The Nashville Predators defeated the Calgary Flames 5-3 on Friday night, and then the Edmonton Oilers 3-0 on Saturday Night. The Predators remain undefeated on the road this season.
Nashville Key Stats
Ryan Johansen, Craig Smith, Kevin Fiala, Zac Rinaldo, Filip Forsberg
P.K. Subban, Viktor Arvidsson, Roman Josi
Filip Forsberg, Ryan Ellis (2), Kyle Turris (2), Kevin Fiala, Yannick Weber
Matthias Ekholm (2), Colton Sissons, Nick Bonino
Calgary Key Stats
Elias Lindholm, Matthew Tkachuk, Sam Bennett
Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm (2), Derek Ryan, Michael Stone
Edmonton Key Stats
Power Play Chances:
Penalty Kill Chances:
What Happened (Calgary)
Nashville struck in the first period when Johansen beat Mike Smith less than a minute into the game. Lindholm responded later in the period with a goal of his own, and the teams remained tied until the second period.
The Predators and the Flames traded goals in the second period. Smith scored on a backhand, which prompted a power-play goal from Tkachuk. After a four-minute penalty was called, Fiala scored his first goal of the year.
In the third period, Bennett slid the puck past Pekka Rinne on a breakaway, and the game was tied once again. Following an evaluation from the Predators trainer, Rinne left the game and Juuse Saros came in relief. Rinaldo shot one through Smith a few minutes later, and Forsberg finished the festivities with an empty-netter.
What Happened (Edmonton)
Following a relatively first period, Subban broke through on a short-handed attempt. Less than two minutes later, Arvidsson went to the same area of the ice and received the same result as Subban. Through 40 minutes, the Predators were in complete control.
Despite being outshot in the third period, Nashville extended its winning streak over Edmonton to 13. Josi threw one into the empty net, which solidified the victory. It was a day of careers for the Predators- Subban tallied his first SHG, and Saros recorded his fifth shutout.
The biggest takeaway from these two games is the goaltender situation. Rinne exited in the third period against Calgary, and Saros was thrust into a tough spot.
Saros stopped all nine shots he faced against Calgary and shut out Edmonton. The Predators have a reliable netminder in Saros. He has been patiently waiting in the wings, and this is the opportunity he’s been looking for.
Rinne has been placed on the IR and will miss the next two games before another evaluation is made.
The Predators have kept the puck off the net very well in the first period. Allowing three shots against Calgary, and four against Edmonton, Nashville has dominated the first period lately.
Fiala finally broke through with a goal and an assist against Calgary. Fourteen of the Predators’ sixteen forwards scored a goal, including all of the top two lines.
Nashville’s first line continues to dominate. All three picked up a goal last weekend. They sling the puck on the net frequently; nine out of thirty-one shots against Calgary and nine out of twenty-eight shots against Edmonton belonged to that first line.
Ellis and Ekholm have steadily picked up assists- Ekholm with seven, and Ellis with five. Ellis and Bonino haven’t netted their first goals yet, but that’s no area of concern. It took Fiala seven games to get his first goal- it’s only a matter of time.
Nashville hosts San Jose this Tuesday in Bridgestone Arena.
Also, head coach Peter Laviolette can rock a bull mask.
Cover Photo Credits: Steve Babineau
-Jack Woods covers the Nashville Predators and the Central Division for Fullpresscoverage.com. You can follow Jack on Twitter at @jack_woods15