The Preds started strong in this one with two goals in the opening period by Craig Smith and Filip Forsberg. The home team generated quality chances with a great forecheck and smart offensive play by the defensive crew. The Bruins had their heads spinning a bit. Boston would counter with some great chances of their own in the 2nd and 3rd periods, but the Preds held the two goal lead with the help of Rinne in net.
The Preds maintained enough possession to prevent the Bruins from gaining much momentum throughout the game. The Bruins would eventually out-shoot the Preds 29-24, but Boston didn't have many high quality chances when the game was on the line. The Predators defense was much more consistent in front of their top goaltender, which was nice to see.
But you have to feel great about the play by Pekka Rinne tonight. A fine, fine performance. He needed it, the team needed it, the fans needed to see it.
On to the observations...
- Hecckkkk of a first shift by the 2nd line. Forsberg, Ribs & Smith down low, Weber & Josi on the blue line, absolutely dominating the puck on the boards and peppering Rask. Craig Smith finally pounces on a rebound and puts it home for an early 1-0 lead. Awesome start.
- Johansen almost converts a 2-on-1. His pass option was Jarnrkrok and it would have been a tough one to make... he elects to deke and nearly stuffs it home on Rask's near side. He can't get it to go and it remains 1-0. The Preds are essentially dominating play early on. It feels a lot like the Tampa Bay game a week ago, hopefully with a different result though.
- I really like Arvidsson's "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality. Shades of Patric Hornqvist circa 2009-2011.
- Forsberg en fuego! Seis goles en sus últimos seis juegos!
- The Predators are not generating as much pressure in the 2nd period, but have still been able to keep the Bruins honest. You don't want them to sit back too much, but you also don't want the defense to commit to the offensive zone too deeply. So I'm ok with it for now. Just rely on your forwards to work the boards enough to keep the Bruins on their heels a little bit. Chances will come, just need to bury them.
- Pekka finishes off a solid 40 minutes of hockey with a dandy of a save on David Pastrnak. Still 20 minutes to go...
- Wha? Out of frustration, Craig Smith breaks his stick on a missed shot and gets an unsportsmanlike penalty. I don't think I've ever seen that before. The stick didn't come close to another player or anything... just an odd play and an odd call.
- Rinne has controlled his rebounds tonight. Not many second chances for the Bruins.
- Can a penalty-kill be on a hot streak? If so, this Preds PK definitely is. Looking so much better than a month ago.
- Starting to turtle-shell a little bit here... not great to see. A late power-play by the Bruins and things just intensified.
- PEKKA! PEKKA! PEKKA! Home crowd giving #35 some love. Awesome win.
OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Pekka Rinne: NICE WIN BIG GUY, NOW KEEP IT GOING
- Filip Forsberg: 1g, 1a on the night and Fil is on fire. Make way for the #Prince
- Mike Ribeiro: 2 assists. He was dishing some sick sauce this evening.
Tweets of the Night
Craig Smith realllllly tried to shoot that over the crossbar— J.R. Lind (@jrlind) February 19, 2016
What do you think Tim Thomas is doing right now? Other than voting for Donald Trump, obviously.— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) February 19, 2016
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