Nashville Predators 1, Dallas Stars 4: Stars Shine Brighter

Nashville drops their home opener and allows another first career goal.

After a lengthy pause between games, the Nashville Predators welcomed the Dallas Stars to Bridgestone tonight for their third game of the regular season. Cody Glass was absent (due to illness) from our first look at a lineup for a 23-man roster with Michael McCarron filling in for him on the fourth line with Cole Smith and Keifer Sherwood.

There were no notable lineup changes in the top nine, and Mark Borowiecki drew into the lineup in place of Jeremy Lauzon.

The Dallas Stars’ lineup featured Jamie Been relegated to the third line and the NHL debut of 2021 first-round pick and reigning OHL scoring champion Wyatt Johnston. Jake Oettinger started in goal opposite Juuse Saros.

First Period

Nashville kicked off festivities with a good bit of sustained pressure against the Stars in the first two minutes, but Dallas answered with a breakaway, bar-down goal from Mason Marchment after he dangled three Predators in the neutral zone.

The Predators responded to the opening goal with more errant passes and turnovers, giving the stars an early shots lead. Shortly after the six-minute mark of the period, Filip Forsberg was set up for a grade-A chance right in front of Oettinger but couldn’t bury the puck.

Dallas got called for the first penalty of the game eight minutes in, allowing Nashville to feature its top power-play unit of Josi-Forsberg-Duchene-Granlund-Johansen. Both units, however, failed to convert. Nashville controlled the flow of play for the next few minutes but couldn’t muster a ton of connected passes or an organized offensive cycle. Tanner Jeannot broke a lengthy whistle-less stretch by challenging Jani Hakanpää to a tussle after a hit on Yakov Trenin that ended in a power play for the Stars. The Predators killed off that penalty but then shot themselves in the foot a few minutes later with a too-many-men penalty. Dallas converted with Mason Marchment scoring his second of the night off a tic-tac-toe play in front of Saros without a defender in sight.

Second Period

Nashville came out to start the second period with a strong-ish push and a few shots on the net. But the timing issue persisted, and neither team generated much offense for the first half of the frame, excluding a few good chances from Eeli Tolvanen, Nino Niederreiter, and Ty Dellandrea.

After a little more than 12 minutes played in the second, Eeli Tolvanen clipped Marchment up high in the neutral zone while chasing a loose puck, resulting in another Dallas power play. However, Nashville successfully killed the man advantage with a few key saves from Saros, and Tolvanen drew a hooking penalty on the following shift. The Predators were once again unsuccessful on the power play and then gave up a breakaway chance to Benn moments later, which was turned aside by Saros.

With less than a minute to play in the frame, Nashville committed another neutral-zone turnover, leading to a sustained shift from Dallas and a backdoor goal from Joe Pavelski.

Third Period

The final frame started with another power-play opportunity for Nashville thanks to a tripping call on Hakanpää; that penalty was quickly mitigated by a holding call on Alex Carrier. But you’ll be pleased to know that the Predators continued their tradition of giving up first-career goals, allowing Wyatt Johnston to cash in on the ensuing Dallas power play.

With a small sign of life, Nashville responded on the next shift as Ryan Johansen got his stick on a point shot from Tolvanen to cut Dallas’ lead to three. The Predators continued to press the Stars for the next couple of minutes, forcing Esa Lindell into a hooking penalty after a long shift hemmed into his defensive zone. I’ll let you guess how it went for Nashville:

With under two minutes to play, Nashville went on another power play with a pulled goalie, failed to convert, and ended this loss with a whimper.

Gameflow and Shot Attempts

Three Stars of the Game

#1 Star: Mason Marchment (2 goals, 0 assists)

#2 Star: Tyler Seguin (0 goals, 3 assists)

#3 Star: Jake Oettinger (30 saves, 0.968 save %)

Goal Highlights

Stars 1, Predators 0: Marchment (Seguin)

Stars 2, Predators 0: Marchment (Lundkvist, Seguin)

Stars 3, Predators 0: Pavelski (Hintz, Robertson)

Stars 4, Predators 0: Johnston (Seguin, Suter)

Stars 4, Predators 1: Johansen (Tolvanen)