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Nashville Predators 3, Montreal Canadiens 2 (SO): Rinne Backstops Predators to Shootout Victory

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Filip Forsberg returned to the lineup tonight. Kevin Fiala and Scott Hartnell tallied goals, but a shootout was required to break tonight’s tie. Pekka Rinne stood tall for the Predators tonight.

It’s finally Filbruary (again).

On the last game of their current road trip, the Predators faced a chippy Montreal team.

The opening period was relatively back-and-forth, with several odd man rushes for the Predators. Nashville was unable to really sustain pressure against Carey Price, and Filip Forsberg was called for a hold about midway through the period. Once again, the Predators would be forced to kill a penalty before they really got going in the game.

Pekka Rinne’s glove hand killed a neat shot from Alex Galchenyuk on the Habs power play. Even the Montreal crowd appreciated that massive save. The Predators successfully killed the penalty with plenty of help from their large Finnish net minder. With about 5 minutes left in the period, the Predators would get a power play of their own from a Karl Alzner interference call. They were unsuccessful with the man advantage.

Alexei Emelin was called for tripping at the close of the first, and the Predators were once again shorthanded. Rinne came through for Nashville in their second penalty of the period.

The second period opened up with plenty of physicality. Brendan Gallagher tried to lay a massive hit on Subban (he was going after Subban after the first period) and missed, sending Gallagher down the tunnel. Hopefully he’s not injured.

Montreal was called for too many men with 13 minutes remaining in the period, and the Predators were unable to gain any sort of momentum. An odd-man rush into the Predators zone, this time by the suddenly non-injured Gallagher, put Montreal up in the second.

Some neutral zone work by Roman Josi resulted in a beautiful re-direct by Scott Hartnell with close to 4 minutes remaining in the second. Right before the end of the second, a bunch of shoving in front of Price resulted in a power play for the Habs. Hartnell entered the scrum late.

Both teams came out firing in the third. Each team traded huge chances, and Price and Rinne each bailed their teams out when called upon. With 8 minutes gone in the third, the Predators went on another power play thanks to the hustle of Viktor Arvidsson. No dice.

The Predators notched a second goal thanks to Ryan Johansen’s effort and Kevin Fiala’s wrist shot with close to 8 minutes left in the third. The Predators played keep-away for the remainder of the period. The Canadiens peppered Rinne with shots, but Rinne stood tall in the Nashville crease. Once Price vacated the crease, Montreal managed a tying goal from Jonathan Drouin with 1:14 remaining.

For the fourth time in 4 games, the Predators picked up one point in regulation but required additional time to settle the score. Pekka Rinne was the only reason the Predators were able to advance to the shootout.

Ryan Ellis tallied the only shootout goal, and the Predators nabbed two points in Montreal. They secured points in each of the games on this current road trip. In addition, per Brooks Bratten, the Predators have points in 14 of their last 15 games.

Random Observations

  • P.K. Subban gets a solo lap!
  • The Bell Centre anthem singer should revisit her lyrics sheet.
  • Fiala looked skyward after that shot.
  • Rinne’s glove hand is a black hole. No no no!
  • Oh look, a penalty kill early. This is getting old.
  • Alexei Emelin gets some recognition from Montreal fans for his 300+ games as a Hab.
  • Holy helicopter, Rinne!!!
  • It seems like Kyle Turris gets kicked out of more faceoff circles than the average centerman.
  • The fans love Subban, but the Habs on ice certainly are making his night rough.
  • Brendan Gallagher going after Subban but misses... and goes down the tunnel.
  • A slapshot by Colton Sissons caught Jonathan Drouin in the leg, and he struggles to the bench.
  • I was listening to the rubber chicken version of “Havana” when Hartnell scored...so what does this mean? Are rubber chickens a good luck charm?
  • Rinne is withstanding some ridiculous net-front play. Meanwhile, the Predators are almost never in front of Carey Price.
  • I feel like Montreal is shoving after the whistle just to shove.
  • Please be ok, Austin Watson.
  • What just happened? Did that puck go BEHIND Rinne and back out?
  • Huge stop on Nicolas Deslauries by RInne.
  • What is wrong with the power play?
  • FIALA! That’s his 18th goal of the season.
  • More massive Rinne saves. He does this all the time.
  • I can’t tell if Subban is pissing off the Montreal crowd or exciting them.
  • Fiala has 5 goals in the last 5 games. Bam.
  • Empty net for Montreal!
  • And Jonathan Drouin ties the game with 1:14 remaining. Ugh.
  • And for the fourth time on this 4- game road trip, the Predators go to OT.
  • To a shootout we go! Didn’t I just say this the other night?
  • Byron: X
  • Ellis: Good!
  • Drouin: X
  • Forsberg: X
  • Pacioretty: Nope.
  • Pekka Rinne, our hero. We don’t deserve you.

Super Duper Stars of the Night

  1. Pekka Rinne: The tall Finnnish netminder ensured the Predators stayed in this game in overtime. He has not had too much support from his teammates on this road trip. He was excellent tonight, especially in overtime and the shootout.
  2. Kevin Fiala: Fiala’s 18th goal of the season makes him the team leader in goals. What a beautiful backhand from the young Swiss winger to put the Predators ahead in the third.
  3. Scott Hartnell: Hartnell grabbed the tying goal late in the second. He is the epitome of net-front presence, and the Predators need more off this.

Tweets of the Night

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