Nashville Predators 4, Washington Capitals 3: Playoff Bound!

Your beloved Predators are playoff bound after a well deserved victory in Washington!

The Predators have won their 4th straight after beating the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday afternoon and, with the win, are playoff bound for the first time in 3 years!

First things first: Shea Weber was scratched from the game with a lower-body injury. Now let's just move on and not think about that too much.

The Predators jumped out to a comfortable lead in this one, getting 3 goals in the 1st period. Mattias Ekholm, Mike Fisher, and Filip Forsberg all scored, chasing Braden Holtby from the game. The Preds were in almost complete control of the game.

Then the 2nd period started. Less than 20 seconds in, Troy Brouwer scored on a crazy bouncing puck to make it 3-1. Then, with the Predators recovering decently and on the power-play, Brouwer scored again, short-handed. It was not Pekka Rinne's finest moment. Nor was it Forsberg's, whose turnover on the break-out led to the goal. Forsberg would have his moment a bit later though, with a brilliant assist to Mike Ribeiro in the slot to make it 4-2.

Rinse and repeat in the 3rd period. The Preds gave up a goal early in the period by Mike Green They neglected to answer that goal, but they held on regardless. Several players came up big in the 3rd period, including Rinne, who made some huge saves when they mattered most.


Random Observations

  • Early on there was a sighting of Colin Wilson, version 2013-14. The puck came right to Wilson in front of Braden Holtby and he shoveled directly into his pads. I was struck with the nostalgia of seeing that same play over and over again a year ago.
  • You do not know fear until you've experienced a 5-on-3 penalty kill against the Capitals.
  • Matty Ice!!! What a fantastic individual play by Ekholm. Fresh outta the penalty box he pressured the Caps defense, won the puck, and sent a sweet backhand shot past Holtby. Forsberg was crashing the net to the right of Holtby, who was probably thinking a pass was coming.
  • And now Fishy gets one! Just as the power-play was ending. Great puck presence all around by the forwards there, as Forsberg and Bourque both fought for loose pucks to maintain possession.
  • Fors! Berg! Forsberg! The Prince has returned to his throne. 3-0 Preds and it feels so good. Probably doesn't feel so good for Holtby, as he is getting booted from the game in favor of Justin Peters. What a snipey snipe that was from the left side.
  • Why do the Preds do this to us? Why can't we just have a 3 goal lead and keep it?
  • I love that Ribs got a goal there (especially since it restored a 2 goal lead) but I cannot get over that play by Forsberg in the corner. He won the puck, dangled it in and out of trafffic, and dished it backhand to Ribs in the slot. Just amazing.
  • Reffy McCallsabunch made his NHL debut late in the 2nd period. He had quite an impact on the game.
  • Alexander Ovechkin, ladies and gentlemen.
  • Another goal by the Capitals in the first 20 seconds of the period. This time by Mike Green. We are allergic to multiple goal leads.
  • I must add to my earlier statement: you also do not know fear until you are trying to protect a 1 goal lead without Shea Weber.
  • Those last 2 minutes were heart pounding, but take a look... the Predators did a great job managing possession throughout this game. Even after giving up goals to a dangerous Capitals team, they maintained composure. Well done.

OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • Filip Forsberg: in front of the fans that were once hoping to cheer for him, #PrinceFilip finished with a goal and 2 assists.
  • Mattias Ekholm: with Weber out of the lineup, Ekholm played the role of "vengeful carnivorous mammal" quite well. Also his goal was fun.
  • Mike Ribeiro: looked a bit more comfortable out there than he has recently. He finished with a goal and an assist. /

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