This morning, followers of Predators Twitter were equal parts confused and panicked over Anthony Bitetto in the lineup as a...second line winger? For whatever reason, Kevin Fiala didn’t practice, and the team didn’t disclose why. There was no recall of an additional forward from Milwaukee, so puck drop came closer and closer with no one really sure if Fiala would step out on the ice tonight.
Spoiler: Fiala skated in his usual position on the second line tonight.
Calle Jarnkrok took a penalty 45 seconds into the game, but the Predators were able to successfully kill the penalty. As per usual, the teams were feeling each other out for a while in the first, and lots of back and forth action kept the camera guys busy.
A shot by James van Riemsdyk from the blue line deflected in the net for the first goal of the night for Toronto with about 16 minutes gone in the first period.
The Predators entered the second period with a little more bounce in their step. That energy quickly receded as the second period progressed, however. Finally, a penalty was called on Toronto, and the Predators went on the power play for the first time. Kaspari Kapanen chipped the puck over P.K. Subban and skated down the ice for a short handed goal. This is not the ideal power play result.
Miikka Salomaki was called for a hook on William Nylander and the Leafs once again had a man advantage. The Predators were successful in killing another penalty, but the lethargic play continued.
Craig Smith managed to draw a penalty with 6 minutes remaining in the second. Unfortunately, Andersen managed to make some “Saves of the Year” saves to keep the puck out of the net. The power play expired, but the Predators finished out the second period with several additional chances on net, threatening from all areas of the ice. Colton Sissons was able to tuck home a rebound on a shot from Pontus Aberg at the blue line.
The Predators entered the third period down one goal. In a strange set of turnovers in the Leafs zone, Arvidsson picked up the puck and snapped it behind Andersen. The game was tied with 19:32 remaining in the third. The early part of the third period belonged to Nashville. The Predators created tons of chances in the Leafs zone and wore out the Toronto lines.
Neither team wanted to make a mistake in the remainder of the third, and the game went to 3-on-3 OT. Both teams traded chances through overtime, but neither were successful.
In the eighth round, James Van Riemsdyk scored for Toronto, and Arvidsson was unable to capitalize on Andersen. Tonight’s point was earned, but a slow first period put the Predators down two goals. Frederick Andersen played an excellent game for Toronto.
- I’m dying to know why Fiala didn’t skate this morning.
- A penalty :45 seconds into the game is less than promising.
- The camera angle at Air Canada is awful. Everyone is so small.
- A gorgeous steal by Colton Sissons. Stoned by Frederik Andersen.
- Viktor Arvidsson just took out Johansen. Joey looks ok, though.
- A weird deflection snuck past Pekka Rinne. Hockey karma suggests we should also get a weird deflection.
- To the pit of misery, dilly dilly!
- Where’s the energy, guys?
- Rinne does not look like he’s having too much fun.
- Toronto has really small penalty boxes.
- Sissons cleaning up around the net!!! Also: PONTUS TIME!
- Arvidsson deserved that goal more than any goal he’s ever scored.
- All the chances in the Leafs zone...I like it, I love it.
- This shift by the Preds is overwhelming.
- Did the Preds take a bunch of energy drinks before the third?
- Annoyed Kyle Turris is amusing.
- Coach Laviolette is playing line roulette and it’s...working?
- Please be ok, Subban.
- ALMOST a wraparound goal for Ryan Johansen. ALMOST. What a save by Andersen.
- To OT we go...
- To a shootout we go!
- Matthews: Denied
- Turris: X
- Nylander: X
- Fiala: Denied
- Bozak: Good
- Ellis: Good
- Marner: Denied
- Smith: X
- Marleau: X
- Josi: X
- Brown: X
- Johansen: Nope
- Van Riemsdyk: Goal
- Arvidsson: Denied
- Leafs win in a shootout, carried by Andersen. The Preds escape with a point.
Super Duper Stars of the Night
- Ryan Ellis: The Human Rocketship was all over the ice tonight. It’s obvious he’s getting more comfortable in each game he plays. In addition, he scored in the shootout.
- Colton Sissons: It seems like young Sissons is grinding it out every night now, looking to bury loose pucks and contribute to his team. He scored tonight’s crucial first goal.
- Viktor Arvidsson: Truth be told, Arvidsson should have scored about 4 more goals tonight. He was all over the place, showing us his incredible Arvi hustle. He snapped home the tying goal at the beginning of the third period.
Tweets of the Night
Darren Millard just asked Lavy "Mike Fisher timetable, has it moved up because you don't want him tweeting anymore" and it was too funny— Ryan is mad online (@AngryPredsFan) February 8, 2018
1. Sissons good— Marya ➡ (@_marya_k) February 8, 2018
2. I can barely read the jersey numbers
arvi should have like seven goals by now, y'all— FOX Sports Tennessee (@PredsOnFSTN) February 8, 2018
Thank u lord for RV— Smashville Proud (@SmashvilleProud) February 8, 2018
Frederik Andersen 3, Nashville Predators 2— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 8, 2018