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Nashville Predators 2, Pittsburgh Penguins 4: Strong 2nd Period Carries Pens to Victory

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That 2nd period was no fun. No fun at all.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Predators started their final stretch run of the season with a 4-2 road loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins’ three goals in the 2nd period were enough to hold back a late push by the Preds, but the final score line suggests this was a closer game than it really was.

Things got off to an energetic start, with both teams peppering the offensive zone with shot attempts. The Preds would get on the board first on a rebound goal by Calle Jarnkrok, but the Penguins would tie things up a few minutes later on a goal by Chris Kunitz. Shots were 12-10 in favor of the Penguins after the first 20 minutes, but this game felt wide open.

It was anything but. The Penguins poured on the goals in the 2nd period and the Predators had absolutely no answer. After a goal from Trevor Daley and two by Patric Hornqvist, the Penguins were rolling. Up 4-1, the Preds had hardly managed a significant chance in the offensive end. Pekka Rinne looked helpless and played like it. It was pretty ugly.

The Preds tried their best to get back into the game in the 3rd period—Colin Wilson had a nice power play goal to cut the Penguins lead to two—but it was too late. The Penguins held on. Matt Murray’s 37 saves and the Penguins strong 2nd period were the difference in this one.

Tonight was a disappointing performance from a team that had looked great in their last 10 games. The Penguins are great at home, but you’d like to be in the game for longer than 20 minutes.

Next chance for points comes at home on Thursday against the Oilers.

Random Observations

  • Boy, these teams look ready to fly. Both sides looking fast right out of the gate. Penguins are getting more on net, but the Preds are really pushing play into the offensive zone.
  • Rinne has had to be sharp early. Nice stop on Crosby right in front.
  • Calle!!! Look at that! A rebound goal in front of the net. That Jarnkrok can do it all.
  • Solid, solid plays by both Matt Irwin and Colin Wilson to make that play happen.
  • The Penguins score after a fortunate bounce for the Pens sends the puck directly to Chris Kunitz in the slot. Rinne had no chance.
  • Great start to this one.
  • Well, maybe I spoke too soon. Just after the Preds do a great job killing off a penalty early in the 2nd, the Penguins score on a slap shot by Trevor Daley. 2-1 Pens and the Preds are looking rattled.
  • More rattling. Now Hornqvist gets a wraparound goal and the Preds are totally on their heels. Need to battle back. Get a 2nd wind. Something.
  • Hey there’s a 2nd... goal from Hornqvist. Sheesh. This one looks unreachable at this point.
  • What happened to that frenetic, aggressive start?
  • Rinne isn’t having a good night overall, though he did have a good first period.
  • The 3rd period was a bit better, but not enough to make up for that 2nd period.
  • Colin Wilson with a power play goal. Whoopee.
  • Sigh.
  • Note: Cody McLeod having 8 hits in a game is not a good thing. It means the Preds didn’t have the puck a lot and needed Cody McLeod to be the one to go get it.

OTF Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Calle Jarnrkrok: nice garbage goal in front. Jarny just continues to do whatever the coaching staff asks him to do. Two points on the night.
  2. Colin Wilson: he scored and got an assist. That’s cool.
  3. Ehhh, two stars is good enough for tonight.

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