The Nashville Predators were victorious over the Colorado Avalanche in a 5-2 afternoon clash. Both teams stuck with what they do best: the Avalanche with their speed and counter-attacking game and the Preds with their possession-minded game. But both teams also brought the boom-sticks in what was also a very, very physical game.
After the Preds missed some early power-play opportunities, the Avs scored first, despite not getting a lot of chances early. Blake Comeau put a rebound home and the Avs would lead 1-0 for the first half of the game. Filip Forsberg tied the game up late in the 2nd period, but Gabriel Landeskog would put the Avs up 2-1 even later in the 2nd. Going into the 3rd, despite the 2-1 Avs lead, it felt like anyone's game.
And yet it wasn't. The Preds dominated the final frame. First, the top line for the Preds finally got on the scoreboard. James Neal put home a rebound after Ryan Johansen rushed from end to end with the puck, drawing all sorts of attention. Soon after, Mike Fisher put the Preds on top with another rebound goal in front. Shea Weber and Miikka Salomaki would then get two empty-netters to pad the lead.
Pekka Rinne made some solid saves in this one, finishing with 34 saves for the game. Calvin Pickard also played well, stopping 35 of 38 Predators shots.
And the points streak continues: 12 straight games (8-0-4). YEAH BUDDY.
- The Predators are starting the game right, flooding the Avs zone with pressure and shots. Plenty of great chances, including on their first power-play, where they got 7 shots.
- Avs get on the board first. Blake Comeau bangs home a rebound right in front of Rinne. He had good position in front of Bitetto and was able to find the puck despite the pressure from Two-Bit.
- Even Forsberg's shots off the post make the most beautiful sound in the world.
- Austin Watson vs. Jarome Iginla: let's all buy Watson a beer for putting 608 career NHL goals in the box for 5 minutes.
- The Preds desperately need their top line to get on the score-sheet. Not just because it's a 1-0 game, but because they need that group to gel again. Johansen and Neal don't have the same chemistry they did a few weeks ago. Jarnkrok brings energy, but is that enough?
- Forsberg is just getting it done, fool. He ties it up on a rather non-Forsberg-like play, just cleaning up a rebound in the blue ice. More great play from the 2nd line. NOW THE 1ST LINE PLEASE.
- With traffic in front, Landeskog puts the Avs back on top. Nathan Mackinnon's speed created some room on the left side, allowing Landeskog to lay into a shot that Rinne couldn't catch. Boo.
- JAMES NEAL! "First line, reporting for duty, sir!" Nealer follows up a great rush by Ryan Johansen and ties up the game. Huge start to this 3rd period.
- What a 3rd period so far: the Preds are continuing the put the pressure on and are finally getting the goals to come. Mike Fisher puts the good guys up 3-2 after finding a loose rebound in front of Pickard.
- "I'm sorry Mr. Duchene. This route is obstructed. Please find another route."
- Avalanche are playing with some intense desperation. These final 5 minutes are going to be tough.
- Omg. Empty net. Watson. Forsberg. Weber. SLAPPER. EMPTY NET. GOAL.
- Eh. Those final 5 minutes weren't so tough, I guess.
OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game
- James Neal: Not as beautiful as some of his other goals, but a big one nonetheless. Also had a team-leading 5 shots.
- Filip Forsberg: Hit the post early on, but found the net late in the 2nd. He has 28 goals on the season and continues to be the most funnest player on this team.
- Pekka Rinne: Yes, he still needs more rest than he is getting, but this was a nice bounce back game from Thursday. Made some great saves in the first two periods when the game could have gotten away from the Preds.
Tweets of the Day
Filip Forsberg is a god— Nick Hankins (@nbhco) March 5, 2016
Neal with the goal! #Preds pic.twitter.com/NqzIJpfuWU— JONAHSTOREY74 (@JONAHSTOREY74) March 5, 2016
Craig Smith could have 70 goals this year. Could have.— Kristopher Martel (@kmartel_sports) March 5, 2016
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