The Flames out-shot the Predators 27-24, pressuring the Nashville defense and challenging the Preds' slim lead for most of the game. At times the Flames looked like the better team, but they struggled with bad penalties and turnovers. On that note, the Predators special teams were on point tonight. Nashville notched a power-play goal in the 2nd and their penalty-kill went 4 for 4. The Predators didn't play terrible, but they did look exhausted. Yet they held off a furious Flames rally and found a way to win, mostly on the back of Carter Hutton.
Hutton played fantastic, collecting 26 saves. The Flames were inconsistent in their shot generation, but at times they were launching some dangerous shots and Hutton was right there to meet them. Especially late in the game. He came up with some highlight reel saves when it mattered most.
Mike Ribeiro and Shea Weber scored for the Predators, while Mark Giordano scored for the Flames.
The Preds go into the All-Star break with some great momentum and all the good feelings.
- Mike Ribeiro gets a nice feed from Craig Smith and the Preds are up 1-0! I like it when this team buries chances, especially early in the game. They had some earlier chances that went just wide, nice to see that trend didn't last too long.
- This game was all Preds through the first 8-9 minutes. The Flames didn't get a shot on goal until 11 minutes left in the 1st.
- Craig Smith made that first goal happen, bursting through the neutral zone with speed and then feeding a crisp pass to Ribeiro in the middle of the ice. As Stu pointed out on the broadcast, Smith has had another gear over the last month or so. Definitely faster and smarter than he was in the first half of the season.
- Preds momentum is waning here in the 2nd. Not generating any chances at all, let along buring them. They finally get a power-play and muster their first shot of the 2nd midway through the period.
- Um, what? Dennis Wideman just sucker-checked the referee, right? How is that anything but a dirty blindside hit on a defenseless ref? And it happened right after a non-call involving Wideman. Did that really just happen? Take a look for yourself.
- Captain Weber! Boom!! Glorious passing by Johansen and Josi finds Weber in the sweet spot on the right circle. He drills it high past Ramo's glove side. 2-0!!
- Ok, so since the weird Wideman play, the Flames have been called for 2 penalties in 5 minutes. Hmmmmmm. Paging the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department...
- Preds clearly in turtle mode already in the 3rd period. On cue, Giordano takes advantage of extended time in the Nashville zone and puts the Flames on the board. Hutton had bailed the Preds out a few times in the period (and the game), but he can't track the puck that time as it deflected in front. Tough play there. Here we gooooooo
- With the Flames bearing down, some young guys are stepping up and creating some chances. Fiala, Watson, Jarnkrok, Salomaki... all with great shifts to get some momentum back. Needed that. With about 8 minutes to play, it does not look like this game will end 2-1.
- WOW. Hutton with some huge saves late. And the defense with some "all or nothing" plays to prevent scoring opportunities. Really stretched thin right now. About a minute to go in this one...
- AND ONE MORE. Absolutely incredible. Carter Hutton stopped Hudler on the doorstep. Unbelievable.
- WHY ARE THERE STILL SECONDS ON THE CLOCK
- Game. Over. What a great win. 4th straight. And at the end of a back-to-back, no less.
OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Carter Hutton: heck yeah Carter. 26 saves and some more footage for the highlight reel.
- Shea Weber: just another solid night and added a power-play slapper. To the All-Star game!
- Craig Smith: Great speed tonight. He's a different player these days.
Tweets of the Night
PK on fleek. Also, what is fleek? #preds— Frank The Turtle (@LavysTurtle) January 28, 2016
Hey #Preds, in case u werent paying attention u can probably board Wideman the rest of the night for free— Abe Jewgoda (@hairmetalhenry) January 28, 2016
It's never easy.— Gnash (@Gnash00) January 28, 2016
Roll the video highlights...