Nashville Predators 2, Seattle Kraken 7 - Squid Squad Stymies Saros
If you were worried we wouldn’t get an Eeli Tolvanen revenge game, I have some news.
The Nashville Predators strolled into Bridgestone Arena Saturday, riding high on a big win over the Seattle Kraken on Thursday and the emotional unveiling of Pekka Rinne’s statue. However, by the time the game started, any momentum the Preds might have had quickly disappeared. After an early stretch in the first few minutes where Nashville controlled the puck well but couldn’t create shots, the rest of the first was all Seattle. The Kraken got the scoring started with a familiar name in a familiar situation, as Thursday’s first goal scorer, Daniel Sprong, notched another against the Predators to give Seattle an early 1-0 lead. Nashville would get plenty of attempts in the period, but nearly everything was completely off-target or blocked. By the time former Predator sniper Eeli Tolvanen had scored his first goal against his former team late in the period to send the Kraken to the intermission with a 2-0 lead, the Predators had only registered a single shot on goal in the entire period, a season low.
#Smashville have been slow starters in the first period all season, but ESPECIALLY so since the trade deadline.— Bryan Bastin (@BryanBastin) March 25, 2023
Prior to the deadline, the Preds got 10 or more SOGs in the first period in 20 of 48 games.
Since then? They've only gotten to 10 in five of the 23 games pic.twitter.com/wxVQvSSrcY
Thankfully for Nashville, they were able to have a much better start to the second period, as Tyson Barrie got Nashville on the board just a minute and a half into the period to narrow the lead to one. Despite a fair amount of Seattle penalties in the first two periods, Nashville was completely unable to take advantage. There was progress over last period’s performance, however, as Nashville managed to make it to double digits with shots on goal, but the momentum built up throughout the second half of the period all but vanished as once again Eeli Tolvanen scored in the 17th minute of the period to officially get on hat trick watch and to give the Kraken a 3-1 lead.
Much like the second period, Nashville started the 3rd period off with a quick goal - this time from Matt Duchene to once again cut the lead to one. Unfortunately, this is where everything seemed to have fallen apart. Just three minutes later, Adam Larsson took a great cross-crease pass and restored the Kraken’s two goal lead. Unfortunately for Nashville, they weren’t satisfied with one. Nashville would manage just 3 shots through the first 15 minutes of the third - in that same time, Seattle would score FOUR goals. Matty Beniers, Jared McCann and Oliver Bjorkstrand would add goals of their own over the next 10 minutes and just like that, a 3-2 deficit turned into a 7-2 blowout.
This young team definitely has the ability to steal games from anyone, however the youth and inexperience of the roster just can’t keep up in anything resembling a playoff series. Unfortunately, just after Rinne’s statue was unveiled on Saturday, Nashville made sure the fanbase still hoping for the playoffs knew that they wouldn’t make it far, especially after a performance like this.