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Nashville Predators 2, New Jersey Devils 3 (SO): Their Streak Is Over, But Preds Steal a Point

Juuse Saros helped his team grab a point in the shootout tonight. Ryan Johansen and Mattias Ekholm scored for Nashville, and the Preds keep an 11-game point streak alive.

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

On a Hockey Fights Cancer and Military Appreciation Night in Nashville, the Predators opened up the scoring early on a goal by defenseman Mattias Ekholm. Kyle Turris accidentally had a puck stolen away, but Ekhom nabbed it from the Devils player and skated it into the zone and snapped it home. His goal came at 1:17 in the first.

A shot into traffic from Sami Vatanen evened the score shortly after. The Predators spent much of the rest of the first period attempting to gain possession and get some shots on net. New Jersey had the first power play of the evening due to Nashville having too many men on the ice.

New Jersey started the second on the power play. The Devils had some excellent puck movement, but were unable to maintain possession for enough time to make a play on net. Miles Wood sent the Predators on their first power play with about half of the second period gone. P.K. Subban was sent to the box shortly thereafter on a slashing call.

Nashville returned to even strength, but a Brian Boyle tip-in seemingly put the Devils in the lead. A brief review from the League showed the goal was good. The second period play by the Predators looked a little lacking in terms of execution. However, by the end of the period, the Predators were absolutely peppering Keith Kinkaid with shots and maintained zone possession for nearly 4 minutes.

Mike Fisher was tripped up by Boyle at the beginning of the third period, giving the Preds their second power play of the evening. Unfortunately for Nashville, they were unable to find a way to pressure in New Jersey’s zone.

With perhaps the most ridiculous call of the evening, the Predators were assessed a minor for a high-stick. A visibly frustrated Nashville team fought hard on the power play, and the crowd let the referees know how dumb their call was.

With Saros on the bench, Ryan Johansen was able to camp out on the Devils doorstep and tap in a puck to tie the game with 1 minute remaining. Bridgestone exploded. To overtime...

In overtime, Saros and Kinkaid both made some insane saves. Viktor Arvidsson drew a penalty from Michael Grabner, putting the Predators up 4-on-3 in OT. The goal post once again stopped a Predators goal. This game requires a shootout.

With no goals scored in the first three rounds of the shootout, Taylor Hall popped a shot in behind Saros. Kyle Turris returned the favor and snapped home a beautiful wrister. Boyle scored in the next round for New Jersey, and Craig Smith couldn’t poke the puck home.

New Jersey pulled off a desperate victory to keep their wild-card chances within reach. Nashville matched their effort, but not for the entire 60 minutes. The Predators maintain an 11-game point streak going into a road trip.

Random Observations

  • The Hockey Fights Cancer video should show EVERYONE how much these Predators care about the Nashville community.
  • Hi, Brian Boyle!
  • The Juice is loose!
  • I don’t think anyone expected Mattias Ekholm to drive to the net and score like that. Holy Ekky.
  • Stop the woo-ing. Please.
  • Oh, Craig.
  • Preds are looking a little clustered right now.
  • Don’t bump Juuse or you’ll get a face wash. I love that the boys are protective of their goalers.
  • Forsberg and those posts have got to break up.
  • “Six men and then goaler.” Devils PP.
  • Penalty= killed.
  • Wes McAuley is extra.
  • Penalty=killed...but an immediate goal for New Jersey.
  • Not sure how that’s a good goal. -_-
  • The Preds have been viciously attacking the net since the second Devils goal.
  • Angry Lavy.
  • Dumb penalty=killed
  • Juuse doing a Marc-Andre Fleury move out there! Holy goaler.
  • I just scared all the pets in my house screaming about that tying goal. AAAAAHHH JOEY!
  • Juuse Saros doing all kinds of bacon saving in OT.
  • To the shootout!!!!!
  • Palmieri: X
  • Ellis: X
  • Bratt: X
  • Fiala: X
  • Stafford: X
  • Forsberg: X
  • Hall: Goal
  • Turris: Goal
  • Boyle: Goal
  • Smith: X. Devils win it in the shootout.

Super Duper Stars of the Night

  1. Mattias Ekholm: A goal and tons of big plays tonight. His goal tonight put him into double digits this season for the first time in his career. Congratulations, Mattias!
  2. Ryan Johansen: His tying goal was a thing of beauty.
  3. Juuse Saros: The younger Finnish goaltender kept his team in this game late. The OT and shootout saves speak volumes for this young player’s development. He shows us that he can be trusted to backstop against desperate and win-hungry teams.

Tweets of the Game

@Lady_Preds keeps this Ekholm photo saved for games like this.

Game Video