The Predators pulled out a gutsy, come-from-behind win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night. Down 2-0 early, the Preds looked outmatched. But they put on their big boy pants and scored three goals in the 3rd period to take two points on the road.
Things did not start out great for the Preds. Mikael Granlund scored for Minnesota just over two minutes into the game, followed up a few minutes later by Jason Pominville. The good news is that it didn’t get much worse on the scoresheet—the Preds can thank Pekka Rinne for that. If not for his play in the 1st, it could have been 4-0 or 5-0 at the 1st intermission. The Preds did not play well at all, except for their goaltender.
Nashville found their legs early in the 2nd, however. James Neal got the Preds on the board a little over two minutes into the 2nd period with his 16th goal of the year. The goal seemed to energize the team, who went on the attack for much of the period. There were also several penalties, including the dreaded embellishment-with-accompanying-physical-foul call midway through the period (which continues to be the dumbest thing in hockey). Somehow the Preds held the Wild to only four shots in the 2nd, and the Preds led in shots 20-14 after 40 minutes.
Also in the 2nd period, P.K. Subban looked hobbled after a play in the Wild offensive zone. He was limping towards the bench, but did not leave the game. He played the rest of the game, so that’s good.
In the 3rd, the Preds continued their strong stretch of play and eventually scored three goals to boot. Filip Forsberg tied things up after another nifty play by Viktor Arvidsson to get a shot on Darcy Kuemper. Forsberg’s backhander came at the right time, when Kuemper was way out of the net. Just over 10 minutes later, Forsberg scored again, after an incredible shift by the top line. His sharp angle laser beat Kuemper and the Preds led it 3-2. In the dwindling minutes, with the goalie pulled, Ryan Johansen called bank and sent one off the glass and into the net from about 100 feet away. It was one of the craziest empty net goals you’ll ever see.
This was as big of a road win as you’ll see from this team. They went into Minnesota, leader of the Central Division and probably the best team in the Western Conference, found themselves down 2-0, and still found a way to get a win.
Huge, boys. Huge.
OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Filip Forsberg: Two tremendous goals just when the Preds needed them. Filip is playing out of his mind right now.
- Ryan Johansen: Three points on the night, including that absurd length of the ice bank shot. Joey gets extra points for style, tonight.
- Pekka Rinne: After that 2nd goal allowed, you thought it might be an early shower for Pekka. It was anything but. He played phenomenally in the 2nd and 3rd periods. A win doesn’t happen without his play.
Tweets of the Night
James Neal just said on @1025TheGame he knew he was getting the puck back on his goal because he knows "[Ribeiro] is not going to shoot it."— Robby Stanley (@RStanleyNHL) January 23, 2017
This dude’s dab needs some work. pic.twitter.com/5Cm0rKlCYy— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) January 23, 2017