The Predators overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat the Avalanche 3-2 in a feisty afternoon game at the Pepsi Center. Despite more (yes, more) injury concerns in this game, the Preds were able to scrape together a nice road win with some replacement players.
The Preds had a couple shaky moments in the 1st period. First, Gabriel Landeskog scored a strange goal from the corner to put the Avs up 1-0. The puck bounced in off Rinne’s skate, but that’s hockey, I guess. Then, a few minutes later, Filip Forsberg was taken down hard by Nikita Zadorov. Forsberg was definitely limping on his way back to the bench, but returned for a shift later in the period. The 1st period would end with the Avs leading 1-0.
In the 2nd period, Francois Beauchemin gave the Avs their second goal of the game with a blast from the blueline. It was looking like the Preds were ready to pack it in for a while, but then brand new Predator and former Av Cody McLeod got the Preds on the board with a nice deflection in front. It was a pretty crazy momen. Earlier in the period, McLeod had a dust up with former teammate Jarome Iginla. Then McLeod goes out and scores a goal. He looked pretty pumped, and quite frankly, so did some of the home crowd.
The craziness continued from there. Viktor Arvidsson was checked dangerously into the boards (he left briefly, but returned to play later in the period) by Rene Bourque, who was ejected from the game. Unable to capitalize on the ensuing penalty, the Preds did indeed tie the game when Mike Fisher on a breakaway backhanded a nice goal by Avs goalie Semyon Varlamov. It was 2-2 at that point and things seemed to be tilting in favor of Nashville.
Things would stay that way. With about 12 minutes to go in the 3rd, Filip Forsberg ripped his 11th goal of the year right off the face-off, to the left of Varlamov. It was an incredibly quick release and I’m not sure Varlamov (or any other Av) saw it. Not only did it give the Preds a 3-2 lead, but it kept Forsberg’s hot streak alive.
The Preds and Pekka Rinne shut the door the rest of the way in the 3rd period. Rinne made 10 of his 28 saves in the 3rd period and the Preds stood strong to hold off the Avs.
Yes, the Avs are not a good hockey team, but they did have a 2-0 lead in this. The Preds, who are missing a lot of their better talent, were able to dig down and pull out a win.
Great start to the road trip!
OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Cody McLeod: Give him a lot of credit in this one. It can’t be easy to switch teams in a 24 hour period and then make an immediate impact against the team you just switched from. He went out there and did his job on the 4th line, even getting himself a goal in the process. The fight was meh, and I would imagine his advanced stats are butt, but who cares. Give it to him.
- Mike Fisher: That backhander was a beauty. We have not talked enough about Fisher’s play this season. We’ll fix that. He finished with one goal on one shot in 18:47.
- Pekka Rinne: The Beauchemin goal wasn’t great, but he buckled down in the 2nd half of this game to keep the game manageable. Allowing two goals in a game is just fine. Stopped 28 shots today.