Nashville Predators 1, Seattle Kraken 5: When it rains, it pours

Yet another embarrassing start doomed the Predators early and the Seattle Kraken would surge to yet another win

First Period

Once again, we saw Nashville give up an early goal, just 38 seconds into the game by Jordan Eberle on a shot from the right circle that was somehow missed by Juuse Saros.  There was nobody screening, and Jeremy Lauzon had made a mental error earlier in the play, but Saros has had a couple of goals like this, and it’s not encouraging.

The Predators would get back to work, with each of the lines getting a chance to create some offense.  Cole Smith would get a netfront chance a couple of minutes later on a nice cross-ice pass, but Smith attempted to kick it to his stick and it was stolen away.  Not too long after, the Kraken would get an odd man rush opportunity again, but thankfully Juuse Saros was up to the task.  Shortly after, Jordan Eberle would get another prime chance against Saros, but his shot rang off the post - thankfully for the Predators.

The Herd Line would create the first sustained offensive possession six minutes into the period.  Yakov Trenin and Tanner Jeannot would create several chances, but were unable to score.  On the ensuing possession, once again Cole Smith had a prime chance against Martin Jones, but it was knocked away fairly easily.

After picking up some momentum, however, once again the quick in transition Seattle defense was able to create possession and moved through the neutral zone on a two-on-one.  Andre Burakovsky would collect his second point of the night after a pass to Will Borgen, who scored from mid-range to put the Kraken up 2-0 with 12:31 remaining.  Borgen would also pick up his second point of the night here as well.

Nashville, reeling, was able to draw a penalty on Oliver Bjorkstrand to send Nashville to their first power play with 11:52 remaining.  Filip Forsberg would get a great look early, but hit the crossbar - still, they got a shot attempt within the first 30 seconds of the power play, so that’s improvement.  However, not much went right after that, as they were once again unable to establish possession in the OZ, and the first power play unit would come off the ice, but the story was the same for the second unit.  The inability to even set up the power play is borderline unacceptable at this point.  The Kraken would kill the penalty after giving up just one Nashville shot.

Nashville would try and mix things up early, switching lines up midway through the second, with Mark Jankowski replacing Colton Sissons on the third line and Forsberg moving to the second line with Ryan Johansen and Nino Niederreiter.  The fourth line, now with Sissons, once again were able to get a decent possession in the offensive zone, but once again, couldn’t come up with a shot on goal.  Nashville wouldn’t get their first shot on goal since the power play until 5:30 left in the first period.

It wouldn’t take long though for Nashville to give up a third first-period goal for the second game in a row - Andre Burakovsky got a great pass on Saros’ right side, and waited for Juuse to move out of position and scored with an open net.

And much like Seattle in real life, when it rains, it pours.  Ryan McDonaugh would try a center pass out of the defensive zone, but it would be easily intercepted and Jordan Eberle would pick up yet another goal, making the game 4-0 with 3:33 left in the first, and Juuse Saros would get the hook.

Kevin Lankinen entered the game, hoping to try and stem the bleeding.  However, Seattle would continue controlling the puck.  Mattias Ekholm would give up yet another turnover, but luckily the Kraken shot would go wide.  Not too long after, Nashville would limp to the locker room for first intermission, down 4-0 to the Seattle Kraken.

Second Period

Nashville would look mostly the same as the first period to open up the second - struggling to maintain possession and giving up dangerous chances.  If not for a Ryan McDonaugh block in the crease, Seattle would have picked up an easy goal against Kevin Lankinen, but they would survive the initial challenge.  Still, the offense would look relatively better, getting four of the first five shots on goal of the period in the first six minutes of play.

The Predators would again get sustained offensive zone time from the top two units, but couldn’t manage any shots on goal with 11:25 remaining.  And wouldn’t you know, the next shot they’d get on goal was a powerful drive from Cole Smith, but once again Martin Jones makes the stop.  However, the momentum would help, as Filip Forsberg would come onto the ice after a block and get the breakaway, beating Martin Jones one-on-zero and pulling Nashville (kicking and screaming) onto the scoreboard at 9:35, 1-4 in the second period.

We’d get a mention that Ryan Johansen was playing in his 800th career game from the broadcast crew, and wow, has it really been 7 14 years with Nashville already?

Nashville would get back go to their hard forechecking ways, and managed to get the Kraken pinned in their own zone on a couple of occasions, leading to a Cole Smith breakaway - and this time, it wasn’t his fault he didn’t score, as he got hooked by Morgan Geekie and Nashville would go back to the power play with 6:34 remaining.

