Still getting back onto Central time after their western road trip, the Nashville Predators welcomed the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning into Bridgestone Arena for a clash between the two titans of the NHL. Pekka Rinne got the start in goal for the Predators, and Nashville used a Filip Forsberg goal and strong goaltending to defeat the Lightning, 3-2.
Nashville opened the game up with an penalty to kill, due to a goal-saving crosscheck delivered from Roman Josi. They kept Tampa from getting any dangerous shots off, and got out of the man advantage without any goals against. However, the tie would not last long as defenseman Victor Hedman sent a rocket past Rinne as he crossed the blue line. This would be the lone goal in the period for a majority of the 20 minutes, up until two Tampa penalties resulted in a 5-on-3 opportunity for the Predators. They failed to convert on the double man advantage, but Kyle Turris slung a shot off of Lightning goalie Louis Domingue and into the back of the net as the second power play expired. This would be the last goal of the period, and Nashville would head into the second period tied at one.
In the second period, the flood gates were opened. Filip Forsberg sniped a goal past Domingue, and put Nashville in the lead. Less than five minutes later, Craig Smith would send in a shot that would be tipped by Ryan Johansen. This redirection would find its way into the net, and the Predator lead would double. Later in the period, the Lightning appeared to have scored. However, Ryan Ellis was tripped on the play, so the goal was cancelled and a power play was given to Nashville. They couldn’t convert in the closing minutes of the period, and entered the third period with a two goal lead and three seconds left on their power play.
The third period began with the ending of the Nashville power play. After that, Nikita Kucherov got loose in front of Rinne and lit the lamp, making the lead for Nashville just one. After that, Nashville couldn’t find any goals for themselves, but they also kept the puck out of their own net. Kucherov had a golden opportunity later in the period, but Rinne saved the day with a jaw-dropping glove save. As the period continued, the Lightning continued to increase their intensity, and Nashville had trouble matching it. The Lightning pulled their goalie in the last minute, and proceeded to use the man advantage to try and find a hole through Pekka. However, the defense and goalie held strong and the Predators secured two points in a thriller.
- Early crosscheck from Josi to prevent a goal. I don’t mind the decision, but giving up man advantages against this Lightning team will not bode well for the home team.
- Quick, clean penalty kill for Nashville.
- Hedman sends a bomb into the far side of the net, and puts Tampa on the score sheet first.
- Lots of exciting, fast-paced hockey here tonight. All that’s missing is a Nashville lead...
- Hartman draws a slash from Hedman, and the Predators get their first power play of the night. Everyone take a deep breath.
- It appeared that Ryan McDonagh body slammed Nick Bonino, so that will generate a 5-on-3 for Nashville.
- Kyle Turris zips a shot off of Domingue and into the net as the power play expires! Tie game.
- That’ll do it for 20 minutes. Sizeable shot lead for the gold team, but a tie in the goal column.
- Big save on a breakaway for Pekka. It appears he has responded well since giving up the early goal to Hedman.
- Salomaki gets the puck about 2 centimeters from the goal line, but the puck freezes and gets covered by Domingue. Close, but not close enough.
- PRINCE FILIP. 2-1.
- Joey gets a redirect on a shot from Craig Smith, and the lead becomes two.
- Another power play for Tampa Bay.
- Another successful kill for the Predators.
- Lightning think they have a goal, but a tripping call takes away the goal and gives Nashville a power play. How the turntables.
- Third period begins, and the power play officially ends.
- Girardi hit by a slapshot. Ouch.
- Kucherov puts the Lightning within one.
- Kucherov almost ties the game, but Rinne has other ideas. What a save!
- Breakaway for Turris, but blocked by Louis.
- Goalie pulled, here we go.
- Game over! Lightning swept!
Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Filip Forsberg: Game winning goal.
- Pekka Rinne: Made quite a few crazy saves, and kept the Nashville lead intact.
- Kyle Turris: Gave us a power play goal!
Tweets of the Nights
Narrator: Rinne wants it back https://t.co/IDFKfJPvNY— Kristopher Martel (@kmartel_sports) November 20, 2018
*kevin fiala does one thing that isn't bad*— ☭ hink hall ☭ (@FDBort) November 20, 2018
wow you have to love the period he's having
Between Saturday and tonight, Swedes be snipin' in Smashville.— Justin Bradford (@justinbbradford) November 20, 2018
No no no, you've gotten it all twisted up, @GoldenKnights: You play like an expansion team and THEN you make the Stanley Cup Final.— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) November 20, 2018
Nashville fans singing the next few bars of "Bohemian Rhapsody" despite the song having to end for a faceoff is just tremendous. pic.twitter.com/4l7iKthNGM— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) November 20, 2018