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Florida Panthers 4, Nashville Predators 2: Saturday Night Snoozer

Video Game Night didn’t go so well for the Predators. A winnable game turned into running over a banana peel on the last lap in Mario Kart.

NHL: Florida Panthers at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Nashville Predators didn’t exactly give their fans something to cheer about in the final home game before the All-Star Break.

Despite the visiting Florida Panthers coming in for the second half of a back-to-back set, Nashville—sans the suspended Ryan Johansen—fell behind 3-0 and was unable to recover in a 4-2 loss.

The loss was the fourth in the Predators’ last five games.

Dan Hamhuis took the game’s first penalty at the 2:46 mark for interference. Viktor Arvidsson broke up a faceoff play and instantly got a shorthanded breakaway, but failed to beat James Reimer.

The Panthers struck on the same power play, as Aaron Ekblad’s blast at the 4:05 mark put Florida up 1-0.

Nashville took its first turn with the man advantage at the 4:44 mark after Keith Yandle was whistled for roughing.

Florida took a 2-0 lead with 6:44 left in the first when Frank Vatrano beat Juuse Saros.

The Panthers upped the edge to 3-0 just 2:59 into the second when Vincent Trocheck broke in alone and slipped the puck through Saros’s pads.

Nick Bonino put the Preds on the board 2:45 into the third period, dangling around Reimer to open up the net. Only 38 seconds later, Austin Watson sliced the Panthers’ lead to one.

Jared McCann gave Florida back some breathing room with 8:22 to play and the Predators were unable to recover.

Random Observations

  • Colin Blackwell makes his NHL debut tonight on a line with Colton Sissons and Craig Smith. Sadly, he didn’t get the solo rookie lap in warmups, though.
  • Florida does hold a novel place in my heart since they were the Preds’ first opponent way back in 1998 when I was in high school.
  • Keith Yandle exacted some revenge on Forsberg for a clean hit seconds earlier and got a roughing penalty as a parting gift.
  • The Preds needed a good start after Thursday. This isn’t a good start.
  • Decent flurry to end the first, but that was not a good period.
  • Not sure if something happened to Ryan Hartman or if he’s in Peter Laviolette’s doghouse. Just four shifts and 1:58 of ice time in the first, more than a minute behind everyone else.
  • Mattias Ekholm turns it over, Ryan Ellis falls over trying to stop the play and Trocheck scores on the resulting breakaway. Just feels like one of those nights.
  • The Panthers were a James Reimer stretch away from scoring on themselves on a delayed penalty call.
  • Freddy Gaudreau has a wide open net and hits the post. Yep, it’s that kind of night.
  • Not a bad power play sequence, but I’d still like to see more than Ryan Ellis clapping shots from the left circle. Three on that chance and Reimer handled all of them easily.
  • Reimer’s not letting anything by tonight, it seems.
  • Pretty nice move by Bonino to get one past Reimer.
  • And just like that, life.
  • Well, that was an interesting 12 minutes at least.

Stars of the Game

  1. Krazy Kyle for slinging some sweet video game tunes on the organ for Video Game Night at Bridgestone Arena. From “Super Mario Bros.” to “Street Fighter,” he killed it. Oh, and he didn’t forget Dolly Parton’s birthday either, with “9 to 5” and “Jolene.”
  2. Bonino. Breathed a little life in the arena by busting up Reimer’s shutout.
  3. Watson. Breathed a little more life less than a minute later.

Tweets of the Night

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