Things started horribly for the Predators Saturday night facing off against the backend of their back to back against the Pittsburgh Penguins. If you need a recap of how it went, just read Friday night’s game recap, because it looked like we were in for a repeat. When the Preds went down 3-0 in the first period, the internet immediately reached for the panic button.
You're watching Nashville Predators hockey! https://t.co/nkQ6AzX2Qm— Link (@3DLink) December 29, 2019
The Preds decision to start Juuse Saros was a bit of a head scratcher considering how early he was sent in to relieve Pekka Rinne the night before. The start was short lived for the young goaltender, with Rinne coming in for relief before the end of the second. While it’s been a rough stretch for the team as a whole, this back-to-back against the Penguins has really raised some question concerning Nashville’s goaltending. Is it a defense problem or are Rinne and Saros a bit out of synch this season?
Just when it looked like this game was completely lost and he Preds were down 4-1 the team started to come alive.
SAY PREDS, HOW DO WE GET BACK ON THE RIGHT TRACK?!?!?! pic.twitter.com/WsJ0toEGUT— The Neutral Zone (@NeutralZone1045) December 29, 2019
The #Preds finally crash the net on the power play and Viktor Arvidsson makes it a 3-1 game.— Alex Daugherty (@AlexDaugherty1) December 29, 2019
Craig Smith cuts the Pens’ lead in half.— On The Forecheck (@OnTheForecheck) December 29, 2019
We’re still not calling it a comeback just yet.
While the Preds rallied to tie up the game, the Penguins never let off the gas. A penalty call on Austin Watson turned the momentum late in the third, and gave the Penguins the tie-breaking goal that would end up costing the Nashville the game.
Once again, the Penguins benefit from a goal call by the refs that should have been reversed. It's June 2017 all over again. #Preds— Alex Daugherty (@AlexDaugherty1) December 29, 2019
there was no reason to call that a good goal. The referee looked at it for 5 seconds before deciding that it was a good goal without any confirmation the puck was entirely over the goal line.— Rachel K (@_RKH80) December 29, 2019
Nashville opted to pull the goalie in hopes of another last minute goal to re-tie the game, but the Penguins ended up with the empty-net goal absolutely deflating what was left of the Predator’s momentum. That was not the ending the Preds or the fans for hoping for to close out 2019.
Nashville heads to the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day in Dallas. Save travels to all the Preds fans and OTF readers heading to Texas for the game.