However, Philly’s 2019 didn’t get off to such a good start as the Preds rolled to a 4-0 victory for their second consecutive win.
The first 10 minutes featured a long period without stoppages and some good flow, but Nashville (24-15-2) only registered one shot on goal through the halfway point of the first.
After a scoreless opening period, Craig Smith opened the scoring 2:03 into the second frame by wiring a wrist shot past Michal Neuvirth for his 11th goal of the season.
P.K. Subban was called for interference at the 3:38 mark, sending the Flyers (15-19-5) to the game’s first power play. Sean Coutuier redirected a Jakob Voracek shot in the slot, but it hit the crossbar to end Philadelphia’s best chance with the man advantage.
The top line kept chugging along and connected on the Preds’ second goal as Ryan Hartman and Ryan Johansen set up Viktor Arvidsson for a tap-in goal at 12:03 of the second period.
Fiala went to the box at 16:02 for tripping, triggering the Flyers’ second power play chance of the evening. At the end of the power play, Fiala broke up a pass at the blue line, resulting in Arvidsson and Neuvirth racing for the loose puck. Fiala had the loose puck with Neuvirth down and out of the play, but failed to put it on net.
Nashville got its first power play 22 seconds into the third period as Michael Raffl was called for interference. The Predators managed three shots on goal during the power play, though nothing came of it.
Arvidsson pushed the Preds’ lead to three at the 6:15 mark off a pass from Ellis.
Rocco Grimaldi added to the fun with a top-shelf shot off a pass from Zac Rinaldo at the 11:37 mark.
Raffl put the Preds back on the power play with 1:43 left with a holding call, but Nashville simply ran out the clock from there.
- Happy New Year, everyone. Here’s to writing the wrong year on everything for the next week.
- Speaking of things that are wrong, why is this a 7:30 start, again?
- Turns out some of the players’ moms did make the trip back to Nashville for the game tonight. Maybe the mojo carries over?
- And a catfish to ring in 2019, too.
- Lots of stuff happening around the Philly net, nary a score nor a penalty to show for it.
- Juuse Saros with the loud pad save
- It’s perfectly okay if the officials want to speed this game along. Some of us have to return to work tomorrow.
- The top line has been top-line-ish so far, save for actually getting one in the net.
- Saros is definitely awake, but I’m not sure about everybody else — and that includes the Flyers.
- What a pass by Fiala, and what a shot by Smith.
- A bit lucky this game isn’t tied right now.
- Some chaotic moments around Neuvirth, going to need to keep that pressure up.
- Someone might want to check on that post to the right of Neuvirth. Arvy hit it HARD.
- Shane Gostisbehere is fortunate he’s not hurt worse after catching a puck with the top of his visor. Yikes.
- Preds put together a pretty darn funny Gnash vs. Gritty video with a “Rocky” montage.
- Good work by Hartman to set Joey up for Arvy’s goal. Something about getting to the net that works.
- I’ve lost count on the number of posts and crossbars hit tonight. For both teams.
- Matt Irwin just Matt Irwin-ed again.
- Man, hard hit on Fiala. Clean, too. And nothing happened after it. What a concept.
- All sorts of stuff is happening. Great work by Ellis in the neutral zone to hit Arvidsson after the turnover.
- Rocco and Rinaldo have something cooking.
- Smooth move, Roman Josi. Did everything but score.
Stars of the Game
- Saros. One of the best games he’s played.
- Arvidsson. Top line’s churning with Hartman filling in.
- Grimaldi. When guys get healthy, he has to stay in the lineup.
Tweets of the Night
Rocco Grimaldi is a great example of what sports are all about. You take one look at the guy and you're like "No way can that guy be an NHL player."— Robby Stanley (@RStanleyNHL) January 2, 2019
And then he goes out there and just works his tail off and has been playing quite well for the Predators.
my mouth actually fell open on that Saros save. Oh my Juuse.— Rachel K (@_RKH80) January 2, 2019
Anyway, thanks to Craig Smith for making the shot maps irrelevant!— On The Forecheck (@OnTheForecheck) January 2, 2019
Just your normal hockey play, why is everyone freaking out?— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 2, 2019
I still can't believe the Preds didn't manage to score here. I mean, I can believe it, but... https://t.co/adM15PaaPG— On The Forecheck (@OnTheForecheck) January 2, 2019