Nashville Predators 3, Toronto Maple Leafs 2: Forsberg's Hat-Trick Leads Preds To Victory

Cue the Ballad of Filip Scoresberg!

The Nashville Predators held on to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on the night of Filip Forsberg's 2nd career hat-trick.

Without both Shea Weber (lower body, day-to-day) and Pekka Rinne (rest) in the lineup, the Predators needed some other leaders to step up. And in walked Filip, casually strolling through the first 26 minutes of the game with a hat-trick to lead the Predators. The Leafs didn't exactly fold as we might have expected, getting a couple of goals in the 3rd period from Josh Leivo and Morgan Rielly, but the better team won this game. With the extra attacker on the ice, the Leafs had their chances, but the Preds held strong.

Carter Hutton did another fine job in net. Stopping 25 of 27 shots, Hutton continues to give the team the support they need to stay in games. He had a few nice saves early on when the game was still 1-0 that kept momentum with the Predators.

Back-to-back games, back-to-back wins. Keep 'em coming.

Random Observations

  • Filthy Fil, at it again. Sneaky pass from Ribeiro at the blue-line finds Forsberg breaking in on the power-play. Sick move. Forsberg has worked so much on other aspects of his game (physicality, penalty-kill, passing, etc.) that it's easy to forget how natural of a scorer he can be. He made that look easy.
  • Respect for the revamped penalty-kill. It's been so much better recently. The team also seems to be taking less penalties, which helps.
  • Preds have really taken their foot off the gas since the Forsberg goal. Leafs spending an awful lot of time in the Preds zone. "Can't do it... I want winners! I want people that wanna win!"
  • Rich Clune takes massive, ICBM-like shots at Cody Bass in an intermission interview. Check it out here.
  • Forsberg scores two goals in the first 6 minutes of the 2nd period. It's his 2nd career hat-trick and Forsberg now leads the team with 23 goals. He's scored 9 goals in his last 10 games. SO HOT.
  • Hutton getting some good work in. Keeping the rebounds to a minimum, stopping some tough shots. Excellent job so far. Just a matter of time before the Leafs check out of this game.
  • Ellis's goal is waived off because they ruled Mike Fisher off-side on the play. Bummer.
  • Holy moly Roman Josi is a joy to watch. It's a 3 goal advantage and he is still flying around full speed, turning defense into offense at will.
  • Leafs get on the board with an early 3rd period power-play goal. They used a very tight, very low strategy on the man advantage, with only one man at the blue-line. The Preds didn't seem ready for it. It worked for the Leafs and now the game is back in contention. Two goals is too close.
  • Brendan Leipsic is gonna be a good player. He shows some great instincts already in only his 2nd NHL game. Maybe the Leafs best player tonight.
  • 3rd and 4th lines getting a lot of time late in this game, as are Granberg, Bitetto, Ekholm, and Ellis. Fresh legs out there. Good to see.
  • Leafs score. Morgan Rielly. White-knuckle finish to this one.
  • Preds win! You would have liked some more consistent play in this one, but a win nonetheless. I'll take it.

OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • Filip Forsberg: the man is absolutely on fire. 23 goals on the year, 4 away from a career high. Pay this man a whole lot of dollars, please.
  • Roman Josi: 2 assists. Led the team without Shea Weber on the ice. Future Captain?
  • Craig Smith: slick pass to Fil to set up goal #2. No stick saves, though.

Tweets Forsbergs of the Night

Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary - War-on-Ice - HockeyStats - Natural Stat Trick

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