Nashville Predators 2, Florida Panthers 1: Lankinen steals another

This was a heist movie of a game.

The Nashville Predators, featuring a substantial portion of the Milwaukee Admirals’ normal roster, took the ice tonight in Sunrise against the Florida Panthers.

Unsurprisingly, the Panthers got off to a good start, with Aaron Ekblad having several noteworthy chances amidst a strong Florida push. However, the Preds drew first blood when Radko Gudas took a penalty at 13:33. Matt Duchene scored almost immediately off a pass from Luke Evangelista, thanks also to a good screen from Cody Glass.

That seemed to stun the Panthers, and the teams seesawed back and forth until, with ten seconds remaining, John Leonard—playing in his first game for the Preds after being recalled from Milwaukee—scored to give Nashville a two-goal lead heading into intermission.

Evangelista was not on the bench when the teams returned from intermission. He returned, but not until after the Panthers got on the board. Nashville turned the puck over and Brandon Montour was the one to capitalize on a three-on-one at 3:21. The Panthers got another odd-man rush shortly after, but this time shot wide.

Despite a strong late push capping off a strong period as a whole, the Panthers were unable to score again before intermission. Even with an exhausted Preds group out on the ice for almost two minutes, unable to clear without icing, Kevin Lankinen made some saves.

The third period started off with more of the same. Florida attacked relentlessly, while the Preds were unable to get anything going. Kiefer Sherwood had two of the Preds’ only chances for the period, while Colton Sissons made a valiant attempt at the empty net late. Lankinen held on through the barrage, and the Preds scraped out the other side with the win.