Nashville Predators 6, New Jersey Devils 4: Preds Top Devils in Goal-Scoring Showdown

It was a high-scoring match, and the Predators came out on top.

The Nashville Predators welcomed the New Jersey Devils to Bridgestone Arena Saturday night. The Devils brought with them a very familiar, well-loved, and greatly-missed face. P.K. Subban made his first return to Nashville to face his previous team after being traded away in the offseason for what many are calling cap space in order to make room for Matt Duchene.

The Predators were coming off of two losses in a row and hoped to avoid a losing streak by handing the Devils a loss. They are trying to claw their way out of last place in the Central.

What Happened

It didn’t take long for the action to get started as Daniel Carr found the back of the net when he tipped a shot from Dan Hamhuis by Louis Domingue putting the Predators up 1-0.  A few second later, Dante Fabbro put the Predators up 2-0 as he helped the puck finish the last leg of a one way trip to Twine Town started by Craig Smith and Nick Bonino.

Not to be outdone, a few seconds later, Jesper Bratt put the Devils within one when he fired one past Pekka Rinne. The Predators lost the lead and found themselves tied up at 2 with the Devils when Travis Zajac slipped one into the Nashville net while Matt Duchene defended in vain.

Halfway through the first, Yannick Weber was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, putting New Jersey on the power play. Ryan Ellis stole the puck and made a run for the New Jersey net that led to a slashing penalty on Nikita Gusev. During 4-on-4 play, P.K. Subban was called for hooking. Once the penalty was assessed, the Predators would wind up with about 30 seconds of 5-on-3 play. Penalty time expired without scoring, but Mattias Ekholm had a beautiful chance at the net on a pass by Kyle Turris.

Eventually, things calmed down and time expired. The first period ended with the teams tied at 2.

The second period started with a hooking call against Dante Fabbro, giving the Predators a chance to practice their penalty killing. It was a good practice as the penalty expired without incident. Immediately after this, Miles Wood was called for high-sticking.

Just to break up the monotony, Milwaukee call-up Yakov Trenin deflected a shot from Rocco Grimaldi to put the Predators up 3-2 and to tally his first goal in gold. I’ll point out that he’s a scoring machine in Milwaukee.

Soon after, Filip Forsberg was able to score on an open net after Louis Domingue was pulled to the right side trying to track a wildly bouncing puck. This put the Predators up 4-2.

Halfway through the period, Blake Coleman put the Predators on the power play for contact to the head. Less than five seconds later, Ryan Johansen was called for interference and the teams went to 4-a-side. Although the Predators had some great looks at the goal, there was no scoring during the penalty.

Immediately upon coming out of the box, Coleman found himself alone with the puck and mysteriously fell down with Filip Forsberg challenging him. While Forsberg was called for tripping, it was clearly a case of embellishment. On the resulting power play, Kyle Palmieri scored, putting Devils back in reach with the score at 4-3. Despite a flurry of activity for the Predators in front of Louis Domingue, the period ended without any further scoring.

The third period started with yet another Blake Coleman penalty, this time for holding. Like many of the power plays late and soon, it ended without a goal. However, a few minutes later, Nick Bonino pulled a power move and put a puck in the net through the tiny space betwee Domingue’s head and the upper corner of the net with sniper-like precision putting the Predators up 5-3.

A little over halfway through the third period, a Jack Hughes rebound found its way to Taylor Hall who put the puck into the goal, bringing New Jersey within 1, with the game at 5-4. A few minutes later, Rocco Grimaldi won a battle of wits against P.K. Subban and charged down the ice alone to slide one past Domingue, putting the Predators up 6-4. With around 3 minutes left, Louis Domingue vacated the goal. Despite a late too many men penalty on the Devils, the game ended 6-4.

Random Observations

  • Cheers for Subban instead of boos.
  • Boos for Wayne Simmonds.
  • Well, could have done without the ones the Devils scored.
  • Lots of air has left the room.
  • Great crowd reaction for the P.K. Subban tribute.
  • Blue line shots from Subban.
  • PENALTY FRENZY! I wonder what Yannick did? Can’t be good.
  • Things were just sloppy after all the early scoring.
  • Wow, sloppy beginning of the second with MORE PENALTIES!
  • Uh, just to kill momentum, a dude in a Devils hoodie just proposed to a Predators fan. Negating all logic, she said, “yes”.
  • Filip Forsberg gave them an engagement present!
  • I hope the Devils don’t respond to these two goals the same way they responded to the first two goals.
  • This is why we can’t have nice things.
  • Forsberg just created the most beautiful scoring chance for Josi, who was seemingly thinking about something else.
  • Some garbage calls out here tonight.
  • Trenin also seems to be playing well defensively.
  • I think Domingue is just easily drawn out of the crease.
  • Watson is jawing with an opponent and the crowd is cheering for a fight. Apparently this is their first game.
  • Subban pulls Carr down by the head? And now the boos begin.
  • Rocco just made Subban look silly./

OTF’s 3 Stars of the Game

1. Dante Fabbro - Great passes and a goal.

2. Yakov Trenin - great play and a big goal for the big man fresh from Milwaukee.

3. Rocco Grimaldi - looked great, pretty goal, made P.K. Subban look silly.

Game Video