Nashville 3, Winnipeg 2

Friday, 10.25.2013 / 12:08 AM
By Jimi Russell - Nashville Predators / The Russell Report

To make it out of the Central Division this season, it is going to take heart, determination and tenacity, and that is exactly what the Nashville Predators showed on Thursday night against Winnipeg.

After a slow start to the first period, Shea Weber’s power-play goal at 15:53 seemed to spark the Predators into action for the final four minutes of the period as they turned up the heat on Ondrej Pavelec. Weber’s power-play marker was the 51st of his career – a franchise best.

Nashville held the lead until the 13:49 mark of the second period, when Anthony Peluso grabbed a rebound, circled the net and tucked the puck under a diving Carter Hutton to tie the game.

Patric Hornqvist tallied his fourth goal of the season – tying his goals total from the 2012-13 campaign – just six minutes into the final frame. Nashville looked as if they were going to pull the win out, but Blake Wheeler walked in unnoticed and a fired a shot past Hutton to once again tie the game. The score held through regulation, as extra time was needed for the second consecutive game at Bridgestone Arena.

After a back-and-forth battle in overtime, David Legwand found Craig Smith open in the slot with 17 seconds remaining, as Smith fired a shot past Pavelec for the win. Smith’s goal was the second-latest overtime winner in franchise history.

Two Big Things and Notes:

Smith Finds His Groove: Smith’s overtime game winner is just the latest in an impressive offensive streak for the third-year forward. His game winner on Thursday was just the second of his career and the first to come in overtime. Smith is tied for the team lead in points (2g-5a), and has posted six points (2g-4a) in his last seven outings. The Madison, Wis., native also leads the team with a +4 rating and ranks second with 34 shots on goal this season. Smith has been Nashville’s most dangerous offensive players through the past seven games – creating scoring chances, going to the hard areas and making the most of his chances. Smith battled through a lot of adversity on Thursday night, including two vicious hits from Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien, to etch his name on the scoresheet once again. It seems as Smith goes, the Preds go, and if he continues to play the way he has, things look good along Broadway.

The Young and the Restless: On both of Nashville’s regulation goals tonight, veteran players and rookies teamed up to reach the scoresheet. On Shea Weber’s first-period power-play goal, Filip Forsberg dished the puck to David Legwand before ultimately ending up on Weber’s stick. Forsberg, who was a healthy scratch in Minnesota on Tuesday, continues to impress as he now ranks 12th among first-year players in scoring (1g-3a-4pts). All of Forsberg’s points this season have come on the man-advantage. Legwand, who also recorded his second multi-assist outing of the year with a helper on Smith’s overtime game winner, is tied with Smith for the team points lead (2g-5a-7pts). The Grosse Pointe, Mich., native has four points (4a) in his last four games.

On Hornqvist’s second-period goal, it was another rookie-veteran connection as Seth Jones and Mike Fisher combined to find Hornqvist. Fisher returned to the lineup after missing the previous three games with a lower-body injury, and recorded his sixth point of the season (2g-4a). Jones has shown time-and-time again this season why he was the top-rated player in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. His helper on Hornqvist’s goal was his fifth point (2g-3a), as he now ranks seventh among rookies in point production this season. The Predators have won every game this season in which Jones has recorded a point.

Team Notes:

Nashville played its second beyond 60 minute game of the season, and now stands at 1-1 in OT/SO. The Predators last won an overtime game on home ice on February 25, 2013 (vs. Dallas).

The Predators penalty kill has been incredibly effective as of late, killing off 22 straight penalties (seven games). The last power-play goal scored against the Preds came on Oct. 10 vs. Toronto.

For the seventh time in 11 games, Nashville put up 30 or more shots.

For the sixth time, Nashville scored first (5-0-1 record).

The Predators are undefeated when scoring a power-play goal (5 wins).

Player Notes:

Goaltender Carter Hutton picked up his second career win. He has now stopped 93 of the 97 shots he has faced this season, good for a .959 save percentage and 1.37 goals-against average.

Patric Hornqvist tied for the lead among skaters with six shots, netting his team-high fourth goal of the season.

Captain Shea Weber’s first-period goal moved him atop the goal-scoring leaderboard among NHL defensemen (3g). Weber added six blocked shots, a season high – he now has four games in 2013-14 with at least four blocks.

Nashville won 39 of 59 face offs, with Matt Cullen (15-of-16) and Paul Gaustad (11-of-14) leading the way.

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1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67


S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43 is the official Web site of the Nashville Predators and are trademarks of the Nashville Predators.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 Nashville Predators and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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