Nashville got out to a strong start early, when Joel Edmundson shot the puck over the glass and took a delay-of-game penalty. A strong effort by the Nashville power play culminated in a power-play goal for Cody Glass at 4:10. The goal was reviewed for a play with a high stick, and it was very close, but ultimately the call on the ice stood.
Colton Sissons narrowly missed making it 2-0 right after, but made up for that missed chance when Filip Forsberg stole the puck, faked out Habs goalie Sam Montembeault, and set Sissons up for a makeup goal.
Saros had to make a massive save on Cole Caufield, but was helped out by Glass tripping Caufield on the play. The Preds headed to the penalty kill, but less than a minute in got some 4-on-4 thanks to Brendan Gallagher high-sticking Mark Jankowski. Glass was freed from the box and, just as Gallagher followed him, he helped provide a screen that let Mattias Ekholm score on a long shot to make it 3-0 Nashville.
The Preds continued to pressure, before a scuffle in front of Montembeault sent Sissons and Chris Wideman to the box on coincidental roughing minors. This 4-on-4 ended like the last, with no new score. With under a minute left in the period, Caufield managed to break away from the Preds’ defenders—including Forsberg—and get one past Saros to cut the Preds’ lead to two.
This energized the Habs, who piled on the shots as the period ended. Saros withstood the flurry, but after some back-and-forth play to start the second Josh Anderson scored to make it 3-2. Tanner Jeannot missed on a return chance, but just a moment later Tommy Novak extended the Preds’ lead back to two.
Montreal lost Caufield and Gallagher briefly to injury, but both returned in the second half of the period, just in time to join the Habs’ power play as Ryan McDonagh interrupted some good offense from his own team with a holding penalty. Yakov Trenin had a great shorthanded chance, but Montembeault was able to make the save, as well as some follow-ups.
The penalty expired without incident, and a few minutes later Roman Josi collected a great pass from Novak to make it 5-2. With under two minutes left in the period, Trenin took a high-sticking penalty. Caufield and Granlund had the best chances of the period’s power play—Granlund’s shorthanded attempt coming at the buzzer—but at the start of the third with 21 seconds still in Trenin’s penalty, Ekholm was called for high-sticking Kirby Dach.
Nashville was able to kill off both penalties and go back on the attack. Then it was their turn back on the power play, as Forsberg drew a hooking penalty from Jordan Harris, and then their turn on the 5v3 as Josi drew a tripping penalty with a spinorama before immediately setting Matt Duchene up for a power-play goal to make it 6-2.
Forsberg had an amazing chance to add to the Preds’ lead with around eight and a half minutes left in the third, but his stick shattered as he took the shot. With 3:01 remaining, Gallagher took advantage of Alexandre Carrier’s broken stick to score, 6-3.
Despite some late attempts by both teams, that held up as the final score. The Preds got a much-needed win against a must-beat opponent, and the local fans got plenty of giveaway food.