Nashville Predators 3, Vegas Golden Knights 4 (OT): Thanksgiving Heartbreak

Well, the Predators were .1 seconds away from their 3rd win in a row.

Riding a two-win streak after a string of losses, the Nashville Predators went to battle with the Vegas Golden Knights Wednesday evening at Bridgestone Arena in the heart of downtown Nashville. Juuse Saros was in net for the Predators, getting the start over Pekka Rinne, who hasn’t sat for three games in...well, quite a while!

Malcolm Subban got the start for Vegas as Marc-André Fleury remained out to deal with a family issue. Kyle Turris inexplicably remained out of the line up as a healthy scratch, along with Yannick Weber, while Viktor Arvidsson remained on the injured reserve list after he was brutally crosschecked by noted goon Robert Bortuzzo.

The first period started with what can best be described as sloppy stick work. The Golden Knights were the first to capitalize on this when a scrum for the puck behind Saros resulted in a quick Pacioretty pass to Mark Stone, sporting a fine mustache, who found some room in the upper right corner of the net, putting Vegas up 1-0. Despite a passing game and puck handling deserving of “Yakety Sax”, somehow the teams combined for 20 shots on goal. Saros made some great stops and the period ended with Golden Knights up 1-0.

A little over a minute into the second period, Nick Bonino was called for a trip that put the Golden Knights on the power play. Around a minute later, Alex Tuch was called for hooking, which led to a 4-on-4. Both penalties expired without incident. Soon after, the Predators managed to hit every part of the net except for the inside.

Reilly Smith got tangled up with Dante Fabbro, wound up with the puck, and easily scored, putting the Golden Knights up 2-0. Not to be outshone, less than a minute later, Mikael Granlund, who had done everything to score besides scoring, took a pass from Roman Josi and put it behind Subban, who was busy tangling with Daniel Carr.

The Predators were still down, but only by one. It wasn’t long before there was a flurry of action near the Vegas net. Forsberg stayed planted in front of Subban as Josi skated around the zone until he was able to get it to Ryan Ellis, who found the back of the net for the fourth time this season, leaving the teams tied at two a side. Despite continued pressure in the offensive zone, the period ended at 2-2.

The final twenty minutes started with a bang as Mikael Granlund found Matt Duchene who found the twine, putting the Predators up 3-2 for their first lead of the game. What followed was several minutes of back and forth that failed to yield many chances. With a little less than seven minutes remaining, Shea Theodore was called for interference, putting the Predators on the power play. The power play was fruitless, but soon after, Dante Fabbro headed to the penalty box for holding, giving Vegas a turn on the power play. The power play ended with no change in the score. Subban headed to bench with a minute and half left, leaving the Vegas net empty. Max Pacioretty managed to score the equalizer with 0.3 seconds remaining to tie the score at 3-3.

Overtime started with a point blank save by Saros. However, Stastny scored the game-winning goal soon after. The Golden Knights won in overtime 4-3.

Random Observations

  • There is a dearth of Zamboni gravy boats in arena tonight. Thankfully, all of the excess gravy has been contained in an unknown location within the arena.
  • Great early blocker save by Saros on a 2-on-1 shot by Pacioretty
  • Two steals by Daniel Carr in the span of about 7 seconds.
  • Sloppy passing by both teams early on in this game.
  • Austin Watson, all alone with the puck and Malcolm Subban, decides to make some passes, resulting in nothing.
  • With 5:31 left in the first, the teams have combined for 14 SOG...I can’t believe this is true.
  • Saros has made some pretty great stops. That’s the bright spot of the first period for me.
  • A little more lively in the second.
  • You know, Dante Fabbro is playing some inspired hockey tonight.
  • The players almost unanimously agree that Calle Järnkrok has the best style on the team.
  • The wrong Smith scored.
  • Oh, Granlund scored? Sweet. He’s been where he needs to be on a regular basis, but hasn’t done a lot of goal scoring. I’d love to see him catch fire. (figuratively, I’m not a monster)
  • That was a VERY enthusiastic “Subban, you suck” from the crowd. A little, too enthusiastic.
  • And after the Ellis goal, the chants of “Subban, loser” were equally loud.
  • This is the most fired up I’ve heard the fans in a long time. Granted, the last two times I was here were horrific blowouts.
  • Ha, that Carr shot got broken up, but still almost went a snail’s pace.
  • Now, don’t turtle.
  • Broken sticks everywhere.
  • Empty net!
  • Put it away!
  • :(/

Tweets of the Evening

OTF’s Top Three Hockey Men

3. Ryan Ellis - I will never complain about a Ryan Ellis goal.

2. Matt Duchene - Clutch goal and assists

1. Mikael Granlund - he’s breaking through when the team needs it!

Game Video