The Nashville Predators returned home from an embarrassing performance in St. Louis to kick off a five game home stand against the Anaheim Ducks. When Nashville and Anaheim face off, punches are almost always thrown and tensions are always raised: tonight was no different. It was a dirty, penalty filled game, but Nashville kept their composure and won the game, 5-2.
The first period did not start the way Nashville wanted, as the Predators committed two penalties within the first ten minutes of the game. This forced Nashville to play in their own zone for longer than they’d have liked, but they escaped both penalty kills unscathed and with a clean scoresheet. After these kills, the Predators’ offense began to wake up, and their efforts were rewarded 11 minutes into the first, as Austin Watson sent a rebound into the back of the net to give Nashville a 1-0 lead. The Predators were then given a power play opportunity, but they failed to score, and that wrapped up the first period.
The second period began in a similar way to the first: an early penalty kill for the Predators. However, this go-round did not end as well as the first time, as Adam Henrique found the back of the net and tied the game. After the Anaheim goal, the tie did not last long. Less than five minutes later, Nick Bonino found the top right corner of the net, and sniped home the second Nashville goal of the night to give the Predators the lead back.
Later in the second, Filip Forsberg and Henrique collided and both were given a two minute minor, despite the Bridgestone faithful voicing their displeasure with the holding the stick call on Forsberg. Soon after, Ryan Getzlaf was called for hooking and Nashville had a 4-on-4 opportunity. They failed to capitalize, but Kalle Kossila was called for tripping and the Predators had a brief 5-on-3. The Preds also didn’t convert during the 5-on-3.
It was at this time that tensions began to rise in the game. It started with one scuffle after John Gibson froze the puck, where Ryan Kesler, Ryan Getzlaf, Roman Josi, and Ryan Johansen got involved in some simultaneous shoving matches. After this, Josh Manson attempted to start a fight with Ryan Hartman, but Hartman kept his gloves on and drew a roughing penalty. On this power play, the Predators finally broke through and Austin Watson lit the lamp for the second time in the game. However, this two-goal lead was be short lived, as Ondrej Kase got loose in front of the net, and put the Ducks within one as time expired in the second.
The third period began with yet another early-period penalty. Thankfully, this one was on the bad guys. Ryan Hartman drew another penalty, and Craig Smith blasted the puck home from right in front of the net on the ensuing power play to push the lead back to two. Soon after the goal, Matt Irwin was sent to the box for a high stick, and the Predators faced an important penalty kill. Nashville kept the puck out of the net and successfully completed the penalty kill, saving their two-goal lead as well as their momentum. The period went without any important moments until the final moments, as Austin Watson converted on an empty net to complete his hat trick.
- Seeing Ryan Kesler hit the ice will never not bring a smile to my face.
- Two early penalties from Nashville. Both were successfully killed off, but they’ve gotta get Rinne some help.
- Solid effort from Watson on that goal. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. 1-0.
- Power play time for the Predators thanks to a high stick from Silfverberg.
- Unsuccessful man advantage from Nashville.
- Once again, an early period power play. One of these is eventually going to come back to haunt them.
- This one came back to haunt them. 1-1.
- What a snipe from Bonino. Wow. 2-1.
- Really poor “holding the stick” call on Fil. Regardless, 4-on-4.
- Getzlaf for hooking, and Nashville has a 4-on-3 opportunity.
- Another penalty on the Ducks. Maybe these guys are a bit dirty, eh?
- Anaheim is losing and their team isn’t playing spectacular, so on cue they’ve starting throwing punches.
- Manson tries to fight Hartman, Hartsy wants none of it, so another power play for Nashville.
- Another for Watson! Man it feels good to make the Ducks actually pay for being dirty. 3-1.
- Late, late goal for the Ducks. 3-2 after 2.
- Early power play opportunity for Nashville.
- GOAL! Craig Smith puts the lead at 2 on the 2nd Nashville PP goal.
- Penalty on Irwin.
- Successful kill!
- Hatty for Watty! Shoutout to the English language for making the pronunciations of “Watty” and “Hatty” so different.
Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Austin Watson—Hat trick hero!
- Pekka Rinne—Earned the win tonight, and made a couple nice saves.
- Ryan Hartman—Drew one of the funniest penalties I’ve seen in quite a while.
Tweets of the Night
The hockey skills video tonight is hosted by Cody Hodgson. Ok— J.R. Lind (@jrlind) November 26, 2018
I think Mattias Ekholm just kept the puck in the zone with his face— Chris Brooks (@CBrooksTN) November 26, 2018
in terms of aesthetics, I’ve always felt like the Bridge looks the best when facing Anaheim. There’s something about all those warm colors and the memory of how sad Corey Perry was in 2017.— Rachel K (@_RKH80) November 26, 2018