by Jackson Walsh
It was a high-octane end to a long roadtrip for the Predators, in which the game frustratingly went to free hockey yet again, but this time the Preds would not be denied, earning a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in the shootout.
The Canadiens showed Pekka no mercy, but Rinne stayed firm in the midst of a strong push, keeping 47 of 49 shots on goal out of the net. For most of the beginning of the game, Montreal was clearly the team with more momentum.
Brendan Gallagher scored first off a centering pass off a turnover putting the Habs up 1-0 8:35 into the second period. Nashville put a lot of pressure on Carey Price later in the middle period, eventually knotting up the score at one after Scott Hartnell’s back door tip in off a shot by Nick Bonino.
After missing plenty of scoring opportunities, Ryan Johansen found Kevin Fiala in the slot to put Nashville up 2-1 12:19 into the third period. This silenced Montreal until the final two minutes of regulation when Jonathan Drouin found the top shelf to tie the game up at two and force overtime.
Overtime itself had 10 shots, lots of pressure for Rinne in which he was able to get the pad or blocker out each time to deny the Canadiens and a shootout followed. Byron missed. Ellis scored. Forsberg’s shot saved. Pacioretty denied. Predators win. The Preds captured 6 of 8 points on the road trip now have points in 12 of the last 13 games.
Next is more fireworks in downtown Nashville against the third place Blues(34-20-3, 71 pts), on Tuesday . Don’t miss it.
Photo courtesy of the Nashville Predators