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Nashville Predators 4, Florida Panthers 7: Defense Anyone?

Four goals in the second period lifted the Panthers past Nashville on Saturday afternoon.

NHL: Florida Panthers at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Nashville Predators faced off against the Florida Panthers in a Saturday matinee. With only two games before their “bye week”, it was important for Nashville to gain some momentum.

The Panthers sit a few points out of the playoffs and desperately needed to string some wins together.

Florida got on the board early thanks to folk legend Jaromir Jagr’s deflection. It can’t be overstated how uncanny it is to see him playing at this high of a level in his mid-forties.

Nashville was able to respond due to a fortunate bounce off Roman Josi’s flubbed shot that somehow found it’s way to the back of the net. A back and forth first period saw the Panthers pull away late on the shot counter for a 10-5 shot lead.

Defensive hockey purists might want to close their eyes during the second period. Six goals from the two teams in the second made for an exciting game, but Nashville was on the short-side of four of those goals after numerous defensive blunders. Pekka Rinne was the scapegoat as he was pulled after the Panthers fourth goal.

Viktor Arvidsson gave his team life as he so often does with a goal on the penalty kill after a nice cross-ice pass from Ryan Ellis to cut the deficit to two. The Predators pushed for another but came up short as they headed to the locker room down 5-3.

Florida quickly took recontrol of the game with a goal just over two minutes into the third period. Arvidsson notches a hat trick to put him in sole possession for the team-lead in goals at 18 late in the third. The Panthers would seal the embarrassment with an empty net goal to make it a 7-4 final.

It’s hard to win any games with defensive lapses and shaky goaltending. Nashville will need to find some answers fast as the offensively-gifted Stars will be the opponent tomorrow afternoon.

Random Observations

  • Jagr still going strong at age 89.
  • Austin Watson is the Tom Wilson of the Predators.
  • Josi just chunked his sand wedge for a goal.
  • Nashville has seemed to challenge Jagr in the physicality department. Not the worst idea.
  • The game went 0-100 real quick.
  • Rinne gets pulled, but the entire team is zombie-walking.
  • Arvidsson isn’t leaving the arena without a fight.
  • The Predators have, oddly, been dangerous on the PK all night.
  • Those hopes of a comeback lasted about two minutes.
  • You know the game is off the rails when Subban drops the gloves.
  • Good for Arvidsson.

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Viktor Arvidsson- A hat trick to give him the most goals on the team. Nothing left to say about the guy.
  2. Ryan Ellis- Despite a bad game for the entire defense core, Ellis made some nice passes to set up a couple goals.
  3. Goal Horn Guy- He had a lot of work to do today.

Tweets of the Night

Game Extras

Game Video