All of Seth Jones' teammates owe him a steak dinner.
Not that there are any real playoff implications on the line, but had the Nashville Predators lost the game there would have been some serious shame upon them. The Preds sported a 3-0 lead against the Ottawa Senators, thanks to an explosion of goals during the second period. They were bombarding Craig Anderson with shots, and if they could keep the pressure up in the third, they had a chance to win handily.
But hockey is a funny game. Anderson left just four minutes into the third period, which seemed to spark the team. Led by Jason Spezza and backup Robin Lehner, the Senators clawed back to tie the game in the waning moments. The fantastic effort from Nashville was squandered by a lack of a killer instinct and some extremely lackadaisical defensive play by the entire team.
During overtime, I'm sure everyone was expecting the worst. But Ryan Ellis picked up a loose puck and found himself with over 100 feet of open ice between him and Lehner. Jones was right behind him, and when Lehner made the initial save on Ellis, Jones was there to tap it in. Cue the fireworks, release the doves, and get ready for marked down prices in used car lots all over America. Preds (somehow) win 4-3.
- Boy, did it take a while for the Senators to wake up. In the first two periods they only had 15 shots on goal, but fired a whopping 19 in the final period. It's almost like good things happen when you have the puck and send it toward the opposing goaltender.
- Stick tap to Colin Wilson on an awesome defensive play on Chris Phillips to create the rush for Ellis. Wilson smothered him off the puck, which left it laying there for anyone to grab. Another stick tap to Ellis for delaying long enough to let Jones sprint into the play. Kudos all around, you three.
- Seems like Shea Weber declared open season on anyone wearing a red jersey tonight. Anderson took a stinger in the collar bone area, and Cody Ceci left the game after getting hit in the side of the head. Pretty gruesome stuff, and hopefully he's OK.
- Apparently, the Hockey Gods decided to exact a little revenge for that. The goal that ended up tying the game went right off Weber's skate and into the net.
- In his first game back in the NHL, Colton Sissons was meh. In a sparse 8:23 of ice time, he was on the ice for Mark Methot's goal and only had one shot on goal. Baby steps.
- Jason Spezza was a beast in that last period. He and still-shiny Ales Hemsky both had three points on the night, helping to orchestrate the Senators' comback.
- The last time the Predators scored three goals in a single period was also in Canada, against the Calgary Flames. Eric Nystrom also had a little to do with that. The difference is the team actually won this time around. Oh, Devan Dubnyk, we hardly knew ye.
- Finally, send some positive vibes to Dallas. If you didn't hear, former Predator Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench during the first period of the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was taken to the hospital, conscious and talking. For any and all updates, check in with our friends at Defending Big D.
What a game, eh? It was a frustrating third period, but you can't say that the Predators don't know how to make it interesting. I'm not a fan of teams blowing a three-goal lead, but when there's nothing on the line anymore I'll take my late-season drama any way I can get.
At least they don't have too long to dwell on it, as they play the notorious Buffalo Sabres tomorrow night. Let's tell them to do whatever it was they did during the second period, and exactly the opposite of the third period.
Roll the video highlights...