The Predators concluded their three-game road trip with a stop by Northern California's bay to take on the Sharks. Having already won the first two games, the outcome seemed like it would be gravy. No matter what happened, the Preds still had a successful journey.
Well, it would at least acceptable had the Preds bothered to show up for the first two periods. It took until almost the end of the second period for Nashville to get their 10th shot on goal, and looked disjointed and uninterested almost the entire game. The third period looked a bit better, but by then the damage was already done. It was one of those 2-0 losses we've witnessed so many times before. #FireTrotz
Preds took a while to get this one started. It took four minutes for Matt Cullen to fire the first shot to at Antti Niemi.
Tomas Hertl is a fantastic player. Tomas Hertl is so much fun to watch. Tomas Hertl scored the game's first goal. Joe Pavelski ripped a shot at Pekka Rinne, who left a little bit of a rebound dribble out in front of him. It was all Hertl needed, and he pounced to put his team up 1-0.
HEEL JAMES NEAL MADE A STATEMENT TONIGHT. (Sort of.) If you put a list of twenty Preds players you'd expect to fight in a game, Neal would not be on that list. So it was extremely weird to see him an Tommy Wingles chuck knuckles at the end of the first period.
- Shea Weber was a mad dog off its leash tonight. Unfortunately, that led to a little incident with Tye McGuinn's skate, and Weber had to go to the locker room to get stiched up.. Thankfully, the captain was able to return to action. He's a tough cookie.
- But speedy recovery to Tye McGinn. It didn't look very comfortable for him during that incident.
- Stop me if you've heard this one before: Pekka Rinne was playing out of his mind tonight. It could have easily been 5-0 by the end of the second period, but the Finnish Hart/Vezina/Jack Adams/Cy Young/Intercontinental Champion/Nobel Prize front-runner was bailing his team out left and right. As good as he's been this year, there have only been a handful of games where he's really, truly bailed his team out of a poor performance. This was probably the biggest of those.
- For the first time since October, the top line was split up. Mike Fisher was promoted to first line center duty between Filip Forsberg and James Neal, and Mike Ribeiro took shifts with the second line with Matt Cullen and Craig Smith. Given how the top line has played for almos the entire season, it was most likely a matchup decision. The entire team had nothing going tonight in terms of chemistry and offense, so any type of spark could have helped.
- It didn't help that the Blues won in overtime. Preds fall to 3rd in the division.
OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Pekka Rinne - For doing Pekka Rinne things.
- Shea Weber - For taking a skate to the armpit, getting stitches and returning to play hockey.
- Tomas Hertl - For being Tomas Hertl.
Tweets of the Game
Guessing this is why Weber needed stitches. pic.twitter.com/2B0P2EZFA2— Jim Diamond (@diamondhockey) December 14, 2014
Roll the video highlights...