East vs. West Clash in Heavy Weight Fight, Tampa Downs Nashville in OT

This game had been circled on the Predator’s schedule for quite sometime.  It’s not everyday that a top team from the Eastern and Western conference meet, and this game lived up to the hype.  Tampa Bay entered tonight looking to ride their momentum after shutting out the Blackhawks as the Predators looked to continue their winning streak without star Filip Forsberg

From the opening drop of the puck, both team attempted to flex their muscles. In a little over 4 minutes of the first period, both teams combined for four goals.  Both teams played fast and were looking to land a counter-punch on nearly every shift.

Tampa Bay really pushed the pace in the 2nd period, but the Predators would get the last laugh, with a power play goal from PK Subban.  Subban was aided by a fantastic (and reviewed for goaltender interference) screen by Viktor Arvidsson.

In the third period, Tampa Bay showed their fire power as Steven Stamkos blasted a one-timer past Saros  with 2 minutes to go and would force the game into overtime.

After several stellar saves by Louis Domingue, Yannie Gourde would get the extra point for the Lightning as he scored off a turn over by Viktor Arvidsson.

Three Things We Learned

The Good, the Bad, and the Arvy

Viktor Arvidsson had a rollercoaster of a first period.  Early in the first, Arvy had what might be considered the worst turnover of the year as he seemed to give Chris Kunitz a beautiful pass in the slot, and Kunitz buried it by Juuse Saros.  Immediately after the goal, Arvy destroyed his stick out of frustration on the back of the net as he took the walk of shame back to the bench.  Determined to right his wrong doing, Arvy would score on a wild goal after it looked like he had been absolutely robbed by Louis Domingue. Arvy would then supply the screen that allowed PK Subban to score on the power play. Arvy would then have another breakdown in Overtime that would lead to a Lightning win.  Arvidsson would intercept a pass in front of Saros but would be unable to clear it as it was stolen off of his stick and put into the back of the goal for a Tampa Bay win.  Arvy never ceases to amaze me, and I believe it’s about time for him to turn it up a notch, especially considering the absence of Forsberg.

Pekka getting well deserved rest

It can’t be an easy decision to sit your all-star goaltender against the best team in the NHL, but with how well Saros has been playing, its not hard to understand  why Rinne was sitting.  Rinne isn’t getting any younger and Saros has seemed to cure his early season woes and has gained the confidence of all of Smashville.  We can only hope these days of rest will pay off for Rinne when the team is playing in June.

A Possible Cup Preview.

Not much analysis here, but the only way this game would be more fun is if it was a seven game series.

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