Despite finding out that Eeli Tolvanen won’t be joining the team for a bit longer, the Predators had a tough game tonight against the Leaves. Young star Auston Matthews made his return from injury, and the Predators made their return from an undefeated road trip. The Predators finally fell back to Earth, and lost to the Maple Leaves, 5-2.
The first period mainly consisted of hits, occasional bursts of offense, and a Maple Leafs goal. Toronto got a power play early on and, despite Pekka’s best efforts, they capitalized. Nashville got a man advantage of their own soon afterwards, but they couldn’t even the score. The Predators eventually did create some opportunities, including a second power play chance, but failed to convert on any of their chances. Despite playing host to a previously lively crowd, the performance by the home team in the first created a quiet atmosphere.
About 5 minutes into the second, that quiet crowd got fired up again. On the third power play of the night, P.K. Subban intercepted an attempted clear, and delivered a pass to a wide open Viktor Arvidsson, who promptly made the score tied at 1. I don’t think you can really point to that as a sign of improvement on the power play, but a goal’s a goal. Later in the period, the Predators would go on another man advantage, but once again not score. Soon after advantage ended, Auston Matthews slung his own rebound into the back of the net, regaining the lead for Toronto. To make matters worse, chaos broke out in front of the net, and it resulted in Nylander extending the lead to 2. Nashville went on the power play yet again, but it was cut short when a cross check turned a power play into a 4 on 4 situation.
The third period started with a Toronto goal just 9 seconds in, this time from Mitchell Marner. 4 minutes later, it got worse. Jake Gardiner scored, and made the deficit 4, and also made this the worst effort from this team in recent memory. Not much of note happened for the rest of the period, with the exception of one goal, for the Preds this time, from Scotty Hartnell. This one was baaad, guys.
Does the team need to be ready for big games like this? Absolutely. However, this is the first atrocious game from Nashville in a long while. They are still sitting comfortably in first place of the west, and one very, very bad game doesn’t change that.
- Less than 2 minutes into the game, and Johansen sent Nylander to the ice twice in one shift. So it’s going to be one of those games.
- The rough play continues with a penalty on Fishy. Not ideal.
- Big save by Rinne on the power play. #Pekka4Vezina
- A few seconds later, an awkward play involving Josi’s stick results in a Toronto goal. 1-0.
- Another big hit, once again from Fisher.
- Preds get a man advantage at a very good time. Let’s tie this one up.
- Nice to see representatives from the USA Women’s Hockey Team. This could be us but you playing @Bettman.
- Predators can’t capitalize on the power play, but the offense appears to have finally arrived from Buffalo!
- 5 minutes left in the first, and the Preds have a second chance on the PP.
- Once again, the Preds have nothing to show for their effort (or lack thereof) on the power play.
- That’ll do it for the first. Anything but inspiring effort so far.
- Second period has begun, maybe some goals this time?
- Another power play for Nashville. They’ve gotta score one of these times, right?
- THEY DO! Arvy buries it in front of the net, thanks to a silky feed from Subban, and the game is tied. Bridgestone has come alive again. 1-1.
- Near goal by Fiala, but can’t find the back of the net. A for effort.
- Another power play for Nashville. Scoring could possibly prove to be beneficial.
- Two shots off the post, but no dice on this power play.
- Shortly after, Matthews scores. 2-1.
- Nylander adds another goal for the Leaves. 3-1.
- Another power play, and I am less than confident that a goal will be scored.
- Good opportunity for Turris, but he can’t get a shot off.
- Pretty blatant cross check ends the Predator’s advantage.
- Breakaway chance for Nylander, but Rinne shuts it down.
- End of the second, the third will start on the penalty kill.
- Start of the third, the Leaves have scored again. It took them nine seconds. 4-1.
- Another goal, and believe it or not, it wasn’t for Nashville. 5-1.
- Predators on the power pla- just kidding Forsberg called for tripping.
- After checking the Grizzlies score, it just isn’t a good night for Tennessee sports I suppose.
- Scott Hartnell scores. Yay. 5-2.
OTF’s Super Duper Stars the Game
- Viktor Arvidsson- Despite the team’s effort, he had the lone goal.
- P.K. Subban- Delivered a nice pass for Arvy’s goal.
- Pekka Rinne- He blocked some shots. #Pekka4Vezina
Tweets of the Night
142.09 MIKA NIEMI!! 1–2!!!!— Jokerit Helsinki (@Jokerit_EN) March 22, 2018
GAME 6 @HARTWALLARENA
SATURDAY 4PM FINNISH TIME
#JOKERIT #KHL #CSKvsJOK
#Preds | #TORvsNSH pic.twitter.com/tJI2HkBYpF— Thomas Willis (@TomAWillis) March 23, 2018