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Nashville Predators 5, Tampa Bay Lightning 4 (SO): James Neal Powers Preds Again

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Nashville outlasted Tampa in a barn burner tonight at Bridgestone Arena.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

We had an exciting game on our hands tonight as the Nashville Predators hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning. This game had everything you could want from a hockey game. A fast pace of play, good saves, and some great back and forth play. Not to mention an insane second period that included five goals scored.

Mike Fisher started the scoring late in the first period to get the Predators on the board first. The lead didn't last too long though as Steven Stamkos scored on the power play to tie it up for the Lightning. Nikita Kucherov scored again in the second period to give the Bolts a 2-1 lead. That lead didn't last too long as Shea Weber tied the game at 2-2 with a rocket of a shot. The second period wasn't done though, as Ryan Callahan scored to break the tie late in the period. James Neal tied it back up right before the end of the second. Erik Condra gave the Lightning the lead again early in the third period. Nashville pulled it back even with Neal's second goal of the game.

In the end, Nashville came out with the win in a shootout. Everyone can breathe easy now!

Random Observations

  • Man, James Neal and Filip Forsberg are playing on another level right now. Right out the gate and they were getting some solid chances. Neal looks like he wants to score every time, all the time.
  • On a side note, the navy helmets are a lot more visually pleasing to watch than those bright gold ones.
  • Holy Rinne! He's back at it again this season guys. If Carter Hutton can have more games like he did on Saturday, and give Rinne some rest, it could be a long season for opponents.
  • Tampa is one of those teams, for me at least, that just scare you when they go on the powerplay. You almost question it when they don't score. I mean, just take Stamkos' goal with the man advantage. He shot it from an impossible angle and it went in.
  • Fisher scored the first goal of the game, so you know what that means (scroll down to the Smashville app section)!
  • Fun fact of the night. The Predators have scored first in all six games this season so far (Credit to Adam Vingan for this stat). Nashville's fast starts are always a good thing.
  • The third line for the Predators had some really good shifts in the second period. Cody Hodgson had, what we all thought, was a sure fire goal. But it was deflected just wide of the net. They had some solid sustained pressure, and really controlled the possession for a few particular shifts in the second.
  • Second periods are looking like they are going to be a problem period again this year. Their play in the second period of games last year ended up ending their season early. They have to fix that issue.
  • Surprisingly, that goal tonight was Weber's first of the season. I am hoping this opens up the flood gates for him.
  • That second period though. Five total goals were scored. I guess it's true when they say when it rains, it pours.
  • Neal is playing like a man on a mission this season.
  • Who wants some 3-on-3 hockey? This guy does!

OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • James Neal: 2 goals and an assist. This guy is in beast mode this year.
  • Shea Weber: He scored his first goal tonight, and it was much overdue
  • Filip Forsberg: The only guy to score in the shootout. How could I not put him here.

Was the Smashville App Correct?

Yes! They finally got one right. The app improved to 1-6 on the season.

Tweets Of The Night

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

Roll the video highlights...