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Nashville Predators 3, Vegas Golden Knights 4 (SO): Preds Rally But Fall Short

Regulation, overtime, and three rounds of the shootout weren’t enough for this one.

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Predators lost in a shootout to the Vegas Golden Knights, despite coming back from a two goal deficit.

The Golden Knights scored first in this one. William Karlsson scored on the power play following a nice feed from Alex Tuch. The Predators did their best to answer the score, but couldn’t get anything past Malcom Subban—even with a 5-on-3 power play late in the period. After 20 minutes, Vegas led 1-0 despite Nashville holding a 16-9 lead in shots.

Not much changed early in the second period. The Golden Knights shut down the Preds’ transition game, not allowing any easy breakouts and forcing turnovers. The Preds looked visibly frustrated at one point, they just couldn’t get any good looks on Subban. Craig Smith had the best chance of the period, but he was stopped by Subban’s glove.

Then, of course, there was some narrative bait at the end of the period: James Neal scored for the Golden Knights to make it 2-0 and Calle Jarnkrok scored a minute later to make it 2-1. The place erupted and Preds Twitter went beserk.

(ICYMI, the Preds elected to keep Jarnkrok, and not Neal, in the expansion draft. It was a move that caused some argument among Preds’ fans, with some people like myself, thinking they made the wrong move.)

The second period ended with the Predators skating considerably faster and generating some much better chances, now down only a goal. That continued into the 3rd period, when finally Viktor Arvidsson scored on an absolutely fantastic goal. Planted right in front of Subban, Arvy somehow reached a rebound while falling forward onto the ice, sliding it into the goal. It was so unreal, but it was also so perfectly Arvy.

Then, with five minutes left in the game, Arvy made another great play behind the Vegas net and found Nick Bonino in the slot. Bonino wristed one by Subban to make it 3-2 and the Bridge erupted.

The Golden Knights poured on the chances in the final few minutes with the extra attacker, and the Predators were forced to ice the puck. Eventually they Knights managed to tie it up by bouncing the puck in off of Rinne’s stick.

In the overtime, both teams had great chances but couldn’t score. This one ended in an epic six round shootout, with both goalies stopping everything. Reilly Smith scored the lone goal, giving the Golden Knights the second point.

Frustrating loss, but man was that a fun game to watch.

Random Observations

  • Lots of dumping and chasing, followed by line changes, to the start the game
  • Craig Smith penalty for high sticking, but it doesn’t happen if Subban (the PK one) doesn’t turn the puck over in the DZ.
  • Karlsson scores on the power play. Made it look pretty easy, just went to the front of the net and Alex Tuch gave him a beautiful feed.
  • Halfway through the first period and the Preds don’t have much going. The Turris line created some chaos down low briefly, but they couldn’t connect on a shot.
  • A two man advantage on the power play leads to very few chances. Not only was there too much passing, but the passes didn’t do anything to get Vegas moving laterally.
  • 1st period: sad trombone
  • Dang, Subban (the Malcolm one) just robbed Smith. He beat his defender to the outside, cut to the front of the net and tried to wrist one up high. Glove save. Crazy.
  • How does a Vegas team that’s been together for like four months look this organized and this disciplined? It’s pretty impressive.
  • James Neal scored. Wide open on the right circle, no chance for Rinne who was moving to his left.
  • CALLE!! oh man lol, that was fantastic. THE NARRATIVES
  • Beautiful passing from the Swedes on that goal.
  • The Turris line is pouring on some offense, just needs to get a goal.
  • The game has opened up a lot since the 1st period. Plenty of chances at both ends.
  • He just scored while suspended in the air. He just SCORED while suspended in the air.
  • Subban called for embellishment. What.
  • OH MY! Bonino scores to take a 3-2 lead!

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Arvidsson: He just works so hard every night. Got himself a goal and a neat one at that.
  2. Bonino: Go ahead goal and some tough work all night.
  3. Smith: 6 shots! He was so close.

Tweets of the Night

Game Extras

Game Video