Power play goals were bursting out of every corner tonight, so it was only fitting the game was decided on one.
After Pekka Rinne took a very ill-advised delay of game penalty in overtime (by trying to cover the puck in between the faceoff circles), Adam Henrique scored his second goal of the game to send the New Jersey Devils home with two points.
The loss squandered a great performance by Craig Smith, Mike Ribeiro and Filip Forsberg, the latter of which gave the Nashville Predators a lead in the waning moments of the game. It was an electric snipe that looked like it was going to stretch Nashville's winning streak to six.
Alas, Henrique scored with less than a minute left and busted the bubble of everyone rooting for the gold sweaters.
- Congratulations are in order for Mike Fisher. 1,000 games is a tremendous accomplishment. It's hard to believe it's already been five years since he was acquired from the Ottawa Senators. It's even harder to believe that of all of those, only 325 have been in Nashville. He once was synonymous with the Senators, and even nowadays is still beloved there.
- Historically, games against the Devils are never particularly exciting and that didn't prove to be that much different early. However, eight minutes in John Moore was sent to the penalty box for roughing Calle Jarnkrok, and Craig Smith made sure he felt maximum shame. Smith is now four goals away from having another 20-goal season, and has five goals and 10 points in his last eight games with that marker. For spending much of the season ice cold, he's starting to remind us why David Poile signed him to that contract extension this summer.
- Probable variety of deli meat Kyle Palmieri knotted up the game with a power play goal of his own about seven minutes later. Palmieri first drew a high-sticking penalty on Roman Josi, then was in the perfect spot when Pekka Rinne kicked a rebound right to him.
- Before you could even settle back down and accept the tie game, Mike Ribeiro deflected a Josi shot from the point past Keith Kinkaid. It was... you guessed it, another power play goal. With his beautiful cross-body, backwards assist, Filip Forsberg showed he's straight in a groove in every aspect of his game.
- DO NOT ADJUST YOUR TELEVISION SETS. DO NOT CALL TECH SUPPORT BECAUSE SOMETHING IS WRONG. Paul Gaustad... yes, that Paul Gaustad found himself coasting down the slot all alone and deked the puck through the five-hole on a back hand. That sound you heard were minds being blown all around Nashville. That zone entry and ensuing rush to set that up by Austin Watson and Miikka Salomaki was the stuff of legends. Don't mind me, just drooling about how that may happen more and more next year.
- Devante Smith-Pelly has played for like twelve different teams over the past couple of years. Tonight was his first as a Devil, and he pounced on a puck that just got through Rinne and was rested in the crease. He snuck a stick under Rinne's pad and nudged it a few inches past the goal line. For some reason, Peter Laviolette decided to challenge the goal on ground of goaltender interference, even that wasn't even up for debate. As expected, the call stood and New Jersey found themselves behind by only a goal.
- Gotta give some credit to Sergey Kalinin, whom I am just hearing of tonight, for his secondary assist on that tally. The undrafted Russian is playing in just his seventh NHL game tonight on the Devils' second line, but I don't know enough about him to know how likely he is to stick around in the league. Either way, he rushed into the zone, executed a slick backwards pass off the boards straight to Jon Merrill who blasted the puck Smith-Pelly eventually hammered home. That's some incredible vision and creativity by the 24-year-old.
- After a whole lot of hockey white noise, Travis Zajac scored another power play goal to tied the game with half of the third period to go. Not a good night for the penalty killers on either side. Every penalty called tonight resulted in a power play goal.
- Geez, just turn off your TV, flip your remote and walk away. Filip Forsberg inched ever-closer to 30 goals and ignited Bridgestone Arena and the poor people at home that were falling asleep on the couch with the quickest of all strikes. What a wrist shot out of nowhere.
- Give Forsberg three points on the night, and Ribeiro and Smith two. That 2nd line is hotter than hot. Scorching. Burning. Fiery. It actually hurts to get close to.
- What a buzzkill. All the momentum gained from that goal was torn away when Adam Henrique was able to score in the final minute to tie the game. The Devils and Predators just didn't want this game to end, much to the chagrin of well... everyone.
- Stop me if you've heard this one before, the Predators were on the losing end of OT. Unfortunately, this one is probably going to fall on Rinne's shoulders. For some reason, he thought it was a good idea to try and cover the puck in the middle of the slot. Since that's no where near the crease, that's a delay of game penalty and you knew what was going to happen next. Disappointing to say the least.
OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Paul Gaustad: Scoring is notable. Scoring the way he did today? When was the last time that happened.
- Adam Henrique: Two goals, including the game tying and game winning ones? Yeah, can't ask for much more.
- Tall Hair Person next to Mike Fisher's Mom: You wish you could pull of hair like that.
Tweets of the Game
Hey, Paul Gaustad scored a goal. Everything is happening lately.— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) March 4, 2016
Puts Preds game on... Preds give up PPG... pic.twitter.com/WFAVIhB4wD— Admirals Roundtable (@adsroundtable) March 4, 2016