The Predators beat the Bruins tonight, behind a solid effort from the new top line of Kyle Turris, Craig Smith, and Kevin Fiala. With Ryan Johansen not playing tonight (he’s day-to-day with an upper body injury), the Turris line would need to step up. They did.
Craig Smith started the scoring for the Predators just 1:36 into the game. He put home a rebound in front of Anton Khudobin after a shot by Alexei Emelin. Then, in the closing seconds of the period, Smith capitalized again after Mattias Ekholm won a puck battle on the boards. Smith got the puck and shot it easily over Khudobin’s glove, making it 2-0 Preds after twenty minutes.
The party continued in the 2nd period, first with Nick Bonino’s 5th goal of the season. He spun around a check in the circle and pounced on a rebound to make it 3-0. Then, a short while later, Kevin Fiala pulled out his magic wand and abracadabra’d the hell out of Khudobin. His insanely slick goal made it 4-0.
The Bruins would score on the power play later in the period to make it 4-1, but the Preds would go into the final frame up three goals.
Of course, that didn’t last. The Bruins pulled within one after goals from Zdeno Chara (a slow bouncer that Rinne just missed) and David Pastrnak (a laser beam snapper from the circle) and it was a brand new game. After a crucial timeout from Laviolette (finally!), Filip Forsberg scored on a breakaway to provide some breathing room.
From there, the game devolved into something resembling a bar fight, as both teams filled the penalty box with regularity in the final 10 minutes. Forsberg and Marchand even had a hilarious shouting match in the penalty box at one point.
Rinne made excellent saves throughout the game, as usual. The Chara goal was a squeaker, but that was really the only mistake Rinne made. He finished with 37 saves.
On to Dallas to play a red hot Stars team.
- Yannick Weber returns. Yay...?
- BAM! Emelin smacks the puck on Khudobin and Smith is there for the rebound. 1-0!
- Khudobin just stopped a 2-on-1, Fiala to Josi. My what a save.
- Now Rinne gets in on the action. Just did get the blocker on the puck. Outstanding goaltending so far.
- SMITH AGAIN! Ekholm with a great play to get him the puck and he buries it on the partial breakaway.
- Subban made a great move to gain the zone and had the puck in the slot... but then elected to pass. Who was he trying to pass to? Smith, who was on the hat trick chance. Subban prrroooobably needs to shoot that, but you can’t fault him for trying to get Smitty the hatty.
- BOOM! Bonino with another nice goal, spinning in the left circle and potting home a rebound. That’s pretty much what I expect every Bonino goal to look like.
- Oh. My. Goodness. Fiala just put on a show and now it’s 4-0. My word that was pretty.
- Some of the defending hasn’t been stellar in this game, but who cares, right? We’re scoring again!
- The Preds will once again not have great “puck possession” numbers almost entirely due to score effect. As long as they keep winning, that’s fine.
- Oh god. Oh god, oh god. The Bruins are within one. Where did this lead go??
- FORSBERG!!! Yes. Ok, I feel better (sort of).
- LOL, Forsberg and Marchand. I love it. There NEEDS to be audio of that.
- Why did Chara not get a call there? He just laid on top of Arvy.
OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game
(Heyyyy look it’s a whole line of forwards that play together and stuff)
- Craig Smith: two goals, one assist... a guy who just needed a better center finally got one.
- Kevin Fiala: a pair of points and his goal will definitely give Arvy some competition for goal of the year
- Kyle Turris: fantastic job anchoring the top line. Two assists.
Tweets of the Night
On the one hand, there are a disorienting number of players in this game wearing the same numbers.— Kate (@statswithkate) December 5, 2017
On the other hand, at least I’m not likely to mix up Chára and Arvidsson.
two glasses of Craig nog please.— Rachel K (@_RKH80) December 5, 2017
Quite the chat going on between Marchand and Forsberg... #ChattyKathys— Lyndsay Rowley (@LyndsayRowley) December 5, 2017
Brad Marchand is east coast Corey Perry. I bet they Skype.— Chase Stejskal (@chaseallister) December 5, 2017
FORSBERG DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOUR DADS— generous billionaire (@trevor_0) December 5, 2017