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Nashville Predators 3, Minnesota Wild 2: Crashing the Net Yields Success

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Nashville outlasted the Wild to win an important divisional game.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Nashville Predators took a huge two points from the Minnesota Wild, and ended a three-game losing streak. Filip Forsberg, Mike Ribeiro and James Neall all tallied for Nashville, and finally crowded the crease to score some nifty goals.

Random Observations

  • Getting bodies in front of the net has been a point of contention around here for months. What good are 1,000 shot attempts in a game if the goalie can see every one of them, you've asked. Someone finally relayed them the news. Both goals in the first period were deflections from someone crashing the crease. "I-65 at 4:30 in the afternoon," as Terry Crisp so eloquently put it.
  • Filip Forsberg opened the scoring just 46 seconds into the game on a point shot from Shea Weber. Great way to start the game, but it's not always how you start but how you finish.
  • Ryan Ellis got a little too clingy on Jason Zucker as he was breaking to the net, and the ref saw enough to award Zucker a penalty shot. Given Rinne's struggles and inconsistencies all year, there was a twinge of nervousness in the air. Zucker didn't wait around to let it linger, though, and charged at Rinne hoping to tie the game. No dice. The Big Guy made the save, bailed out Ellis, and kept Nashville's lead intact.
  • That turned out to be huge, because Minnesota started renting out space in the penalty box. Jared Spurgeon, Ryan Carter and Nino Niederreiter all took penalties within three minutes of each other. It resulted in two separate 5-on-3 advantages, and the Predators cashed in on one of them. Mike Ribeiro deflected another Shea Weber blast, and Nashville took a 2-0 lead into the dressing room.
  • Credit Laviolette, Housley, and presumably the players on the ice for making a necessary adjustment on the second 5-on-3. After too much passing and holding on the first one, two Predators were stationed right on top of the crease, while Josi, Weber and Forsberg opened up the play up top. Bodies in front. It works.
  • James Neal could hit a three meter thermal exhaust port at speed without using his targeting computer.
  • The Wild got called for another delay of game penalty. In reality, their entire style of play could be considered "delay of game," but referees can't whistle them just for being boring. Damn.
  • Minnesota got on the board in almost the exact same way Nashville did in the first period. Point shot from Marco Scandella deflected of Zach Parise and into the net. Womp.
  • Poor Colin Wilson. Had a breakaway opportunity against Devan Dubnyk and couldn't convert. At least Colton Sissons and Cody Hodgson missed a 2-0 breakaway opportunity later, so it wasn't the only glaring flub of the game.
  • Jason Zucker got some redemption and brought the Wild within one goal. Fortunately, that was as close as they would get. Preds win 3-2.

OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • Person Dressed Up as the Grinch - Blast that costume. It was joyful and triumphant.
  • Shea Weber - Two assists to add to his point total tonight.
  • James Neal - Hell of a snipe. Hell of a heel.

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

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