The Nashville Predators fought their way back in the third
Nashville Key Stats
Columbus Key Stats
Boone Jenner drew first blood in the first period. Outbattling Ryan Johansen and P.K. Subban behind the cage, he backhanded a shot over Rinne at 6:26, and the Jackets had a 1-0 lead. The lead extended through two periods despite strong play from both clubs. A couple misplays by Rinne very well could have made the game 3-0, but the Predators had puck luck.
The third period was nothing short of wild. As Nashville’s first power play expired, Mattias Ekholm somehow retrieved the loose puck and passed it to Nick Bonino in spectacular fashion. The game was tied at 4:31 in the third period. A late power play goal from Panarin at 13:32 and another Jenner goal at 13:43 put the Jackets up by two.
The Predators were not so easily defeated. The first line intensified their play, and Viktor Arvidsson was eventually rewarded at 15:07. Later on, Hartman cleared the puck out to Sissons and Ekholm, and Ekholm tied the game once again at 15:45. As overtime began, Columbus maintained possession, and Arvidsson took a penalty. Panarin sniped his second of the game, and Blue Jackets walked away with two points.
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Viktor Arvidsson has scored six goals in the last seven games and continues to press the offense. Of the 166 shots the Predators have taken in the last five games, Arvidsson owns 21 of them. To add to that, he’s also netted three goals of the 18 Nashville has scored in the last five games.
Kevin Fiala has scored five times in the past four months. He only needs six more assists to match his season career total. It seems Fiala has finally found his groove.
Speaking of career totals, Ekholm surpassed his assist total with his performance against Columbus. He has been a driving force for the offense and keeps picking up points left and right. Nine points in the last five games? Not too bad for the most underrated defenseman in the league.
Pekka Rinne needs a break, and the three day period between games should help recharge his batteries. Juuse Saros played very well against Montreal, Philadelphia, and New Jersey- if he were to pick up more starts, the Finnish Reindeer might benefit tremendously in the long run.
The first line had nine shots on goal, and Subban/Ekholm combined for eight. Second and third forward lines combined for nine shots, the other four defensemen totaled seven shots, and the fourth line recorded two shots.
This is a tired team- the Predators have played five games in the last seven days. Grabbing a point after overcoming a two-point lead in the third period was huge for this team and, hopefully, they can snag another point or two in Carolina.
The Predators travel to PNC Center to face the Carolina Hurricanes on January 13th. The Hurricanes are 4-1-0 in their last five and take on the Buffalo Sabres tonight at
Also, P.K. Subban is an incredible ambassador to the sport. Reaching out to Ty Cornett may be one of the classiest things he’s done in his entire career.
-Jack Woods covers the Nashville Predators and the Central Division for PenaltyBoxRadio.com and FullPressCoverage.com. You can follow Jack on Twitter at @jack_woods15 and the Full Press Predators at @FPC_Predators