On the second half of a back-to-back north of the border, Juuse Saros led his team to a shutout. Both teams had several chances up and down the length of the ice with no results to begin the game. Saros stood tall early in the first, making
several tons of saves to bail out his team.
A slashing call on Viktor Arvidsson put Edmonton on the power play first. Saros made some stellar saves and the penalty killers were successful. The Predators appeared to be fairly stuck in their own end in the first period, barely managing any shots on Laurent Brossoit. Predictably, Alexei Emelin did a bad thing and was whistled for interference. Another power play for Edmonton at the end of the period was stifled by more Watson body sacrifices and Saros saves. The Oilers peppered the Predators with 22 shots in the first while the Preds only managed...4 shots.
Edmonton started the second with a few seconds remaining on the power play. In addition, PK Subban and Ryan Strome were both sent to the box for cross-checking and roughing, respectively. The Predators killed off Emelin’s penalty, and a slap shot by Mattias Ekholm tipped by Pontus Aberg put the Preds on the board about 3 minutes gone in the second.
The goal was called a good goal, but further review was necessary to determine whether Aberg high-sticked the puck in the net. The review determined the on-ice call was the right one, and the Predators took the lead with their fifth shot on net. (!!!)
Nashville finally secured a power play on a delay-of-game call on Oskar Klefbom with 12:10 left in the second. Kevin Fiala potted a rebound for Nashville’s second goal of the night. The remainder of the period passed with consistent effort from the Predators in the Edmonton zone. With about 5 minutes left in the period, Kyle Turris buried a rebound from Craig Smith and notched the third goal of the evening.
Nashville returned to the power play once more at the end of the second period. Connor McDavid was caught hooking Roman Josi, and the Predators went 5-on-3. Josi netted a pretty power play goal off an equally beautiful pass from Filip Forsberg to put the Preds up 4-0 at the end of the second period.
The third period began with an onslaught of shots by the Oilers on Saros. Emelin took another penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, but the Nashville penalty kill was solid again. The Predators managed not to turtle too much in the third. Several gorgeous chances were denied by Brossoit. After a largely “meh” first period, the Predators showed up for Juuse Saros tonight. It wasn’t pretty, but it’s a win.
Saros broke a franchise record tonight for most saves in a shutout. Congratulations, Little Bear!
With this victory, the Predators take first place in the Central Division and the Western Conference.
- Star Wars or Predators hockey? (PS: Ruin Star Wars for me and I’ll find you and kick your rear)
- I am going to spend this entire game mispronouncing Laurent Brossoit’s name.
- An Anthony Bitetto-Yannick Weber pairing makes me feel things...not good things.
- Saros is stretchy.
- I know I tend to excessively sing the praises of young Juuse Saros, but he has been sharp early in tonight’s contest.
- Penalty to Arvidsson=killed.
- Austin Watson is a penalty killing machine.
- A random combo of Craig Smith, Kyle Turns, and Filip Forsberg just had the best chance of the period.
- Arvidsson just sacrificed himself on that 3-on-1 chance. We do not deserve Arvidsson.
- Penalty to Emelin=killed.
- The IronBerg line did some work to keep that puck in play for Ekholm’s shot from the blue line... more goals for Pontus Aberg!
- Connor McDavid/McJesus trying to score from his knees. Oh my.
- During a commercial break, I imagined Saros with a lightsaber. Someone make this happen.
- Kevin Fiala is a Jedi master...a six game point streak!
- Does Fiala have a nickname that’s not “Fifi” yet?
- Scott Hartnell just tried to smack a goal in and it looked like every shot attempt I take on NHL18.
- Yannick Weber involved in some post-whistle activities.
- I blinked and missed the Turris goal because it was so fast.
- Ro-man Jo-si (clap clap clapclap clap)
- Patrick Maroon is unnecessary.
- Holy helicopter, Saros.
- Oh look, another Emelin penalty.
- Interviews with Rinne are the best! He sounds like a proud dad talking about Saros.
- Collective breath-holding.
- A ridiculous 46-save game from Juuse Saros tonight.
- Saros broke a franchise record for saves made in a shutout!
OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Night
- Juuse Saros: Huge saves by the younger Finnish goaltender kept the Predators in the game early. He has certainly benefitted from occasional games with Milwaukee. With 46 saves, the kid stood on his head tonight.
- Kyle Turris: Since his trade, Turris has a point in each game he’s played as a Predator (16). With one goal and one assist tonight, it’s easy to understand how Turris centers such a lethal line with Craig Smith and Kevin Fiala.
- Mattias Ekholm: With two assists tonight, Ekholm further solidifies his position as a top D-man in Nashville. He spent plenty of time shutting down the McDavid line, too.
- All you good folks who won’t dare spoil Star Wars for me.
Tweets of the Night
is it even worth complaining about the penalties anymore— Kate (@statswithkate) December 15, 2017
something something inevitable heat death of the universe
Viktor Arvidsson just broke up a 3-on-1 as a forward as the only guy back on D.— Robby Stanley (@RStanleyNHL) December 15, 2017
Kyle Turris has now scored a point for every game he’s been a Predator.— Dan D Bradley (@DanDBradley) December 15, 2017
Spoiler: Kyle Turris is the Last Jedi.— On The Forecheck (@OnTheForecheck) December 15, 2017
Juuse Saros sets a career high in saves for the second consecutive start. He had 43 in Dallas last week, then just topped it with 44.— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) December 15, 2017