In spite of a slow start, the Nashville Predators defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 4-1. Nashville’s third line scored twice, and the top two lines scored once- a refreshing change from otherwise first line dominance.

Nashville Key Stats

Goals

Ryan Hartman (2), Calle Jarnkrok, Viktor Arvidsson

Assists

Kyle Turris, Craig Smith, Roman Josi (2), P.K. Subban, Kevin Fiala (2)

Vegas Key Stats

Goals

Reilly Smith

Assists

Jon Marchessault, Shea Theodore

What Happened?

Vegas held the advantage against Nashville as the Predators took two penalties in the first period. On the Golden Knights’ second power play, Marchessault roped a pass cross-ice to Smith who beat Juuse Saros glove side. Shot totals were lop-sided, as Vegas led Nashville 13-5.

Hartman had already threatened twice-once in the first period, once in the second. After forcing a turnover in the neutral zone, Kevin Fiala found Hartman in the middle of the ice. He then undressed Collin Miller and deked Malcolm Subban, and just like that, the game was tied. 57 seconds later, the Predators created a 3 on 1, Hartman found the back of the net again, and Nashville took control.

It was all Predators in the third period. Jarnkrok buried a one-timer from Turris, and Arvidsson absolutely dominated. He drew a penalty after using his patented between-the-legs move, registered four shots, and was credited with the empty net goal.

Looking Forward

Kevin Fiala tacked on two assists and played a more complete game against Vegas. Although his shots did not find the net, Fiala’s two assists directly affected the outcome of the game.

Hartman created two gutsy chances before finding the back of the net in the second period. His game summary included 5 shots and  2 goals in only 11:56 minutes spent on the ice. That’s extremely productive, and if he were able to repeat that over the games to come, he might find more ice time.

Sissons was responsible for getting the scoring started. On the same penalty kill, he created two chances alone, and almost tied the game himself. He was the spark, and the third line took it from there.

The first line had to wedge its way in somehow- Arvidsson tallied his 8th of the year, and extended his points streak to five games.

There was a sense of urgency from Nashville. Every shift after the first period seemed to be more intense, more intentional, and filled with more chemistry. It was a complete game from top to bottom.

Nashville take on Tamba Bay this Thursday in Florida. The Predators face an extremely tough Lightning team, but are still undefeated on the road.

Also, Pekka Rinne was activated from the Injured Reserve, but Saros has earned a place among the top goaltenders in the league. Rinne is bound to find himself in between the pipes- however, there’s no reason to fix something that isn’t broke.

-Jack Woods covers the Nashville Predators and the Central Division for Fullpresscoverage.com and Penaltyboxradio.com. You can follow Jack on Twitter at @jack_woods15 and the Full Press Predators at @FPC_Predators.

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