(The recap tonight is a tag-team effort between Shaun and Rachel. Shaun has the first period and Rachel has the rest of the game.)
The Predators tallied early in the first period off a gorgeous laser of a shot from Mattias Ekholm. Jarred Tinordi picked up an assist. Pavel Zacha answered quickly for the Devils on a shorthanded chance, but the Predators quickly pulled ahead once more after Filip Forsberg followed up on a loose puck right in front of New Jersey goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood.
The Predators opened up the second period with a power play, but the Devils’ penalty kill quickly stuffed any momentum. The Devils found a tying goal on a power play midway through the second period, again from Pavel Zacha. The Predators committed another penalty shortly after the Devils tied the game, and the Devils pulled ahead with a goal from Nikita Gusev.
Nick Bonino tied it back up at 3 off a Craig Smith rebound, but then the Devils added a fourth goal from Jesper Bratt after Nashville’s defense collapsed completely at the end of the second period.
Matt Duchene opened the third with Nashville’s fourth goal of the game. Blackwood never saw the shot. With around 13 minutes remaining in the third period, John Hayden put the Devils up by a goal off a face-off snipe. With Wayne Simmonds in the box for slashing Colton Sissons, Forsberg notched his second goal of the night on the power play to tie the game up once again.
Regulation would not be enough for the Devils and the Preds. Each team acquired a point, but the score would need to be settled in a shootout. Matt Duchene and Filip Forsberg scored in the shootout and Pekka Rinne stopped 2 of 3 New Jersey attempts.
- One person was feeling the National Anthem and they call him P.K. Subban.
Fact: PK Subban burns 1,476 calories during the anthem.— Paul Skrbina (@PaulSkrbina) January 31, 2020
- Mackenzie Blackwood’s stock photo pictures him with a black eye. I like it.
- Mattias Ekholm with an absolute blast from the perimeter that deflected into the net! Preds up 1-0. (FYI, that was my prediction for FGotG on Predator Gameplan earlier)
- Some great forechecking, especially by Nick Bonino.
- Colton Sissons celebrate his return to the ice with a quick visit to the penalty box for a high stick. New Jersey has the worst power play in the league.
- Mikael Granlund, who is new to the penalty kill unit, is doing great. Aggressive and good placement.
- Kyle Turris gets tripped, time for 4-on-4.
- Nico Hischier found Pavel Zacha at the end of the brief 4-on-4 alone in front of the net and he scored. Tied at 1.
- Lots of frenetic hockey being played by both teams.
- Just realized Jarred Tinordi got the assist on Ekholm’s goal. That makes a three game point streak. I guess he’s making a case to stay in Nashville. Do not want.
- Filip Forsberg scored a beauty off of an Arvidsson pass to Turris’s skate. Predators up 2-1. (My daughter chose Forsberg for FGotG...will my son’s choice of Roman Josi produce a third goal?)
Filbruary is right around the corner folks pic.twitter.com/Efcb54KpUl— ᴀɴɢʀʏ ᴀʀᴠʏ (@AngryArvy) January 31, 2020
- Just a friendly reminder that Wayne Simmonds plays for the New Jersey Devils.
- Not a ton of defense going on.
- Bonino’s line had a nice shift in the offensive zone and had some great looks.
Hi. PK I love you but don’t push Yak Attack again after the play. I give him permission to fight you.— Hollie (@darlinghollie) January 31, 2020
- Ryan Johansen’s line (with Matt Duchene and Mikael Granlund on the wings) looks fast...and good.
- Dante Fabbro took exception to the hit he just took from Miles Wood.
- BIG STOP BY THE BIG FINN!! Glove save on Nikita Gusev in the waning seconds of the first period.
- I wonder what Gusev’s hockey nickname is. Common sense says it’s “Goose”, but that probably just means it’s “Nicky” or something.
Rachel Takes Over
(RK: I am very thankful for Shaun. He is incredible. I’m not thankful for Nashville traffic.)
- The movement on the power play was pretty good, but no dice.
- A bucket-less Dante Fabbro!!!! The horror!!!
- Can we talk about how solid of a penalty killer Mikael Granlund is?
Fabbro is having a very physical game tonight. I like what I see. Yes, a misstep earlier, but he paid the price to correct it by taking that crushing hit with about 2 minutes left in the first. #preds— Shaun C. Smith (@SCSOTF) January 31, 2020
- This game went south really fast.
- Nick Bonino gets a bit of redemption.
As my friend @statsrespecter has pointed out previously, it seems the John Hynes model is less quantity, more quality at five-on-five.— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) January 31, 2020
In this game, when adjusted for score/venue, the Predators are at 47.19 CF%, but also 61.54 xGF%.
- Pekka Rinne is actually flailing in the net tonight. But...
- His defense is non-functional tonight.
- Matt Duchene must have heard the NBC commentators talking crap about him.
- Is this game over? Jeez.
- WOW WOW WOW Filip Forsberg.
- Stop turtling in front of Pekka!!!!!!!
- Pekka Rinne pokechecks are exciting.
- Exhales. Shootout time.
- Forsberg doing Forsberg things. Bang.
- Matt Duchene roofs a shootout goal. How pretty!!!
- Ryan Johansen fell over Blackwood on his shootout attempt. I sure hope Blackwood is ok.
- Pekka Rinne comes up big in the shootout for Nashville.