The Predators went to North America's worst city to play North America's worst hockey team and got the win. Barely.
In a game that they absolutely dominated, the Predators needed a late 3rd period goal and another solid shootout effort to come away with 2 points over Buffalo. Tyler Ennis scored for the Sabres and Mike Ribeiro did so for the Predators. Michal Neuvirth was solid in net for the Sabres. Not many spectacular saves (the one on Santorelli was fantastic), but he cut down all the angles and rarely gave up a rebound. Carter Hutton wasn't too shabby either, though he had an easier night.
But in the end, the Predators can escape Buffalo without an embarrassing loss and the legend of Filip Forsberg, whose sick shootout goal clinched the game, has yet another chapter. Filip's 3rd game-winning shootout goal of the year.
- Very odd first period. Mattias Ekholm and Cody Franson got tied up on the blue-line (they checked each other off the puck, more like) which led to a 2-on-0 for the Sabres. They flubbed it. Tyler Ennis had a breakaway and sent the shot into Lake Ontario. Matt Cullen made a great pass... that Craig Smith was unable to turn into a goal. It ended scoreless, which is probably a win for Buffalo, because Nashville dominated shots and possession. And Stu Grimson talked about mandolins vs. violins.
- Seth Jones had to receive medical attention after getting checked into the boards, but he came back to play in the 1st. Ryyyyyannn buddy, where are you?
- It seems the Forsberg-Neal-Ribeiro line is back together. As many of you have pointed out: why did we stop doing that again?
- The Preds look like a team that was told to "just shoot the puck" about a million times since leaving Philly. Just trying to get things on frame at the moment. Not a ton of quality shots, but it's better than Saturday so far.
- Just like yesterday in OT, Mike Ribeiro had the puck wide open in front of the net and just like yesterday, he missed the net.
- Preds have got to find the kill shot on these power-plays. You don't need a stellar power-play to have playoff success, but you can't let these opportunities just slip by either. Against a team like the Sabres, who have the worst PK in the league, you need to score a PP goal or two. Just has to happen.
- Tyler Ennis gets the Sabres on the board with 14 seconds left in the 2nd period. Zemgus Girgensons drove down the left side and hesitated long enough to draw all the defensive attention and made a beautiful backhand pass to Ennis on the right side, who deked and scored on Hutton. The Sabres will take a 1-0 lead going into the 3rd. The Preds have outshot the Sabres 26-7 and have a 55-14 Corsi edge. I'm sorry... a 55-14 shot attempts edge. [shakes fist]
- "Paging Blake Geoffrion... Blake Geoffrion, you are needed at First Niagara Center."
- Carter Hutton with a gigantic save on Gionta! With the Preds throwing everything they had at the Sabres net, Gionta found himself breaking in on Hutton, who stayed with him all the way and stopped it with his right pad. He hasn't had much to do, but Hutt came up big there.
- GOAL! It's Ribs! He hit the net this time! Tie game and the Preds have new life.
- In overtime, the Preds seemed hesitant. Seemed like the Sabres controlled the puck for most of the 5 minutes. Stark contrast to regulation. Up until the 4-on-3 power-play, which was simultaneously exciting and disappointing.
- Shootout: Moulson-stopped!, Santorelli-scores! (welcome home, son), Ennis-slapper good god, Smith-stopped (Neuvirth poke check), Girgensons-stopped (left pad), Cullen-stopped... (I can't even). Extra shooters... Gionta-stopped, Cullen again-HAHA JK, FORSBERG SCORES, WE WINNNNNN
OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Carter Hutton: 16 saves. He didn't have to do much, but he made key saves to keep the Preds in this one, especially that big one on Gionta. Big stops in the shootout as well. Well done, Hutt!
- Neuvirth: 37 saves and he now has like a .956 save % against Nashville or something stupid. He was really the only reason Buffalo got a point.
- Mike Eruzione who scored to give the U.S. a 4-3 lead over the Soviets during the 1st period... 35 years ago. The U.S. would hang on to win the game and the Cold War.
Tweets of the Day
@OnTheForecheck Hey now you’re an All-Star.— Thomas Willis (@TomAWillis) February 23, 2015
Current Preds performance: U.S. Government— Smashvillian (@Smashvillian_) February 23, 2015
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