Carter Hart Shines Again, Thwarts Predators In Close Game

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The Nashville Predators dropped their third straight to the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1. This loss puts the Predators at 22-12-2 with 46 points, second in the Central Division, and fifth in the league.

Philadelphia Key Stats

Goals

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux

Assists

Sean Couturier, Radko Gudas, Travis Konecny

Nashville Key Stats

Goals

Nick Bonino

Assists

Ryan Ellis, Ryan Hartman

What Happened

The Flyers grabbed the early lead, as Voracek cashed in his ninth goal of the year. Some nifty stick work from Couturier and good positioning were all that Pekka Rinne could handle. Both clubs struggled to find any offensive rhythm after the lone goal of the period was scored.

The second period was penalty-ridden to say the least; both clubs combined for seven penalties, but ultimately, neither team picked up any points on the man-advantage. Bonino picked up the loose change in front of Carter Hart to tie the game at one. However, after a turnover in the neutral zone, Giroux zipped the puck past the blocker of Rinne to give the Flyers their lead back.

While the Predators picked up the pace in the third period, no goals were scored. Johansen hit the iron in the last five seconds of the game, but the Flyers held on.

Looking Forward

Forward Colton Sissons and defenseman Mattias Ekholm missed the game for their own various reasons.

Because of Philadelphia’s numerous penalties, forwards Ryan Johansen and Kevin Fiala racked up over seven minutes of power play time. The flip side of that coin is Rocco Grimaldi and Zac Rinaldo managing less than six minutes of five on five play.

Austin Watson and Bonino were the only forwards who recorded at least one block. Watson led the team with two blocks. Not the best defensive night for the Predators.

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Nashville’s penalty kill was perfect in the good way, and the power play was perfect in the bad way. The Predators’ man advantage units went 0 for 6.

The first line combined for six giveaways. The rest of the team combined for two. There isn’t much to say- it was an excruciatingly bad game for the Nashville Predators.

On the bright side, Pekka Rinne stopped 29 shots on 31 attempts. The Finnish netminder has played amazing as of late, but can’t seem to find any goal support.

Nashville closes out their road trip against the Boston Bruins on Saturday night. For the sake of the morality in the locker room, they really need to grab at least one point.

Also, Zac Rinaldo hadn’t played since December 1st. He was rewarded for his patience with 4:26 of playing time.

-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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