by Taylor Parks
Nashville welcomed Minnesota just days after being handed one of their worst losses of the season against the same Wild. After a winless road trip, the Predators were welcomed back to Bridgestone Arena and looked to build some momentum with the playoffs looming.
Nashville struck first just 2:51 into the first period on a goal from Roman Josi (12). Kyle Turris won the faceoff back to Josi who beat Devan Dubnyk on a one timer to give the Predators a 1-0 advantage. The remainder of the period was largely dominated by the Predators but they couldn’t find the net as the first period would end 1-0 in favor of the Predators.
The second period would prove to be rather chippy as both the Predators and Wild would exchange in numerous altercations and would combine for 7 penalties in the period. Despite all the power play time, neither team could find the back of the net. The biggest take away from the period, Ryan Hartman drew two penalties in a matter of 7 minutes. He is really starting to relish in his role as an agitator and is fitting in well.
The third period would still prove as a stalemate for both teams as neither could solve the other’s goalie. The Wild would finally break through with only 3:15 remaining. Eric Stall would score his 40th goal of the season off a turnover from the Predators. The remaining time would tick away and for the second straight game the Predators would need extra hockey as they would head to overtime.
Just a minute into the overtime frame, Bridgestone arena erupted in cheers as it appeared that Ryan Ellis scored to take the victory for the Predators. Unfortunately, the Wild would challenge the play and it would be deemed that the play was offside and the teams would be forced to play on. Neither team would light the lamp and the game would be decided in a shootout.
Kyle Turris would score and Rinne would shut down the Wild and the Predators would go back to their winning ways with a 2-1 win.
Things We Learned.
What is Offside?
I wish I had an answer. Was the play offside? Probably. The biggest issue is that I’ve seen that same play called a good goal this year. Consistency is lacking, and that poses to be the biggest problem the NHL is facing.
Ryan Hartman Finding his Groove
He may not be scoring on a nightly basis, but he has added grit and determination to this team. It’s a stretch, but Hartman has a motor that is “Arvy” like. You always seem him in the corners fighting for pucks and he has a nose for getting in front of the net. It’s not paid dividends on the score sheet yet, but mark my words. At some point this postseason, he will be a difference maker.
Winning is Fun
It seems like it has been so long since we felt the sweet embrace of a Predators win. I can only hope we never go that long with out seeing it’s beauty ever again.
Photo Credit to TSN