Preds Gain One Point in Shootout Loss to Leafs
Nashville continued their Eastern Conference road trip on Wednesday night traveling to the young and talented Toronto Maple Leafs. This was, undoubtedly, the most anticipated matchup of their road trip, and is highlighted by dynamic forwards of the Leafs versus the reliable Nashville defensemen.
For the second straight game, Nashville got off to a very slow start and fell behind early. James van Riemsdyk tallied his 21st goal of the seasons for the Leafs at 16:06 to give Toronto a 1-0 lead going into the 2nd period.
Midway through the 2nd period while on a powerplay, PK Subban couldn’t quite keep the puck into the offensive zone, and Kasperi Kapanen capitalized off a great individual effort to give the home team a 2-0 advantage.
After the second Leaf’s goal, Nashville responded with fantastic play and fantastic chances. After a power play in which Nashville rang shots off both posts, Colton Sissons got the Preds on the board with under two minutes to go in the second.
Nashville continued to tilt the ice in their favor early in the third and drew even after a great effort and goal by Viktor Arvidsson just 25 seconds into the period. Until the last minute of play, both teams looked to be playing to get a point and send the game to overtime, but under a minute to play, both teams had grade “A” chances. Despite both team’s best efforts, the goaltenders stood strong and the game went into overtime.
Neither team could solve either goaltender in the overtime period so they had to go to a shootout. It took 7 rounds, but the Leafs got over the hump and took the 2 points.
Things We Learned
Sissons REALLY Wants to Play
It’s no secret that when Mike Fisher comes back, one of the forwards currently playing will be watching the remaining games from the player’s box. Since Fisher’s announcement, Colton Sissons is pleading his case in staying in the lineup by tallying 3 goals in his past 4 contests. To put that into perspective, Sissons scored 3 goals pre All-Star break. If he continues to play like this, it’s going to be hard to justify sitting him on the bench.
Mixing and Mingling of Lines
Props to Peter Laviolette. He tried to continue to put lines out there that he thought would work, but as we continue to learn, he is not afraid to make changes. To begin the 3rd period, we saw line combinations that consisted of RyJo-Arvy-Smith and Sissons-Aberg-Salomaki. He even put Subban and Emelin back together. As long as the team has injuries (or in this case suspensions) Lavy’s use of different line combinations will only make this team better down the stretch.
Predators Move on to Ottawa
A point is a point, and against an Eastern Conference team, that’s all you can ask for. The Predators have tallied points in four straight contests, and have only two regulation losses in 2018. Pretty impressive stuff.
Photo credit Sergei Belski USA Today Sports