The power play would start with a quick shot on net, but Jones would turn that away.  But then it went back to what we’d seen previously - a OZ faceoff was won back to Roman Josi, who missed controlling the puck, forcing the team to regroup outside the zone.  The first unit continued to struggle - despite some attempts by Filip Forsberg on offense and defense - and they’d leave the ice with 30 seconds remaining.  The second unit would get a couple of good looks, and maintained possession but the power play ended like they have most of the season - with no points on the board.

Nashville, with just 4 minutes remaining in the period, would come back from the media timeout seeing the Kraken getting a couple of good looks, only broken up by a stellar defensive effort by Filip Forsberg (who else?).  Still, a turnover after that would lead to another two-on-one but luckily the Kraken would miss the pass.  But Seattle wasn’t done applying pressure - turning away the fourth line that had been getting OZ time earlier, and they’d continue to get high-quality chances against Lankinen.  With a minute remaining, the Herd Line with Mark Jankowski would actually provide some spark for the team, but it was prove to be too little, too late, and would head to the locker room with a three goal deficit and only one answer to the Kraken - Filip Forsberg, who isn’t able to win a game all by himself.  Predators trailed after two, 4-1 after a Filip Forsberg breakaway - and not much else.

Third Period

The third saw another decent opening to the period, at least in maintaining possession, but a couple of offside calls would keep the Predators from establishing any momentum.  Ryan McDonagh, for the second time in the game, would play the puck towards Lankinen in attempt to help with the save and I really wish he’d stop doing that forever.  Defensively, Nashville would hold Seattle to just one shot on goal in the first five minutes, but the Kraken didn’t really need to generate offense with a three goal lead.  Nashville would only get two shots themselves, putting very little pressure on the Kraken lead.

Nino Neiderreiter would get a great shot from the high slot that Martin Jones saved but couldn’t control, and Zach Sanford would get a great chance up close.  But again, Martin Jones makes the save look easy, and Seattle gets another odd-man rush the other way that results in a big save from Kevin Lankinen.

Jaden Schwartz would get another great chance against Lankinen, who was forced into making yet another huge save quickly.  The Predators would try going to other direction, but another turnover would result in Matt Duchene losing his temper and drawing an interference penalty against Brandon Tanev, and Nashville would go on the penalty kill for the first time in the game with 10:55 left.

Colton Sissons and Tanner Jeannot would get a turnover and a shorthanded attempt, but Sissons’ shot would be blockered away by Martin Jones.  The top PK unit would do a great job keeping the Kraken outside, even with the Kraken utilizing a player at the bumper position.  Lankinen would make easy work of a nice shot from Oliver Bjorkstrand with just 13 seconds left in the penalty kill, and the Predators would kill the penalty with 8:49 left.

Matt Duchene came out of the box and got a shot on Jones, but the Kraken would get back to the offensive zone quickly themselves.  Mikael Granlund would try a turnaround backhand shot with 8 minutes left that was easily saved, and the Predators would continue to turn up the heat on offense and get more aggressive.

Even after another good offensive possession by Nashville, Seattle easily was able to get the puck down the ice quickly, interrupting any Predators momentum.  Filip Forsberg continued to be the best player on the ice for Nashville, fighting through defenders but like the rest of the game, had no support from his linemates.  With just 3 minutes left, Nashville would try and put forwards on the opposing blue line in hopes of getting a quick scoring opportunity as well as pulling Kevin Lankinen.  The Predators would try to make up the three goal deficit with six skaters, and the comeback bid (if you even can call it that) would stall a bit before a hand pass call would keep Seattle from getting a shot at the empty net.

There wouldn’t be a ton in the ensuing minute, ending with Seattle shooting for the empty net, but missing and getting an icing call with 2:01 left.  Again, Nashville couldn’t muster anything with the man advantage, and Filip Forsberg did everything he could to stop Brandon Tanev from shooting on the empty net, but Tanev skates past Forsberg and gets the empty-net goal, pushing the lead to 5-1 with 1:11 left, and that would prove to be the final score.  Nashville once again fails to win three games in a row, and heads to Colorado to end the road trip and folks - it doesn’t look great right now in Smashville.

On The Forecheck’s Three Stars of the Game

1st star: Seattle Kraken - Andre Burakovsky - 1 goals, 2 primary assists, 3 points

2nd star: Seattle Kraken - Jordan Eberle - 2 goals, 2 points

3rd star: Nashville Predators - Kevin Lankinen - 13/13 saves, 100% save percentage, and I really just wanted to have one positive thing after this game.