The Nashville Predators conquered the Los Angeles Kings 5-3 and then struck the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on home ice. Given how the road trip ended, the Predators were in dire need of a couple of wins.
Nashville Key Stats
Los Angeles Key Stats
Tampa Bay Lightning
What Happened ( NSH vs LAK )
Turris broke through first for the Predators in the second period. Receiving a pass from Ellis at the top of the point, he blasted one over Peterson and gave Nashville a 1-0 lead. A little later, Thompson cashed in on a loose rebound behind Rinne to tie the game up, then Kopitar roofed a shot after two turnovers from Josi and Kevin Fiala.
Jarkrok wristed one home from in between the circles when the clubs were playing 4-on-4. Not too long after, Iafallo cashed in another loose rebound, and the Kings held a 3-2 lead at the end of two.
Jarnkrok dragged the Predators back into the game with a power play goal and a short-handed goal. Once Bonino buried the empty-netter, Nashville had sealed their 14th win of the year by a final score of 5-3.
What Happened ( NSH vs TBL )
This was the fastest game the Predators have played. Continuous, relentless pressure from both teams kept Rinne and Domingue on their toes. Any average goaltender would have struggled against these unbelievable offensive surges.
Hedman raced through the neutral zone and surprised Rinne with a rocket from the blueline. Turris later responded on the power play, and the game was evened up at the end at 1 by the end of one.
The Predators dominated the second period. Forsberg slung the puck past Domingue after receiving a drop off pass from Ekholm, and Nashville had the 2-1 lead. Later in the period, Smith fired one from the boards, and Johansen somehow redirected the puck into the net. A waved off goal at the end of the period infuriated the Lightning bench, and so began their pursuit.
The Predators’ defense held up until Kucherov finally beat Rinne. The Lightning continued to press the attack, but the reigning Vezina winner denied Tampa Bay the win. Nashville defeated the Lightning 3-2, and the Predators improved to 15-5-1 with 31 points.
Turris scored on the power play twice in two games- both one-timers from the tops of the faceoff circles. The second power play unit has been successful three times in their last six attempts.
Jarnkrok joins Sissons and Forsberg on the hat trick list thus far for the Predators.
Kevin Fiala showed signs of improvement and grit on the fourth line, but Jarnkrok undoubtedly deserves the chance on the second line. Fiala had 7:09 total ice time against the Lightning, while Jarnkrok had 18:02.
The Predators’ defensemen have combined for seven points in the last two games. Offense from the defense is vital to Nashville’s success. Josi has tallied three assists, and Ellis along with Ekholm have two each.
Nashville needed to rebound after a tough road trip, and they did. P.K. Subban’s tenure on the IR should be up after this game, but who’s to say?
Also, Sissons led the shots against the Lightning with four, but defenseman Dan Hamhuis and forward Miikka Salomaki each contributed three. Just found that a little interesting.
-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