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Nashville Predators 2, Washington Capitals 1 (OT): Un-jinxing

Yes, I had to quickly change the working title of this post.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Predators beat the Washington Capitals 2-1 in overtime on a goal by Viktor Arvidsson. Despite the Preds poor overtime record and despite playing arguably the best team in the league on their home ice, Nashville came away with two huge road points.

It didn’t look great early. With Pekka Rinne making his 500th career NHL start, Kevin Fiala wiped out to give up a 2-on-0 and Brett Connolly opened the scoring. Not even Pekka Prime would stop that one. The first period ended with the Caps doubling up the Predators in shots and a 1-0 lead, although it felt like a fairly equal morass of blergh.

The Predators come out with a bit more jump to start the second period, but they quickly bogged down again with the Capitals controlling a larger portion of the zone time. The first penalty of the game went against the Predators, with Cody McLeod taking an offensive zone interference penalty. Fortunately the Preds killed that off with little difficulty, although Viktor Arvidsson was denied his bid to set a new Predators shorthanded goal season record.

Professional garbage can cosplayer Tom Wilson committed a tripping penalty against Neal. The ensuing penalty kill looked better offensively for the Caps than their powerplay did. No dice for either team, although Rinne was dealing. The Preds get away with some lazy defensive coverage and then a great feed from Fiala to Neal tied the game at one. A bizarre sequence in the Capitals zone ended with Ryan Johansen going off for goaltender interference and (only) John Carlson going off for roughing.

The third period opened with a brief segment of 4-on-4 hockey due to the coincidental minors, and neither team looks interesting in riding this to a shared overtime point. There were several great looks for the Preds, who looked better as the game has sped up. Laviolette also mixed the lines up a bit. More chances-for means more chances-against, but I’d rather watch this hockey than whatever we saw the first five minutes of the game.

It looked like the Predators were just going to turtle their way to a single point, but wait! A 2-on-1 with Arvidsson carrying the puck! Is it any surprise that he shoots and wins it?

Rinne played amazing, Arvidsson was the hero once more, and the Preds walked away from D.C. with two points that not many folks thought they would get. On to Carolina!

Random Observations

  • This game could be more exciting
  • Please don’t bench Fiala for that. Maybe yell a little bit.
  • “Chess match” is hockey commentator for “really dull”
  • Nealer! Please don’t bench Fiala, Lavy
  • Colton Sissons with a move! This is the “please don’t sit me” game
  • I’m not sure I’d stick with these blended lines, but they’re adding a bit of je ne sais quois
  • Arvy with a hipcheck on Oshie?
  • I’m a firm believer in not turtling even when tied 1-1. Thank you Based Rinne
  • Why oh why would you take an unscreened shot from the point in OT?

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Pekka Rinne— Rinne is the only reason this game didn’t get embarrassing really quickly. Buy him a steak or something and give him the next game off.
  2. Kevin Fiala— Sure he served up a pizza for the first goal of the game, but he was all over the ice tonight and very dangerous. Not sure what else he needs to do to stay on the roster.
  3. Viktor Arvidsson— Whether he was laying hipchecks or scoring the game winning goal, his hustle is worth tuning in for every night.
  4. Creeping Death: brought a strong coat game tonight

Tweets of the Game

Game Video