by Taylor Parks
It is simply amazing what a healthy Predators team looks like. Unfortunately for New York, the Rangers found out the hard way.
After a scoreless first period, PK Subban (13) and Kevin Fiala (14) gave the Predators a 2-0 lead after a very spirited and physical second period. The Rangers came out flying as JT Miller (12) scored a mere 21 seconds into the third frame. Not to be out done, Colton Sissons tallied his 5 goal of the season to extend the lead back to 2.
The Predators walked away with a 5-2 win which New York drew within one goal with just over 5 minutes to go. Viktor Arvidsson (17) answered just 16 seconds later to extend the lead back to 2 goals and Kevin Fiala (15) hit the empty net to give the Predators their 31st victory of the season.
This game was fun from the get-go and had something for everyone. Ryan Johansen dropped the gloves, PK Subban tallied another goal, Rinne and Henrik Lundqvist battled most of the night, and Filip Forsberg became even more loved when he leveled Jimmy Vesey with his patented “butt check”.
What We Learned
This Team NEEDS Filip Forsberg.
If it wasn’t obvious before, Forsberg gets the Predator’s offensive motor going. In the 2 games back since being injured for a month, Forsberg has tallied 4 points (1 goal and 3 assists) In what has been deem “Filbruary” Forsberg continues his dominant play in the month of February. And if his offense wasn’t enough, he delivered a crushing hip check to Nashville “loved” Jimmy Vesey. In Filip we trust.
Back on Track
After a concerning loss against Chicago coming out of the All-Star break, Nashville has found it’s game again, outscoring the Rangers and Kings combined 10-2. These teams aren’t pushovers either. Both teams are in the thick of a playoff push and both have elite and possible Hall of Famers in net. As much as I hate to say it, Chicago might have been the wake up call this team needed.
On the Road Again
After a strong homestand, the Predators will take a Eastern Conference road trip against the Islanders, Maple Leafs, Canadians, and Senators before returning home to face Central Division rival St. Louis. Nashville still sits 2 points out of 1st in the Central behind Winnipeg, but they have 3 games in hand over the Jets, so there could be some very valuable points earned this upcoming week. Eastern Conference teams or not, Nashville can’t afford to let up with the rest of the Central breathing down their backs.
*Photo Credit John Russell vis Getty Images