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Dallas Stars 4, Nashville Predators 3 (SO): Preds Late Push Not Enough Against Stars

Nashville’s third period push and overtime man advantage was not enough to push them over the Dallas Stars tonight.

On Christmas Eve Eve, the Nashville Predators took a quick trip to Dallas for a road game. They grabbed one point for an early Christmas present.

The Predators coaching staff were the brightest coaches in the building while wearing their holiday-themed suits. I must add that Coach Laviolette looked fantastic with the addition of a vest in his red plaid suit.

The polarizing Alexei Emelin scored on a beautiful wrist shot from the open ice to start the game off with a bang. About 20 seconds later, Kevin Fiala broke up the ice and was stoned by Ben Bishop. It’s safe to say the Predators started the game with a bit of a fire under them.

A penalty by...Emelin...sent the Stars to the power play. The Predators were able to comfortably set up in their zone and defend properly in front of Saros to kill the penalty. Predictably, they returned immediately to the penalty kill on a trip by Viktor Arvidsson. An absolutely gorgeous steal in neutral ice by Calle Jarnkrok added to the lead on a slick shorthanded goal.

With about half the period gone, Nashville would again go on the penalty kill. Tyler Seguin scored on the power play to put the Stars on the board. Right before the end of the first, the Preds took another untimely penalty for too many men on the ice. A strong kill ensured the Stars didn’t add another goal, but there was plenty of pressure at the end of the first by Dallas.

To begin the second period, Viktor Arvidsson drew a penalty (perhaps a make-up call) to put the Preds on their first power play of the evening. Nashville only mustered up one shot on goal... it’s almost like they’ve forgotten how to be on a power play.

The Stars and the Predators upped the momentum in the second. Several chances on both ends forced Saros and Bishop to make big saves. An initial save was batted into the goal by Antoine Roussel and the Stars tied the game up with roughly ten minutes gone in the second.

To finish up the disaster of the second period, a costly turnover by Roman Josi in the neutral zone resulted in a third goal for Dallas. The remainder of the second would pass with mounting frustration on the part of the Predators.

The third period began with many chances and many hits. Alexander Radulov snuck a high-stick on PK Subban and the Predators entered the man advantage at 15:53. Ryan Johansen scored the equalizing goal after about a minute of power play cycling at 15:15.

The game action got a little more fast and furious as the third period reached its halfway point. The Stars iced the puck several times to close out the period. With about 5 seconds left in the period, Tyler Pitlick picked off a pass and nearly had a breakaway, but excellent defense by Josi and some quick work by Saros prevented a late goal.

Kevin Fiala drew a timely penalty on Jamie Benn in overtime to put the Predators up 4-on-3. A nice one-timer from Josi was quickly smothered by Bishop. Next, Filip Forsberg tried to sneak a quick shot over Bishop’s shoulder. No joy.

Dan Hamuis would be guilty of a cross check on Forsberg for a 5-on-3 overtime advantage. With about a minute and a half left in OT, Benn completed his penalty and the Predators returned to 4-on-3. The Stars killed off both power plays in overtime, and the game went to a shootout.

Shootout goals by Radulov and Seguin give Dallas two points, and the Predators will fly home for Christmas with one point in hand.

Random Observations

  • Juuse juice! (I’m the biggest Saros fan of all time)
  • The coaching staff are jolly and bright behind the bench in their holiday-themed suits. Don’t ever bet against Captain Josi.
  • A goal! EMELIN? EMELIN!
  • Does anyone actually like Alexander Radulov?
  • Two penalties in the first ten minutes=frowny face.
  • Shawty goal.
  • “Hello, I’m Calle Jarnkrok. Ask me about whether I should have been protected over James Neal last summer.”
  • Dallas scored on their third power play opportunity of the evening. Gotta stay away for the box, boys.
  • Moar penalties.
  • Moar penalties killed. But seriously, stop going to the box. Please? For Santa? For the holidays?
  • Arvidsson out-hustles everyone for a penalty to start the second! Do the Preds remember how to be on the power play?
  • The answer to the previous question: no.
  • Saros doing some on-ice yoga is not ideal.
  • Did Cody McLeod just lead a breakaway? I am not sure how to feel.
  • A huge save by Bishop on Captain Roman Josi!
  • Angry Turris! That was a HUGE missed penalty.
  • Why is Ryan Johansen on a line with McLeod and Austin Watson?
  • Another gross goal for Dallas into an open net.
  • A man-advantage for the Preds!
  • Joey! Now reunited with his non-McLeod line mates, he is again looking fantastic.
  • This game is making me nervous.
  • I just grabbed my face “Home Alone” style after watching Saros make all those saves.
  • Emelin... (eye roll)
  • Willy Daunic has said “______ took a hard hit” at least 30 times tonight.
  • Overtime!
  • Jamie Benn has to be the most compliant player to skate to the sin bin.
  • Forsberg smiling while Dallas tries to mess with him= early Christmas present.
  • How do you not score on a 5-on-3 or a 4-on-3 advantage in OT? Frustrating.
  • Captain Josi was clearly also frustrated by his team’s lack of execution in OT.
  • Shootout!
  • Radulov scores. Ugh/eww.
  • Forsberg does not score.
  • Spezza’s shot is stopped by Saros.
  • Fiala does not score.
  • Seguin scores and wins the game for Dallas.

Super Duper Stars of the Night

  1. Ryan Johansen: His third period power play goal tied the game for the Preds. He also notched an assist tonight.
  2. Calle Jarnkrok: Despite his disturbing lack of facial affect after scoring a huge shorthanded goal, the Swede had a beautiful snipe in the first period.
  3. Juuse Saros: The youngster made 25 saves tonight, including plenty of huge saves in the third to keep the Predators in this game. He has been sharp in his most recent starts with the Predators.
  4. The coaching staff: They wore beautiful holiday suits tonight. See below.

Tweets of the Nights

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