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Nashville Predators 3, New York Islanders 4: Preds Unable To Hold On

A physical Thursday night match-up between the Predators and Islanders goes to the home team, as New York scores four timely goals to hand Nashville their first loss of the season. The Predators could only put three goals behind Islanders backup Thomas Greiss, despite putting up 47 shots. The majority of the game was dominated by the Preds, but the Islanders won where it mattered most.

Other than the scoreboard, the Predators dominated this game. Forsberg scored, Neal scored, Austin Watson scored. Even the 3rd and 4th lines were generating quality scoring chances. But the Islanders were able to make the most of their chances, while the Preds flubbed most of theirs. We knew a loss would happen at some point. Not all that surprised it happened here.

Austin Watson,Filip Forsberg, and James Neal scored for the Predators. Anders Lee, Kyle Okposo, Nikolay Kulemin, and John Tavares scored for the Islanders.

Random Observations

  • Austin Watson getting a spot in the lineup tonight, taking Arvidsson’s place. He will play on the HOLY CRAP HE SCORES! AUSTIN “WHAT SON?” WATSON just doing work in front of the net, getting a favorable bounce and the Preds lead 1-0 on the road. (Upon further review, that will actually be Marek Zidlicky‘s 36th goal for the Predators… his first while wearing an Islanders jersey.)
  • The Predators really taking it to the Islanders early in the game. The new Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn is a ghost town right now and the Preds are using the anti-crowd (and an early goal) to their advantage. Midway through the 1st period, the Preds have 10 shots, the Isles have 3.
  • I don’t think I’m crazy here: there is clearly something wrong with the ice. Several players on both ends are having problems handling the puck. Weird bounces, strange whiffs… sticks are missing pucks at an alarming rate. It’s almost like the ice is tackier than usual. I mean it is New York and it is almost Halloween, so maybe this guy has been lurking.
  • Tonight’s Laviolette Line-Switch Latest: Mike Ribeiro and Mike Fisher have switched center positions, with Fisher between Neal and Forsberg on the top line and Ribs out there with Wilson and Smith. Both lines appear energized by it. Wilson has been able to battle on the boards more, with Ribs and Smith lurking on the wings. Fisher’s presence is allowing Neal and Forsberg a bit more room to work in space. Fisher is essentially blanketing Tavares, looking to cancel out both. Good chess move by Lavy.
  • Goal! 2-0 Preds! Neal breaks in, shoots high, gets a rebound and, after a tussle, Forsberg cleans it up. Here’s to a long list of goals by Forsberg this year!
  • But the Islanders answer instantly. The Islanders top line bears down and beats Rinne on a deflection in front, Tavares to Lee. So it’s 2-1 Preds. Furious pressure by the Isles there, hard to stop that one. This team will score a lot of goals this year and you can see why on that. They are strong, skilled, and fast.
  • After a rather strange “fight” between Forsberg and Tavares led to a 4-on-4, Kyle Okposo ties the game at 2 with a breakaway goal. A pass from Seth Jones deflected back into the neutral ice just far enough for Okposo to charge mostly unimpeded towards Rinne. Tie game. Preds need to muscle up here or they will lose control of this game, despite dominating the shot count.
  • Islanders take the lead in the 3rd period, as Kulemin buries a rebound off the back-board in behind Rinne. Fisher had just pinged a high-note off the post, too. Islanders lead this one, despite the Predators dominating the possession game. Got to put them in the mesh, boys.
  • As the penalty expires, Tavares puts one home to put the Islanders up 4-2. He’s quite good. And things are looking grim.
  • Preds get within 1! What ends up being a James Neal deflection (for his 1st of the year) from a Forsberg shot gives life to the Preds who needed something good to stop the bleeding.
  • Predators unable to beat another backup goalie in Greiss. So far the Preds have faced Cam Ward, Cam Talbot, Keith Kincaid, and Thomas Greiss, scoring 10 goals total. Not exactly Hall Of Fame material in between the pipes.

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • Filip Forsberg: 1 goal and 1 assist. A hell of a play at the end to stop the empty-netter, too. What a kid. Probably the best forward not named Tavares on the ice tonight.
  • Roman Josi: 1 assist, almost 26 minutes on the ice. Skated well and jumped up in the offensive zone when needed.
  • Austin Watson: made the most of his chances tonight, even if he only finished with 8 minutes of ice time.

Was the Smashville App Correct?

No. It moves to 0-4 on the season. Though Seth Jones was instrumental in the Islanders tying goal.

Tweets of the Night

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Talking Points