Nashville Predators 5, Minnesota Wild 4 (SO): Johansen’s Shootout Slowdown Strikes Again

The new guys finally get a home game, but the old guys had a big say in how it played out.

The reunions had plenty of drama the first time around, so why not have a little extra in the sequel, too?

Kevin Fiala scored twice in his return to Bridgestone Arena, helping send the game to overtime, but Ryan Johansen’s slowed-down shootout move was the difference in a 5-4 victory.

Craig Smith put the Preds up 1:48 into the contest, firing a rebound off a Matt Donovan shot past Devan Dubnyk on a play that began with Filip Forsberg knocking Zach Parise off the puck in the Minnesota end.

Kevin Fiala tied the game with 4:35 left in the first period. That would have been a good thing prior to last Monday.

Ryan Johansen was called for interference with 1:31 left in the first period, though the Preds killed off the balance early in the second period.

Nashville went to the power play for the first time with 7:34 left in the second period after a hooking call against Jason Zucker.

With Brian Boyle planted firmly in front of Dubnyk, P.K. Subban’s blast found its way through and in the net as the Preds retook the lead with 6:22 to play in the second. Boyle eventually got credit for the goal.

The Wild kept pace as another former Pred, Pontus Aberg, beat Rinne with 2:11 to play in the period. Just 40 seconds later, Matt Irwin was called for holding. That power play also carried over into the next period, where it ended with little fanfare.

From behind the net, Marcus Foligno found Eric Fehr cruising in the slot and the Wild briefly took a 3-2 lead.

Roman Josi made that lead last 34 seconds, driving in and tying the game right back up to cue the “Josi’s better!” chants.

A big rebound came out to Wayne Simmonds, but his shot through Dubnyk’s legs found the right post, denying a goal in his home debut.

Viktor Arvidsson scored his 28th goal of the season, beating Dubnyk from the right circle with 11:39 to play.

With Dubnyk pulled, Fiala struck again with 2:18 to play, tying the game once more off a clean faceoff win.

Minnesota went back to the power play in overtime when Mikael Granlund was called for hooking with 2:49 left in the extra session.

Neither side scored in the first three rounds of the shootout, but Ryan Johansen’s slowdown move won the game again in the fourth round.

Random Observations

  • Looks like Brian Boyle is back in after missing one game. That’s good news.
  • 2017 IndyCar champ Josef Newgarden — a Hendersonville native — is between the benches (unfortunately with Pierre McGuire) tonight.
  • Hey, maybe we’ll get one of those epic Wes McCauley penalty calls tonight. One can only hope.
  • Also, being on NBCSN means no shot counter, probably a shift tracker at some point and the aforementioned Pierre. Submit all complaints to, well, somebody else.
  • Six former Predators in the lineup for Minnesota (again). And Ryan Suter has more goals (82) than the other five combined (73).
  • Nice tribute for the late Ted Lindsay.
  • That’s a really, really good start — and it began with defense first. What a concept.
  • No big tribute for Anthony Bitetto and Kevin Fiala — just a combined quick-hitter.
  • Arvy hustle.
  • Kevin Fiala scores. That used to be nice to type.
  • Craig Smith giveth and Craig Smith taketh away. Or, in this case, taketh and giveth. Either way, that’s a really bad turnover.
  • Ryan Johansen has turned into a penalty machine lately. Put him down for one a game.
  • Brian Boyle missed the lead by that much.
  • Granlund going bucketless for a bit there. Not as majestic as other flows, but still solid.
  • The pace of this game has been plodding at times.
  • Hey, look, a power play goal!
  • That’s not good for Jason Zucker. Hope he’s alright.
  • Might want to cover the slot better than that, fellas.
  • The captain doing captain things.
  • Looks like Zucker’s back.
  • Winnipeg falls at Tampa. Time to get the division lead back.
  • And that shot from Arvy will help.
  • Then, there’s this:/

Can you say doghouse?

  • Fil smiling the whole time while exchanging jabs with Fiala is everything.
  • Yeah, Turris is in the doghouse. Let’s go back to what I wanted to say yesterday about scratching him and revisit the idea.
  • Damn it. Perhaps he got mad after Forsberg laughed at him?
  • This ain’t good, folks.
  • Rinne says nope, Kev./

Three Stars of the Game

  1. Arvidsson. That franchise goal-scoring record is again in sight.
  2. Fiala. One for old-time’s sake, because he deserves to be on this list.
  3. Josi. This game wasn’t looking so hot until he made a captain-like play.

Tweets of the Night

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