This was not a pretty win.
It was the exact opposite of the St. Louis Blues game to start the homestand. Instead of breaking the shot counter and coming away with a loss, the Nashville Predators got shelled by the Anaheim Ducks and somehow won the game. Hockey is weird.
Shea Weber opened the scoring with another power play goal, but Rickard Rakell tied up the game on a nifty wraparound goal. James Neal somehow scored on a shot from the Pedigree logo and Miikka Salomaki deflected in a puck with such deft hands that even Luke Skywalker would be jealous. His goal spelled the end for Frederick Andersen,
Then, the Ducks cranked their offensive attempts from ridiculous to ludicrous. For the last half of the game, Nashville barely had the puck. Thanks to Pekka Rinne and a little bit of luck, this game ended in favor of the good guys.
- Teeter-totter action to start the game. The Preds swarmed Andersen in the Ducks zone for several minutes, before Anaheim turned the tables and started pumping shots at Rinne. The Ducks finished the frame with the edge in shot attempts (18-10) although Nashville was up 2-1 where it really counted.
- Welp, looks like Nashville is going to pick up right where they left off against Winnipeg. Unnecessary scrums, fights, penalties and all that crap to start the game. For whatever reason Mike Fisher and Kevin Bieksa droppped th... OH MY GOD DID YOU SEE THAT TOOTH COME OUT?! A total of 22 minutes of PIMs were dealt in the first period alone. Enough of this, guys.
- Good news, everyone! Shea Weber scored with a Weber bomb on the power play. That increases his goal total to six on the year, and makes him the sixth Predator to reach double-digit points this year. (666?) With that tally, Roman Josi notched his 100th assist of his career, making him the second-fastest Pred defenseman to do so.
- There are reasons why coaches say that it's never a bad idea to throw the puck on goal. (There are bad times to do that, but I digress.) Neal threw a puck at Anderson from the neutral zone and it somehow phased through Andersen to break the tie and put Nashville up 2-1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- So happy that Salomaki finally got on the board. That was a hell of a deflection, one that's appreciated even more in slow motion. That goal ended Frederick Andersen's night with a sad .700 Sv%.
- Despite the score, Anaheim is pushing much harder than the Preds are. Nashville has gotten some lucky bounces here and there, but by the end of two period the Ducks were leading in shot attempts 48-28. That was even with two fewer power plays. This isn't score effect, either. The Ducks have been doing this all game.
- It was just a matter of time. Mike Santorelli brought the Ducks within a goal after an extended several shifts in Nashville's defensive zone. Anaheim spent most of the third period up to that point in front of Pekka Rinne, and he did everything he could to try and keep the score where it was. No dice. In fact, since the start of the second, Nashville was outshot 23-9.
Third Period Summary
Usually, that's not the type of game you like to see. However, Nashville hasn't been outplayed by an opponent and won since the early days of the season. Chalk it up to whatever you like, those are going to happen sometimes, and we haven't seen it become a pattern.
With the team off until Friday, the coaching staff is likely going to take a look at what went wrong and maybe press the players in practice a little harder. Either way, that's two points in the bank.
OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Pekka Rinne: If not for him, this would have been a bad loss.
- Miikka Salomaki: :lightsaber whoosh noises.
- Kevin Bieksa's Tooth: Some say it is still flying through the air. Godspeed, wherever you are.
Was the Smashville App Correct?
All I could see on the front page today were photos of Brooks, Thomas, Lindsay and Coach. None of them scored a goal, so I'm going to say it was not.
Roll the video highlights...