Never thought you would hear that line, did you Preds fans? Sounds completely out of line with nature’s natural order.
But tonight, the Predators were the ones hunted as Nashville suffered its third shootout loss out in sunny Anaheim. Both the Predators and the Ducks had some redeeming to do, with the Preds losing their last game to St. Louis and the Ducks losing last night to the Vancouver Canucks.
The first period started out promising for the Predators. Coach Trotz had a mix and match night with his forwards, though if you ask this Preds fan, the mixing did not highlight the producing players. At all. Really the only good to come out of switching up the lines came with second line player Brandon Yip as he put home the first goal of the night less than two minutes into the game.
The following eighteen minutes of play saw only one truly interesting development when the referees called a “throwing the stick” penalty on Smith with three minutes left in the period. Even in the second period play did not pick until the end with Ducks forward Bobby Ryan tying the game with thirty-two seconds left in the second.
Basically, not a lot of action from the big names in the first forty minutes of play. Not even for penalties.
The third period saw a huge pickup in intensity, though not always in a good way. Predators’ winger Patric Hornqvist was escorted off the ice shortly after the period started with a presumed leg injury. David Legwand made sure to make Hornqvist proud however, putting up the Preds’ second goal of the night with a lovely backhand goal on the Ducks new goaltender Fasth.
But no matter what the Preds did, they could not keep out Corey Perry’s tying goal only a minute later. And so, despite last minute rushes by both teams, yet another game went to first overtime and then to the shootout for the Preds.
Unfortunately for Nashville fans, only the Ducks’ Corey Perry was able to put the puck between the pipes, handing the Preds their third shootout loss in five games.
So in preparation for Monday’s showdown in Phoenix, Rinne will perfect his belly flop saves that fans so love and maybe, just maybe, one more shifting of lines will land, say, Kostitsyn back on the first line and the Preds can start converting some plays into goals!
Let’s Go Preds!