The Nashville Predators got back in action (again) this morning against the Philadelphia Flyers.
A back-and-forth first period where the teams traded long moments of extended zone time and both Juuse Saros and Carter Hart had to make some sharp saves. While in the offensive zone, the Preds struggled to get shots on goal, before yielding the puck.
The big takeaway from the period, though, was an injury to Filip Forsberg with just seconds left. Rasmus Ristolainen checked Forsberg, who fell and appeared to bounce his head off the ice when he did. Despite what looked like some heated argument from Roman Josi and especially Mattias Ekholm, Ristolainen wasn’t penalized on the play; the Preds attempted to address this by putting Tanner Jeannot out at the period-ending faceoff, but the buzzer and the linesmen intervened.
The fight—between Jeannot and Nicolas Deslauriers—did happen, but not until after Jeannot started the second period with a hit on Ivan Provorov. The fans greeted the bloodsport with interest, and play resumed after both players took a seat in the box. Matt Duchene set Nino Niederreiter up for the first goal of the game a moment later.
Shortly after that, the Predators also got the first power play of the game thanks to a Cam York holding penalty, but were unable to convert. The Flyers missed a power-play chance of their own shortly after when the referees missed a blatant instance of the Preds having six skaters involved in the play. Kevin Hayes did tie the game 1-1 a moment later, outplaying Saros on a breakaway.
Hostilities continued to ramp up in the second period as Juuso Pärssinen and Joel Farabee engaged in fisticuffs (the verdict: Pärssinen should probably stick to making plays). Later, in the middle of a Flyers pushback, Jeremy Lauzon hit Scott Laughton, who skated away from the collision gingerly, and the Flyers expressed their own displeasure with another unpenalized hit; unlike Forsberg, Laughton was fortunately able to remain in the game.
While Nashville started the third period well, the Flyers kept them from getting many shots through on goal thanks to good defense and blocking. Halfway through the period, this mindset led Tony DeAngelo—making a rare defensive play and perhaps unfamiliar with the process—to take an Ekholm shot to the inside of the knee; he headed down the tunnel as well.
DeAngelo returned as the period continued, with the Preds continuing to push. Hayes got another breakaway with under five minutes remaining, but this time Saros was able to make the save, and save the follow-up as well.
The game headed to overtime, where Matt Duchene won it on the first shift.