Nashville Predators 4, Washington Capitals 3: Shootout Win Overshadows Blown Leads

Despite giving up leads, the Predators prevail against the Capitals in the shootout.

The Predators missed a chance to play spoiler on Friday night when they got annihilated by the Dallas Stars. They had another chance tonight against the Washington Capitals. The Caps are in a four-team race for the final two Wild Card spots, and desperately needed a win against the Preds to keep those hopes comfortably alive, especially with the Red Wings winning earlier in the night.

If you didn't know the Caps were fighting for their playoff lives, you would never have known. Instead of feasting on a team below them in the standings, Washington never really found their footing. They got out to an early lead, but Patric Hornqvist once again willed the team to leading on the scoreboard. Even though they gave up a couple of leads, the Predators were able to pull out a rare shootout win and come away with the two points.

Random Observations

  • Really didn't understand why Rich Clune had to go after Patrick Wey on a hit that wasn't even that questionable. Wey has all of eight games of NHL experience with not a single fight to his credit, and didn't return to the game after the altercation. Thankfully, Tom Wilson never had to "step up" to honor "The Code" and send Clune to task. We all saw how that ended last time.
  • Patric Hornqvist hasn't been lighting up the scoresheet like he was at the beginning of the season, but he has really been stepping up his game lately. He was a force to be reckoned with against Dallas and continued that tonight with two goals. If he keeps that up, the 20 goal mark may not be so far out of reach.
  • It's kind of amazing how flat the Capitals were for most of the game. This is a team just barely out of a playoff spot and needing every point they can to try and make it to the postseason for the seventh straight season. Yet, this is what a team chasing a playoff spot looked like against a team that is out of contention. That's... not good.
  • The Predators have not had a very good penalty kill all season. So committing penalty after penalty against the league's best power play unit was playing with fire. The Capitals scored two goals in four attempts with the man-advantage, and both goals tied the game and gave the Caps momentum.
  • Let's just take a minute to appreciate that laser of a slap shot that came from Shea Weber for the third goal. Jaroslav Halak never saw it coming.
  • With Detroit winning tonight against the Lightning, the Predators helped themselves to try and get that third-round pick that came over in the David Legwand trade upgraded to a second-round pick.

Over the next week, the Predators don't play many games. They have another back-to-back series in California this weekend, but they have plenty of time to rest and figure out what the game plan is for the rest of the season.

Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary - Fancy Stats

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