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Nashville Predators 3, Edmonton Oilers 2 (SO): Let The Human Rocketship Guide You Home

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SHE PACKED MY BAGS LAST NIGHT, PRE FLIGHT.... ZERO HOUR, 9 AM....

NHL: Nashville Predators at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Predators pulled out a shootout victory over the Edmonton Oilers after losing a late 2-1 lead in the 3rd period. Ryan Ellis and James Neal got the goals in the shootout and Pekka Rinne stopped both attempts by the Oilers. It was a roller coaster of a game from the Preds, who didn’t play great in the 1st, played great in the 2nd and most of the 3rd, then played terrible, somehow hung on in the 3-on-3 overtime, and then won the shootout easily.

Whew. What a night.

In the first period, the Predators and Oilers exchanged a few chances here and there, but no one was able to score. The Predators had about a minute of a 5-on-3 power play and couldn’t capitalize, but then Oilers wasted a power play opportunity of their own. The best chance of the period came from Mark Letestu, but Rinne made a huge pad save on the power play. After the first period, the Preds led in shots 12-8, but the Oilers led in even strength shot attempts 17-11. Call it a wash after 20 minutes.

In the 2nd, things got testy. About 5 minutes into the period, Matt Hendricks elbowed P.K. Subban in the head and things escalated. Cody McLeod fought Milan Lucic. Ryan Ellis and Patrick Maroon mixed it up. Anthony Bitetto fought a few Oilers. Lots of anger. There were also a couple goals. Viktor Arvidsson made an unbelievable play to get the Preds on board first. But then Pekka Rinne made a very believable play to allow the Oilers to score. The game was 1-1 after two periods.

The final frame was quite a roller coaster. The first half was a bit of a snoozer, as there were a lot of puck stoppages. But then Ryan Ellis, probably the Preds best defenseman right now, lofted home a shot on Cam Talbot that went in. Roller coaster = high. Then the Oilers took over, getting the Preds to take some bad penalties, and getting Milan Lucic to tie it up. Roller coaster = low. The Preds hung on to get the loser point, but things didn’t look great.

The overtime was TENSE, like in the way that getting brain surgery is TENSE. Somehow, the Preds did not get scored on like 12 times, mostly because of Pekka Rinne (he played great in this game, by the way). At this point, the roller coaster was burrowing into the earth, headed for the hot, magma core of the earth. But somehow the Preds got to the shootout, where Neal and Ellis got the win for the good guys.

I need to go breathe a few deep breaths.

Random Observations

  • P.K. Subban is back! He will be paired with Mattias Ekholm
  • It is amazing how much better Pekka Rinne looks when he is rested. Even if it’s just an extra day. He makes better decisions and looks quicker in his reactions. All of this goes back to the Preds finally having a solid backup (really a 1B, at this point) on the roster.
  • Craig Smith looks ready to play. As does Tony Bitetto.
  • Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen, on the other hand, look a bit off.
  • Well, Matt Hendricks just made everyone’s shit list. Blindsiding Subban in the head? With your elbow? In his first game back? Really?? Come on, man. That’s terrible.
  • HERE COME THE CAVALRY: Up first is Cody McLeod (of course). Now it’s Ryan Ellis. And Anthony Bitetto. And Mattias Ekholm. ALL THE PREDS ARE ANGRY.
  • The power play. Is terrible. It doesn’t score goals. I don’t know what else to say.
  • Preds have blown a 5-on-3 and a 4-on-3. That can’t be good.
  • While the Oilers were dominating the shot attempt game early, the Preds have battled back. They lead shot attempts 33-24 after 40 minutes, more than doubling up the Oilers in the 2nd period.
  • ARVIDDDSSSOONNNNNNNN wow wow he just made an incredible play. He fought off three guys, found the puck somehow, managed to get the puck to Joey, who got it to Forsberg, and then Arvy followed up and banged it in past Talbot. Only Arvidsson makes that play.
  • Omg. Rinne, what r u doin.
  • Such a shame to watch an incredible individual effort followed up by an incredible brain fart.
  • There have been about 50 stoppages in this 3rd period. #exaggeration
  • RYAN ELLIS! THE HUMAN ROCKETSHIP DELIVERS AGAIN!!!
  • What. Are. We. Doing.
  • Austin Watson, that is a terrible penalty my friend. Sit down and don’t do that again.
  • Of course, Lucic ties it.
  • MY GOD. THIS OVERTIME IS NUTS. AS IN, WHY AREN’T WE ALLOWED TO HAVE THE PUCK AT ALL AND WHY HAVEN’T THE OILERS SCORED
  • Shootout: Letestu, stopped! Ellis, YESSSS. Maroon, STOPPED! Neal, SMOOTH AS ICE ON A FEBRUARY MORNING, YES SIR
  • Preds win!

OTF’s Super Duper Three Stars of the Game

  1. Ryan Ellis: This man is playing lights out. Unbelievable defense, fantastic offense, and CLUTCH.
  2. Pekka Rinne: Man, what a game. First of all, he DID make a terrible play to allow the 1st goal. But beside that? Gold. He stopped 30 of 32 shots and 8 of those were in the overtime period. My goodness.
  3. Mike Fisher: this guy won 23 faceoffs in this game. 23! He was also hitting folks, blocking shots, and leading his team like a machine out there. Fun to watch this old guy work.

Tweets of the Night

Game Extras

Game Video