Five days earlier, the Dallas Stars came to Nashville and picked up two important points over the Predators.
The second meeting in less than a week took a little longer to settle, and the Predators ended up with two points as Ryan Johansen’s overtime winner gave Nashville a 3-2 victory to halt Dallas’ five-game winning streak.
What the visitors saw on Thursday was quite different from what went down last weekend, as least in the personnel department, with newly-acquired Brian Boyle, newly-reacquired Cody McLeod and finally-back-off-IR Kyle Turris in the lineup.
A flying start from the Predators settled a bit in the first period. Nashville persisted in getting to high-danger areas, and it paid off in a weird way at 17:46 as a Kevin Fiala shot went over the net, went off Craig Smith’s back, and somehow ended up in the net behind Anton Khudobin for the first goal of the game.
Dallas had a couple of chances on the power play in the first period, but Nashville’s penalty kill held the fort in what turned out to be a scoreless second period dominated by the Stars.
Jamie Benn nearly tied the game late in the second, but his shot from Saros’ right barely went over the net.
Saros had played a very strong game, but he gave up a big rebound early in the third period that went to Miro Heiskanen, who rifled it past Saros at the 4:05 mark.
A Colton Sissons one-timer snuck through Khudobin’s pads, and was nearly put in by Roman Polak, but he recovered in time to keep the puck out of the net.
Ryan Johansen set up Viktor Arvidsson to redirect the go-ahead goal at the 8:41 mark, but the Stars answered with a Taylor Fedun point shot 1:05 later.
Johansen and Arvidsson started off overtime with Roman Josi, and it only took 43 seconds for Johansen to bury the game-winner in the extra session.
- Bonino, Boyle, McLeod and (gasp!) Turris all in. Gaudreau and Grimaldi out. I don’t like sitting Grimaldi for McLeod, but we’ll just have to deal with it.
- Oh, yeah, Juuse’s gold pads officially make their home debut, too. After further review, I like them. They actually look like they match the jersey tonight. All it took was getting the shine knocked off of them.
- Brian Boyle doing what he does best, get in front and make it tough on goaltenders. So close to being 1-0 on that great screen.
- One decent look on Boyle’s first power play shift, but just not enough zone time to really see any impact.
- What does Kevin Fiala have to do to get one? Anton Khudobin just committed grand larceny with that stop on a 2-on-1.
- A more concerted effort to get to high-danger areas...except they’re just not getting actual chances yet.
- Fil-thy pass from Forsberg.
- Two Dallas attackers enter the corner...both get knocked down.
- And Fiala does indeed get one. You have to wonder if those trades were a message directly to him, because he’s played like a man possessed tonight.
- Well, hold that thought. The other player I think might get moved — Craig Smith — is gonna get credit for the goal off his freaking back. From behind the net.
- Cody McLeod out here acting like he’s trying to score goals or something.
- Man alive, Saros and those gold pads. He might be on to something with them.
- It’s almost like a playoff-type game so far. Dallas has brought the defense again this evening. And the Second Period Nap seems to have returned, which doesn’t help Nashville’s cause.
- The Preds might want to get some pressure in the Stars’ end before one ends up behind Saros.
- Hartman going down the tunnel instead of into the penalty box is concerning.
- Pretty good penalty kill, especially with Viktor Arvidsson taking on the entire Stars’ power play in the corner.
- Saros has played a good game, but that was way too big of a rebound to let go.
- Roman Polak nearly put the puck in his own net.
- Well, Arvy will take care of that, now.
- They’ve got the lead...aaaand it’s gone.
- Massive stop by Saros after Ekholm fell down.
- Joey shoots...game over.
Three Stars of the Game
- Johansen. Huge OT winner and a great feed to Arvy.
- Arvidsson. All over the place, as usual.
- Smith. Craigy got back.
Tweets of the Night
I believe @WillyD1025 mentioned this earlier, but the Predators will have their top-six forwards — if we're defining them as Forsberg, Johansen, Arvidsson, Fiala, Turris and Smith — in the lineup for the first time since Nov. 10.— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) February 8, 2019
Boyle is definitely going to make some opponent goalies seriously annoyed on the power play.— On The Forecheck (@OnTheForecheck) February 8, 2019
Hey look!! It's @ShannonSzabados! #Preds pic.twitter.com/hJV0eftqLS— Jeremy K. Gover (@govertime) February 8, 2019
Dear Preds,— On The Forecheck (@OnTheForecheck) February 8, 2019
xoxo, the OTF Staff