After the faceoff, the Nashville Predators spent the next seven minutes of the game in the defensive zone before spending a brief controlled moment in front of Devan Dubnyk. Seconds later, the Wild moved the puck back in front of our net where Kyle Turris made a beautiful save behind Rinne, by knocking the puck away from the goal line. The respite was momentary as seconds later, Mikael Granlund took a shot through Mattias Ekholm that slid through Rinne’s five hole.
After some more needlessly exciting moments in front of our net, Miika Salomaki wound up in the Wild’s net, took a shove and on the ensuing faceoff, Austin Watson and Marcus Foligno dropped their gloves, hugged for awhile, threw some “punches”, and ended up on the ice. Almost immediately after the incident, P.K. Subban took a shot off a pass from Alexei Emelin that slid ever so slowly through Dubnyk into the net for his 8th goal of the season.
What’s the best way to celebrate? With a high stick penalty from Nick Bonino behind the Wild net, giving the Wild their second power play of the night. This resulted in yet another goal for Mikael Granlund, giving the lead back to the Wild.
The rest of the first period ended with a lot of scary moments for the Predators as the Wild forecheck continued to take pucks away as the Preds tried to get settled down in order to make some attempt at a controlled entry into the offensive zone. The first period ended with Predators down 1-2.
47 seconds into the second period, Rinne was thrown out of position on a shot by Charlie Coyle and unable to get back in time due to Eric Staal getting tangled up with him and allowing Matt Dumba to get a shot into the net. The Predators challenged and the goal was called back due to goalkeeper interference.
The Predators went on the Power Play about 5 minutes into the 2nd period due to an interference call against Matt Dumba. The first minute of the PP was the most comfortable and controlled the Predators looked to this point. However, Arvidsson’s accidental stick to the face of Cullen led to a 4-on-4. The 4-on-4 ended, leaving the Wild with a Power Play that was killed off without incident.
After some back and forth, Matt Dumba was able to score through what appeared to be all of the Predators on the ice, leaving the Predators down 1-3 with around seven minutes remaining.
Mikko Koivu tripped Filip Forsberg with nine seconds remaining in the 2nd, allowing the Predators to begin the 3rd period with a man advantage. Dubnyk upended Viktor Arvidsson to give Nashville a two man advantage, which they were unable to take advantage of. However, Kyle Turris was able to score on a great shot, assisted by Subban and Roman Josi, during the remaining power play.
After some great pressure following the Turris goal, Miika Salomaki was called for hooking, giving the Wild their 4th power play of the night. Aggressive penalty killing and a lucky save by the post prevented Granlund from netting a hat trick as the power play expired without a goal for the Wild.
Mattias Ekholm took two elbows as he was shoved into the boards. His retaliatory cross-check was called, sending the Predators back on their 5th penalty kill of the night. A solid effort in front of the net by Pekka Rinne allowed the Predators to kill off the penalty.
There were a fair amount of solid scoring chances for both teams throughout the final period. With two minutes left, the Pekka Rinne was sent to the bench to give the Predators a man advantage. Time out was called and the empty net loomed large and open behind the six Predators with 1:12 remaining. Minnesota was able to get control of the puck and sent it down the ice where Granlund was able to tap the puck in for his 3rd goal of the night. He secured the hat trick and killed the Predators’ chances of winning. Time expired with a score of 2-4.
- Great quick save by Pekka Rinne early!
- The Wild uniforms look like Pine Sol smells.
- We could stand to get the puck out our DZ.
- The Wild announcer sounds like an add for a Monster Truck Rally this coming Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!
- Irwin almost gave them a goal right in front of Rinne. C’mon man!
- Turris saved our bacon...for a second.
- Paul Molitor should keep his day job...a hype man he is not.
- Rare appearance of Pekka Rinne’s head.
- Salomaki in the goal...literally IN the goal.
- Smith really wants another goal.
- I really want him to score another goal.
- I really want anyone on our team to score at this point.
- The Wild are not afraid to get physical.
- Salomaki is laying like a man with something to prove.
- The Turris line seems to be the only one playing tonight.
- We are allowing waaaaay more traffic in front of Rinne than anyone (in my house) feels comfortable with.
- Wild forecheck has been on point tonight.
- There’s not shot counter on NBCSN, but it HAS to be incredibly lopsided.
- What happened to Turris?
- Really glad that goal got called back.
- That was a hard shot by Subban.
- Has JoFA been reunited?
- The Wild’s coach looks like a toe.
- Fiala’s going HARD after that breakaway got broken up by Dubnyk and the whistle.
- Is it just me, or does Johansen look sloppy?
- My 3 year old son knows two players: Roman Josi and Pekka Rinne.
- I think Coyle just ate a booger.
- Apparently, the Wild have fans...and you can hear them.
- These refs are blind.
- My 3-year-old just brought my wife her rally towel...he knows...
- Wild coach now looks like a bleeding toe...Principal Rooney from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to take over.
- I hate empty nets.
- That’s why I hate them.
- My son just took our rally towels and put them back in the drawer.
- There is no joy in Smashville.
- Tomorrow is my 11th anniversary; we will celebrate by going to the game. I hope we get an extra reason to celebrate.
OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Night
- Pekka Rinne - This game was only as close as it was because of Pekka Rinne. But he can’t do it all!
- Kyle Turris - scored a great goal on the PP after taking a stick to the mouth...with no call!
- Kevin Fiala - Fiala played full bore all night long. On a night where Arvi Hustle was not hustling, Fiala lived up to the title.
Tweets of the Night
Oh no I was just reminded of the last time the preds were in Minnesota pic.twitter.com/6RcpBWkfRo— nando eggenberger (@AngryPredsFan) December 30, 2017
Smith finally got the Preds on the board— Marya ➡ (@_marya_k) December 30, 2017
The shot clock
Wow, what a disaster shift in the d zone. Oh...Irwin/Weber, right.— what does “gotcha” mean? (@statsrespecter) December 30, 2017
solid job to completely miss turris getting hit in the face there— generous billionaire (@trevor_0) December 30, 2017
Do let me know if I missed anything from the first period that isn’t obvious from the boxscore. pic.twitter.com/06EmxxR4or— Kate (@statswithkate) December 30, 2017
The Predators aren't protecting the "house" area well at all tonight. Way too many chances right in front of the crease.— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) December 30, 2017
This game could be over. Rinne has prevented an embarrassing blowout to this point. #Preds— Willy Daunic (@WillyD1025) December 30, 2017
Eric Staal was occupying an Airbnb in the goal crease— On The Forecheck (@OnTheForecheck) December 30, 2017
Listening to the national call of this game talk about the Wild’s frequent penalty troubles and third-period issues with defending leads and I almost have to wonder if someone mixed up the cue cards.— Kate (@statswithkate) December 30, 2017