by Taylor Parks
Nashville entered the Barclay’s Center on Monday night looking to build on possibly their two best games of the entire season. This was Nashville’s first game without star forward Filip Forsberg who is serving a 3 game suspension.
The offense got started fast, with a total of 5 goals scored in the first 20 minutes. Kevin Fiala tallied both of the Predator’s goals but couldn’t match the offensive fire power that the Isalnder’s have. New York scored the other 3 goals, highlighted by a finish by John Tavares off a beautiful, no-look feed by Josh Bailey.
In the 2nd period, the Islander’s extended their lead to 2 goals off of a goal by Nick Leddy from the point. After a number of chances, Calle Jarnkrok brought the Preds within one goal once again after some good work in front of the net.
The Preds were buzzing much of the third period, but were met with some pretty stingy defense by the Islanders. The star of the period was undoubtedly Pekka Rinne after some killer saves that kept the Predators within one goal. Under a minute to go and the ice tilted in their direction Laviolette chose to pull Rinne to give the Preds a man advantage.
In what seems like a move that very rarely works out well for the Preds, Ryan Johansen scored his biggest goal of the season at 19:17 to tie the game and send it into overtime. That goal was Johansen’s first goal in what seems like an eternity.
The overtime period was fast and wide open both mostly controlled by the Islanders. Pekka had what possibly could be one of his best saves of the season to keep the game moving. Arvidsson and Craig Smith responded with breakaways that were both turned away by Halek. The Predators finally broke through and won one of the most exciting games of the season after a beautiful goal by the Captain Roman Josi.
What. A. Game.
What We Learned
Preds score goals without Forsberg
It’s no surprise the Forsberg is the biggest offensive threat on the team, but the Predators proved tonight that they are a force to be reckoned with even if #9 isn’t in the lineup. Do the Islanders have a stellar defense? Absolutely not, but the Predators have were able to go toe-to-toe against the 3rd best offense in the NHL.
RyJo Shoots the Puck
That in itself is an accomplishment, but Ryan Johanesen delivered at a time where they were leaning heavily on the 1st line center. With time quickly ticking down, RyJo received a rebound off the pads of Halek and buried the game tying goal up high to send the game into overtime. That is why he signed a big contract during the offseason, and we can only hope this will help jump start his offensive production.
That is why you pull the goalie.
No comment needed.
Photo Credit- Andrew Nelles from the Tennessean. Nashville, TN September19,2017