Nashville Predators 4, San Jose Sharks 1: No Ribeiro, No Problem

Mike Ribeiro being a healthy scratch is a move Predators fans have been suggesting for some time now. With the Predators finding so much success this game, I don't think Laviolette can go back.

The Predators haven't been able to play a full 60 minutes or capitalize when they needed to in both games 1 & 2. But tonight... they did both this game. Their top players played well, their special teams were fantastic, and Pekka Rinne was solid in net. All in all it was a great game for the Predators and they did it without Mike Ribeiro's playmaking, penalties, and lack of battle.

Those top two lines looked fantastic and Mike Fisher looked way better than Mike Ribeiro in the second slot. He, alongside Colin Wilson and James Neal, formed a great line that forechecked well, moved the puck, made it extremely hard on the opposition, and scored a few in the process. I also liked Ryan Johansen alongside Filip Forsberg and Craig Smith. Snipers Forsberg and Smith should greatly benefit from playing with Johansen and that line plays big and fast.

Pontus Aberg also had a nice debut game. He didn't seem to miss too much of a beat and looked extremely poised for being tossed into the fire in the playoffs. I think we all look forward to seeing more from him in the future. The only thing I question is whether or not the Predators can role out he, Arvidsson, and Jarnkrok throughout the playoffs.

Random Observations

  • Pontus Aberg in and Mike Ribeiro a healthy scratch. Some pretty heavy message sending to the Predators' so called number two center.
  • What were Pekka and Shea doing there? Weber gave up positioning to take a chance at a bouncing puck and I don't even want to try to guess what Pekka was thinking. Surely he didn't think he could beat San Jose's fastest skater to a loose puck. San Jose 1-Nashville 0.
  • I can get the Arvidsson slashing call but he so clearly got high-sticked right before that.
  • What a snipe! James Neal drew the penalty and took advantage! If the Predators don't score there they lose a lot of momentum to the Sharks so that was huge.
  • The Predators are all over the Sharks right now after that powerplay goal.
  • What a BOMB by Big Shea!
  • The Predators have been fantastic this game on the penalty kill.
  • Ouch. I don't think Colton Sissons' knee is supposed to bend that way, Cotton. That looks like a playoff-ending injury right there.
  • Colin Wilson has killed it all playoffs and he's been great in this game. That goal just caps it all off.
  • Okay, Joe Thornton. I thought highly of you but now I've lost a bit of respect after that shot to the family jewels on Roman Josi.
  • Twisted wrister! The moment that we all have been waiting for has arrived! Forsberg looks like a completely different player after that goal.

OTF's Three Stars of the Night

  1. Shea Weber. The Captain answered when the Predators needed him most and scored the game winning goal.
  2. Pekka Rinne. He's back guys (at least for now)!
  3. Colin Wilson. He has been great all series and he created so much this game.

Tweets of the Game