The Nashville Predators fought through a nauseating two periods with the Florida Panthers before finally coming to life in the 3rd period and beating them in a shootout. I would say this game was an instant classic, but for two periods, it wasn't. Thanks to Seth Jones and #PrinceFilip, the Preds can leave Florida with a win and never come back. Tomas Fleischmann and Aaron Ekblad scored for Florida.
This game was not without bad news, as Mattias Ekholm had to leave with an upper body injury. But the way this team fought back, the way Carter Hutton played in goal, the way Filip Forsberg continues to shine... it's sure something.
Now I must go pick up all the TV and radio remotes I threw across the room when Forsberg tied up the game. "Siri: where's the nearest Radio Shack?"
- Panthers had the first two scoring chances, both on loose rebounds around Carter Hutton. Preds lines are somewhat shuffled around with Olli Jokinen in for Colin Wilson. A lot of 3rd and 4th line action early...
- Joker in the box for 2 minutes is not the worst thing to happen in this game so far.
- Ser Gerard Gallant: a knight sworn to House Tyrell or the Florida Panthers head coach?
- With the shots at 11-9 Panthers and the Preds looking a bit sluggish, give the first 20 minutes to Florida. Forsberg had the best chance for the Preds but Luongo stood tall and Brandon Pirri blocked the second chance on the goal line. Luongo also had nice stops on Gaustad and Beck as the period closed.
- This game is considerably different in pace and atmosphere from the Preds last two games. You have to wonder if the energy tank is on "E" a bit for the Preds, but with the game still scoreless, there is no reason they can't leave Florida with a win. And I'm not sure anyone in Florida would notice.
- The Preds, sufficiently bored with this game, spice things up by giving up a goal. A careless defensive turnover comes right to Tomas Fleischmann, who ripped the puck high glove side by Hutton. Give Cullen the assist on that one, that was a bad turnover.
- Panthers score again. This time Bartley took an unnecessary chance stepping up to the puck in the defensive zone, allowing an odd man rush. With a delayed penalty coming (Seth Jones did a bad thing), Ekblad scores on a rebound chance in front of Hutton. The Panthers simply had more bodies crashing the net than the Preds, who were late coming back.
- Now Ekholm is headed to the locker room after taking an aggressive hit. Boy, we don't need that.
- Where's the counter punch? Where's the mean streak? Where's the creativity? More importantly, where's that energy and grit we saw late in the Rangers and Ducks games?
- FINALLY, the Preds are on the board. Seth Jones scores from the blue line on the power-play. Could that be the spark? New life, new confidence with 15 minutes left in the 3rd period.
- The turnovers. My God, the turnovers.
- Hutton with a huge save on Jussi Jokinen. A goal looked certain, but Hutt moved over quickly for a couple of penalty-kill saving stops.
- UN-FIL-IEVABLE! Forsberg ties the game on the power-play!! Crazy play as Josi's shot deflected off of Preds and Panthers alike, before falling to #PrinceFilip in the left circle. He ripped it over Bobby Lou's right shoulder. TIE GAME.
- Overtime: both sides had plenty of chances, but the best was a 3-on-1 with Ribeiro leading the way. The eventual shot (I think by Smith?) went high. These 5 minute 4v4 periods are always must watch hockey, this was no exception.
- Shootout time: Pirri-miss, Cullen-scores! (so THAT'S why Lavy goes with him), Boyes-scores (snuck through, Hutton had it), Smith-scores! (deke to backhand), Bjugstad-scores (ugh, Hutton had it again), Josi-lost the puck. Bolland-stopped! (Hutton got THAT one), Forsberg-MYYYYYY OOOOOOHHHHH MYYYYYY HE SCORES, WE WIN, WHAT A GAME FORSBERG!
OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Filip Forsberg: the #PrinceFilip legend continues. 1 goal, 1 shootout goal, 4 shots. Now all he has to do is make it out of Florida in one piece.
- Seth Jones: power-play goal and now has a 4 game point streak. He got the comeback started.
- Carter Hutton: 34 saves for Hutt, with some huge ones in the 3rd period and OT.
Tweets Of The Day
Stu: "How did that stay out?!" Universe: "it was Nystrom and Gaustad."— carter mutton (@Predalytics) February 8, 2015
Roll the video highlights...