The Nashville Predators hosted the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday night in one of the most anticipated regular season games ever inside Bridgestone Arena. The return of Alexander Radulov. Oh, and a guy named Shea Weber.
The emotional return of Weber was met with rousing applause at every opportunity by the home crowd. The tribute video for the former captain exceeded expectations and created chills for most in attendance.
There was also a hockey game to be played. Pekka stood tall in the first period with Montreal creating the majority of chances that included a couple of breakaways.
Nashville struggled to find a rhythm on offense, but were able to escape the period without conceding a goal. A nice accomplishment for a team who has struggled at the start of a lot of games lately.
The goalies were the story for much of the second period. While there wasn’t a huge quantity of chances, the quality of them was very high. Kevin Fiala was able to beat Carey Price late in the second period with a nice backhand that was helped by a deflection.
The second frame ended with a pile-up in Pekka’s crease that saw Matt Irwin save a goal with a swiping left hand.
As fate would it, Weber would score on a point shot after an assist from no other than Radulov to tie the game early on in the third period. Overtime would come calling for the Predators once again. Could they finally break through?
That would be a no as Montreal controlled the play in the 3-on-3 session and finally put one past Rinne. After a string of good performances without a win in overtime, this was a step back.
The Predators will begin their tough January road schedule Thursday night in Tampa Bay.
- You expected the tribute video to be great, but man that was awesome.
- Didn’t expect that strong of showing on Radulov boos
- It took quite a few minutes to start focusing on the actual hockey game.
- A Weber bomb from the opposing side. Very strange.
- Carey Price is still good at hockey in case you were wondering
- Granberg commits too many penalties.
- Ryan Ellis must have taught Matt Irwin how to save goals.
- Shea Weber scores on a pass from Alexander Radulov. Not a typo.
- There’s nothing left to say about overtime.
- Rinne finishes with 41 saves in a loss. Reminder: it is not 2011.
OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Pekka Rinne- He didn’t want to disappoint in his buddy Shea Weber’s return. Excellent saves all night.
- Kevin Fiala- After a rough first period, he came back to open up the scoring in the second. Anytime you get a puck past Carey Price, it deserves some credit.
- Matt Irwin- He had an incredible save that stopped a sure goal for the Canadiens at the end of the second.
Tweets of the Night
The Preds haven't won a Cup, but every year I'm so impressed with the organization & hockey's impact in Nashville. Glad they're in the NHL.— Adam Proteau (@Proteautype) January 4, 2017
Rinne chose to use the force to snare that Radulov attempt.— Chris Harris (@ChrisHarrisWSMV) January 4, 2017
(no eyes) pic.twitter.com/ZATtYmwFoJ
The entire NHL can learn something from the in-game entertainment in Nashville. Just outstanding.— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) January 4, 2017