got a shot off as he fell to the ice. Ring made the save, but Jori Lehtera was wide open to bang it home. Rinne almost got a piece of it, but it wasn't enough.
Somehow Jaden Schwartz got the primary assist on that goal. Easiest point he'll ever score in his life. If you watch the replay, you can actually see him being dragged around by Tarasenko's coat-tails.
"Anything you can do, I can do better." -Filip Forsberg... probably.
Seriously, if Tarasenko is the hottest player in the NHL, Forsberg is close behind. He continued his point-per-game pace with his sixth goal (and 14th point) on the season. A wicked shot we've become spoiled to see. Pay attention, NHL, this kid is legit.
- Real talk: Pekka Rinne is a beast and it's so good to have him back. He made a number of 10-bell saves, when the Preds couldn't get out of their zone.
- Oh, that's right. You may have forgotten about James Neal. It's OK, he never even knew you existed. With just under six minutes to play in the third period, Neal broke the tie and put up his team-leading eighth of the year. Another point for Prince Filip. NBD.
Now the Preds get to get some rest, and do it in the comfort of their own homes. Overall, a successful road trip that, while it certainly could have gone better, no one should be with.
Stay tuned for our other coverage coming from St. Louis.
OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Filip Forsberg because, duh.
- Pekka Rinne because, duh.
- James Neal because he said so.
Roll the video highlights...