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Nashville Predators 4, Washington Capitals 3: Preds Steal Lead Late, Beat Former Coach

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James Neal's two goals lead the way for the Predators as they beat Washington Ovechkins.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Holy emotions, Batman. That was a hockey game with some STANK on it.

It was a dog fight, but the Nashville Predators found a way to get the two points against the Washington Capitals. After building a 2-0 lead, Alex Ovechkin tied it up with two in the 2nd. After the Capitals took the lead 3-2, the Preds get two late goals, including the game-winner by James Neal (his second of the game) with 1:40 left in regulation. Seth Jones and Mattias Ekholm also scored for the Predators, while Marcus Johansson also scored for the Capitals.

While it was fun getting to recap this one for you fine folks, I ain't gonna lie: it was rough missing this one tonight. What a game!

Random Observations

  • Absolutely perfect tribute video for Barry Trotz, followed by a fitting standing ovation by the Nashville crowd. Then Trotz salutes the crowd in a "thank you" gesture. About as class as class can get, from both sides. Here's Pete Weber describing the moment.
  • After a somewhat uneventful 1st period, SETH JONES gets the first goal of the game! 1-0 Preds lead. Off the draw, Jones' wrist shot surprised Braden Holtby, who also was dealing with some traffic in front by Olli Jokinen. Jarnkrok with the assist as he won the faceoff.
  • Marvelous blocked shot by Ekholm as the Caps were pressing. Later, Holtby skates well outside of the goalie crease to chase down a puck before Neal does. Exciting final 4 minutes. Preds lead going into the 1st intermission.
  • And Neal keeps it rolling in the 2nd!! He finds the puck and a wide open net, giving the Preds a 2-0 lead. The key to the play was an incredible puck deflection by Mike Fisher, who got a piece of Bartley's shot towards the net sending the puck right to Neal.
  • Wow. Alex Ovechkin just ripped one past Hutton from a crazy angle on the side wall. 2-1 game. That guy is good.
  • And, just like that, the game is tied. Ovi scores again, this time on the power-play, from almost the same spot as the first goal. It's like the guy can just tell the puck exactly where to go and it goes there. Carter Hutton could see it all the way, just couldn't get there quick enough as it deflected off the top of his stick and in.
  • While early on the team was rallying in front of Hutton, the two Ovechkin goals have rattled the Preds. Particularly the defense, who seem to be rushing everything. Settle. Down.
  • With many things not going right, Mike Fisher is having a hell of a game. He just drew a penalty on a breakaway on the penalty-kill, to go along with an incredible assist on the Neal goal. When the Preds have needed it most, Fisher has been there to make a play tonight.
  • The Caps take the lead with Weber in the box for slashing. Too much space with the man advantage and Johansson scores after getting a couple shots at the loose puck in front of Hutton. The game has officially tilted in the Caps favor and the Preds will have to play from behind.
  • Caps defense is really limiting the Preds attack. No quality shots to be had in this 3rd period so far. Preds will need to get more creative with their attack in order to tie this up.
  • Colin Wilson just got robbed by Holtby. With plenty of net to shoot at, Willy sends the puck right into Holtby's right pad. Needed that one...
  • Is it fair to say that a 3-on-1 in which Ovechkin is involved is really a 6-on-1? That's what just happened and somehow Hutton is able to keep the puck out. Could have been a game-ender there.
  • Preds are starting to find chances. Forsberg, Smith, and Jarnkrok all had great scoring opportunities that were just deflected wide or poke-checked away. It's right there fellas, go get it.
  • EKHOLM!! Preds tie it up late in the 3rd! Didn't look like that hard of a shot for Holtby to stop, but whatever it went in...
  • Preds smelling fear right now, they are looking to get the winner in regulation instead of in OOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! JAMES NEALLLLLLLL STOLE IT AWAY AND MAKES IT 4-3!!!
  • Are you serious right now? James Neal STOLE that puck and pots in the game-winner. Preds hold on to the late lead and take this one 4-3. Yessssssir.

OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • James Neal: 2 goals, including the game-winner. No word yet on if he will be arrested after the game for stealing that last goal. We will keep you updated.
  • Seth Jones: the early goal gave him some confidence, he was active on the boards and with the puck tonight. Solid defense to go along with a goal and assist. Nice game.
  • Mike Fisher: as I said before, hell of a game. 1 assist, +2, and some opportune momentum shifting plays.

Tweet Of The Game

Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary - War-on-Ice - HockeyStats - Natural Stat Trick

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