The Predators managed to pull out the win despite some ill-timed penalties and unfortunate third period turtling, but the team and Pekka Rinne got it done when it mattered.
The game started with a familiar feeling: with the JOFA line dominating, the Preds took the lead! Filip Forsberg put one past Anton Forsberg just over three minutes into the game after a nice shift from the top line. But then, after Pekka Rinne made two great saves on Patrick Kane, Tommy Wingels deflected home an Alex DeBrincat pass to make it 1-1 after Tony Bitetto got beat out for an icing.
Things settled down the rest of the opening frame, but there were still plenty of chances. The Kane line pushed the pace at one end, the JOFA line pushed it at the other. The Hawks were getting more shots on net, though, and led shots 14-7 after 20 minutes.
The Preds regained the lead in the 2nd period after Austin Watson deflected Matt Irwin’s shot into the net. The 4th line and the 3rd pairing—that old reliable combination! Joel Quenneville challenged for goalie interference, but the goal was upheld. The Preds continued to rain fire onto the Chicago net early in the 2nd, looking much more organized than in the 1st. The Hawks answered with some sustained pressure of their own, but couldn’t get anything by Rinne.
The Preds took a 2-1 lead into the 3rd period, but weren’t done scoring. Roman Josi put the home team up 3-1 with a slapper from the circle on the power play. A two goal lead in the 3rd period? I’ll take it.
But of course, the Preds turtled. The Hawks got within one on a goal from Lance Bouma. Tommy Wingels took an ill-advised offensive zone penalty that in turn led to a short-handed chance but Pekka continued the theme of the night by coming up big. With less than five to go, Roman Josi took another penalty, but the Preds were able to kill it off and close it out despite an extended time defending against the extra attacker.
- Ah, the Blackhawks. The ruiners of fun.
- FILIP!!! What a start. JOFA returns to form, just 3 minutes in.
- And then Rinne just robbed Kane twice in a row. Two dandy saves right there.
- But then Wingels ties it. Great pass from Debrincat.
- What a start, huh?
- Ok, things have calmed down now, except things never really calm down when you’ve got Preds v Hawks
- That power play, like.... you need to get something on net. Test the goalie. See if you can get a rebound. Do something other than make pretty passes.
- Duncan Keith got an unsportsmanlike penalty at the end of the 1st for something stupid I think.
- Watson! With the go ahead goal!! Yesssss
- The third pairing did something good!!
- Arvy slap shots are fired with the force of a thousand suns.
- The Preds have been oh so much better in the 2nd period, but now the Hawks are clawing back. It’s been an interesting games. Each team riding momentum, trying to push through to the other side.
- I can’t overstate how happy I am that Bonino and Jarnkrok are playing together and both in roles suited for them. There is finally balance to the force.
- ROMAN JOSI! Whoo hoo!!
- The Hawks are pouring it on right now
- Of course, they score.
- The Preds dozed off after the Josi goal.
- This ending bout to kill me.
OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Filip Forsberg: Number 9 continues to dominate. Got a goal early, played well throughout.
- Pekka Rinne: 37 saves and some were absolutely outstanding.
- Ryan Johansen: He was the anchor tonight. Every good shift from JOFA started and ended with his puck skill, size, and passing ability.
Tweets of the Night
Can we just…staple the third pairing to the bench?— Kate (@statswithkate) November 29, 2017
Is a Forsling a baby Forsberg?— stop calling him fifi (@AngryPredsFan) November 29, 2017
Also, this tweet gave me the willies...
The guy in front of us at the #Preds game went to put his arm around his wife but he really accidentally put his finger between my toes......— Emily (@emilygbecker) November 29, 2017