The Nashville Predators started their three-game Eastern Conference road trip by paying their final respects to Nassau Coliseum. A night with the New York Islanders seemed like a fantastic affair, given the way both teams have been playing this year. It would have been one heckuva statement to get their seventh-straight win against another surprise success story.
Alas, it wasn't meant to happen. The Islanders roared to a 3-0 lead in the first period. Though Nashville whittled away little by little, New York blew the doors open in the third period. The Predators were outworks through most of the game, and Rinne seemed like he was fighting the puck more often than not.
Isles take this one by three goals.
- Great start! It took only a minute for the Isle to pierce Pekka Rinne, as Brian Strait fired one in on the rush. If that wasn't enough, another defenseman decided that looked like too much fun and he'd give it a try. Johnny Boychuk notched his sixth of the year from the point. 10 minutes into the game, the Preds found themselves in a 2-0 hole.
- On the 15th shot on goal, Boychuk, Nick Leddy, and Michael Grabner all had two-point nights in the first period. John Tavares scored on the power play to push the Isles' lead to 3-0. Oh boy.
- And there it is. Ladies and non-ladies, Filip Forsberg is a 20 goal scorer. He made sure the Preds went into the locker room with some momentum in their pocket, and also notched a personal milestone for himself. He is the best.
- Also, it looks like Peter Laviolette's line combo switch-up extravaganza took a little bit of a hit tonight. Forsberg found himself skating with Craig Smith and Mike Fisher, while Matt Cullen moved down to the third line. Man, Mike Santorelli can't get here soon enough. I hope he doesn't suck eggs.
- Eric Nystrom leveled Mikhail Grabovski in the first period on a totally legal hit. While Nystrom may have gotten a bit of Grabo's head, the principle point of contact was definitely on the body. It looked like Grabo may have also hit his head on the ice when he went down. You never want to see that, especially with his history of concussions. All the best to him.
- Let's be honest... that Daniel Bryan "Yes!" chant the Coliseum belts after every goal is so, so great. I didn't even mind hearing it a thousand times. If the fans that are staying on Long Island next year want to be honorary Preds fans and teach Bridgestone Arena simple, effective, amusing, enjoyable, and organic chants, that would be much appreciated.
- Not only is New York a fast team, but they were jumping on all the loose pucks. Nashville was having a really hard time finding any space to skate for the first half of the game. They found away to adjust, though. Just check out the next bullet....
- What was prettier: Mike Ribeiro's pass to a wide open James Neal, or that one-timer? The answer is yes. Neal's 21st of the season was his 4th in his last 5 games, and he again paces the team.
- Rarely has Forsberg done anything this year that makes him look like a rookie. However, during the third period he sent a blind pass up the boards in his own zone. Welp, turns out that can lead to turnovers. Colin McDonald and Matt Martin got the puck out of their zone and into the Preds, and Nick Leddy made it 4-2.
- 5-2. Bleh. I give up.
Not the best way to start a road trip, but the Islanders are good.They found a way to throw the Preds off their game just enough to capitalize on the chances they were given. There will be time for revenge in just a couple of short weeks, but for now the Predators turn their sights elsewhere. All good things must come to an end, and Nashville's winning streak stops at six. They can start a new one against Philadelphia and Buffalo this weekend, which are both supremely winnable games.
OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Nick Leddy - Three points in the game.
- The fans in Nassau Coliseum - I'm not a fan of the Islanders (or New York teams in general) but I've enjoyed watching their antics throughout the season.
- Filip Forsberg - Yeah.
Tweets of the Game
Before we get carried away with the Forsberg celly, let’s never forget this happened: https://t.co/XUEQJN74aB— Thomas Willis (@TomAWillis) February 20, 2015
A Leddy goal against Nashville kind of triggers every feeling.— The Committed Indian (@RealFansProgram) February 20, 2015
did locker room cancers cody franson and mike santorelli destroy the preds chemistry— J.R. Lind (@jrlind) February 20, 2015
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