NHL.com: Legwand enjoys playoff breakout

Wednesday, 04.21.2010 / 5:58 PM CT / Nashville Predators Playoffs Coverage
NHL.com
X
Share with your Friends


NHL.com: Legwand enjoys playoff breakout
NASHVILLE -- On a team with few offensive stars, one of the unlikeliest players stepped forward on Tuesday to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-1 victory.

Center David Legwand, a former 27-goal scorer who went 34 games without one during the second half of the regular season, registered the game-winning goal along with two assists as Nashville took a 2-1 lead over Chicago in its Western Conference Quarterfinal series.

"You need everybody to step up," Nashville coach Barry Trotz had said after the morning skate. "We don't rely on one or two guys. We rely on the group. We need more from everybody, quite frankly, from last game."

Making the need more acute for someone to step up, the Preds played their second straight game without leading scorer Patric Hornqvist, who has an upper-body injury.
Legwand who had a one-on-one talk with Trotz about his Game 2 performance in which he was minus-1, must have taken the challenge to heart.

"David's a pretty useful player for us," Trotz said after Tuesday's victory. "He plays in a lot of different roles. We spoke after Game 2 and he knew he didn't have a good game, and he responded well today. Leggy is giving the type of game we need and he gives us a lot more options as a hockey club. He's a good two-way player and chipped in a great goal."

From the start, Legwand showed a big effort. He was stopped on an early breakaway and the subsequent rebound. He had a secondary assist on the Preds' first goal, a rebound by Joel Ward.

Four minutes into the second period, he finished off a 2-on-1 from Steve Sullivan that proved to be the game-winner. To earn his final assist, Legwand helped to keep a puck alive in the Chicago zone before Shea Weber ripped a monster slap shot that was deflected past Antti Niemi.

In the third, he calmly skated the puck out of danger after sustained pressure by the Blackhawks, allowing his teammates to change and not succumbing to the temptation of icing the puck.

"I think that any time you have a tough regular season, the second chance is welcome," Legwand said. "If you would've said at the start of the season that our leading scorer would have only 51 points, nobody would've really given us a chance, but we did it as a collective group and we've got to keep doing that."

For a player who was drafted with the No. 2 pick in 1998, Legwand's path has been an uneven one throughout his career. He totaled career highs of 27 goals and 63 points in 2006-07 before dipping to 15 goals the following season and rising up to 20 in 2008-09.

This season, his 11 goals were his lowest since playing in only 44 games in 2005-06 and matched the 11 that he totaled in 2001-02 when he was only 21.

But if he can put together a strong playoff showing, fans will forget that he only scored once after Jan. 2 this season.

"When he's skating there, he's been unbelievable," said Ward, his linemate. "Good for him to rebound from last game and for all of us to make some plays and good for him to get one, as well."

Author: John Manasso | NHL.com Correspondent

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Wilson 8 2 4 2 6
S. Weber 8 2 3 -3 5
R. Johansen 8 2 3 1 5
R. Josi 8 0 4 -3 4
M. Ekholm 8 2 1 1 3
J. Neal 8 2 1 -2 3
F. Forsberg 8 1 2 -4 3
M. Fisher 8 2 0 -4 2
C. Smith 5 1 1 3 2
R. Ellis 8 0 2 0 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 4 4 0 .915 2.53
C. Hutton 0 0 0 .000 0.00