It seemed like a while since the Nashville Predators were on the ice, because, well, it was. After going more than a full week since their last game, the Preds returned to action Friday for a back-to-back set that made up the entirety of the schedule for this week.
With a win at Florida after a four-goal outburst in the third period, the fellas returned to Smashville for a Saturday-night tilt with the Dallas Stars, who are playing well as of late and hovering above the cutoff for a playoff spot.
Jordin Tootoo celebrated his birthday in Nashville and held the ceremonial puck drop prior to the game. Ryan Hartman must’ve found some inspiration, fighting Esa Lindell and firing up the crowd on the way to the penalty box.
Filip Forsberg wowed the crowd with his puck-handling mastery, though none of the good from the first two periods carried over to the third as the Stars struck twice late to down the Preds 3-1. They’ll have to return to Nashville on Thursday, however, to try that again.
On a more somber front, Austin Watson was placed in the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse Program and suspended indefinitely as a result. Here’s to him getting the help he needs.
The Fast Money Round
Friday: Predators 4, Florida Panthers 1
Saturday: Dallas Stars 3, Predators 1
Welcome back, Toots. Too bad a good start led to a not-so-good finish for ya, bud. (Also: if this is a first-round playoff series, sign me up.)
Player of the Week
I originally wanted to put Viktor Arvidsson here, but as always I reserved the right to change my mind and instead his linemate gets the honors. It wasn’t the magical puck handling that did it for Filip Forsberg, but boy it sure didn’t hurt.
Favorite Thing of the Week
Stat of the Week
As of the end of the game on Saturday night, your Nashville Predators are dead last in the NHL on the power play.
This week’s grade
Three good periods and three bad periods. Dallas gaining a little ground didn’t help, either. It all averages out to be, well, average. This week’s grade: C+
Who’s your Player of the Week for Week 17?
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