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Nashville Predators 4, New York Islanders 3: Arvidsson Scores Two as Preds Top Isles

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Viktor Arvidsson collected two goals and Craig Smith and Mattias Ekholm added one each. Juuse Saros backstopped Nashville to their second win of the season.

NHL: Nashville Predators at New York Islanders Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Juuse Saros got his first start of the 2018-2019 season as Nashville faced off against the Barry Trotz and the New York Islanders on the road. Viktor Arvidsson got his first goal of the season at 3:42 of the first period from a nice pass-up from Filip Forsberg in the Nashville zone.

Nashville took the first penalty of the evening with 12:41 remaining in the first. Craig Smith took a seat in the sin bin for interference, but the Predators penalty killers were successful. The Islanders lucked out on tap-in by Anthony Beauvilier and Matthew Barzal that somehow was called a good goal by the on-ice officials at 12:02.

Mattias Ekholm took the puck into the Islanders zone after a clean face-off win by Colton Sissons and snapped a goal past Thomas Greiss with 3:04 remaining in the first period.

The Islanders tied the game on a redirection in front of Saros on the stick of Valtteri Filppula at 2:46 of the second period. Saros and some Nashville players contended that the goal was tipped on a high stick, but there was no review conducted. Arvidsson was whistled for tripping, but the Nashville penalty killers were once again successful.

With 6:30 remaining in the second, Kyle Turris and Smith combined for a beautiful goal after Ryan Ellis battled for the puck in neutral ice. Smith’s goal was definitely due after his many attempts over the last game and a half. Not to be outdone by Smith, Ryan Johansen and Arvidsson completed a beautiful give-and-go sequence with 3:18 remaining in the period for Arvidsson’s second goal of the evening

Zac Rinaldo was called for tripping with 1:24 left in the second period. The Islanders tallied on a snapshot by new captain Anders Lee to pull within one going in to the second intermission.

The Predators went on their first power play at 3:21 of the third period on a hold from Leo Komarov. Turris was then whistled for tripping to give Nashville some 4-on-4 time before killing off another penalty. With 11:44 remaining, Forsberg and Lee were both penalized, resulting in another two minutes of 4-on-4 hockey.

Barry Trotz pulled Griess with a little less than two minutes remaining in the third period. The Islanders’ crowd made tons of noise to support their boys, but the Predators and Saros held the Islanders off.

The Predators return to Nashville with two wins in their back pocket.

Random Observations

  • Viktor Arvidsson took the puck from the far blue line all the way to the goal. Holy heck, there are no words.
  • Because it NEVER gets old: “Arvidsson’s a 30 goal-scorer, Jared!”
  • Zac Rinaldo and Ryan Johansen almost connected for a goal! Oh my.
  • I’m not entirely sure how the official saw the puck cross the goal line through Saros’ pads before the no-goal call and whistle.
  • Matty Ekholm! Do not underestimate this gorgeous bearded Swedish defenseman.
  • There was no solid camera angle to show whether the Isles’ second goal was tipped with a high-stick. The controversy!!!!
  • It’s Craig-nog time, y’all.
  • Arvidsson does it again! Anthony Bitetto gets an assist on the goal.
  • That penalty from Rinaldo was pretty costly. Islanders only trail by a goal.
  • That hit by Forsberg was very nice. Very very nice.
  • Kevin Fiala has appeared back on a line with Turris and Smith.
  • Saros is improving with his puck handling in every game.
  • That was one heck of a close-quarters save by the younger Finnish goaltender.
  • Greiss to the bench!!!!!! I’m hyperventilating.
  • Ryan Hartman ALMOST had the empty netter.
  • But side note...Saros held his blue ice very solidly in those last two minutes. His positioning is crisp and confident. There is no flailing or flopping in his game. Tonight was a solid game from the young Finn.

Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Viktor Arvidsson: The diminutive Swedish forward collected two goals tonight. He’s the energy and catalyst for this team every night. “RV” had 2 goals on 2 shots tonight. Bang.
  2. Mattias Ekholm: The tall Swedish defenseman has three points in two games. He remains perennially underrated. He’s a smooth skater and absolutely willing to jump into a play as needed.
  3. Craig Smith: A shooting machine, Smith notched his first goal of the season tonight. Expect all-out effort and speed from him every single game. He had one goal on 4 shots tonight.

Tweets of the Game

Game Video