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Mully's Musings: at Vancouver

Friday, 12.2.2011 / 12:23 AM CT / Features
By Bryan Mullen
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There were ups and downs. Leads were earned, leads were quickly taken away.

In the end, the Nashville Predators won an absolute thriller against the team that ended their historic postseason run one season ago.

The Preds showed their grit and gutted out a 6-5 victory at Vancouver to win for the second time in three games. Both teams pulled their starting goalies. Nashville twice had a two-goal lead. The Canucks exploded for four goals in the second. The Preds responded with two goals late in the same period. And it all set up a nerve-racking third period.

The Canucks set up shop in their offensive zone but couldn’t convert. Then, as it appeared the teams were nearing overtime, Nashville’s Martin Erat controlled the puck, made a move, and found Mike Fisher near the front of the Vancouver net. Fisher converted the chance and Nashville took a 6-5 lead with 1:16 remaining. It held up, and the Preds exited with an exhausting victory.

On to the musings…


THREE MUSINGS
Goalie oddness: Vancouver’s Cory Schneider entered as the hottest goaltender in the NHL and was 5-0-0 in his last five games. But he gave up three goals on the first five shots he saw, and was replaced by Roberto Luongo to start the second period. After Vancouver’s Jannik Hansen scored his team’s fifth goal midway through the second, Nashville starting goaltender Pekka Rinne was replaced by Anders Lindback. And it was Lindback who proved to be the best goaltender in this game. He stopped all 19 shots he faced, never panicked, and received stronger support from his teammates than Rinne did in the first period.

Fisher steps it up: Mike Fisher entered Thursday on a dry spell. His effort had never waned, but he was pointless in his previous five games, and had only one goal in his previous 14. All that changed in Vancouver. His first goal came at 8:16 of the first, and it gave Nashville a 2-0 lead. Both teams combined to score eight more goals before Fisher netted the game-winner with 1:16 remaining. The lift Fisher gave Nashville went beyond the goals, however. His energy was high and he played at the same level whether the Preds were winning or losing. Expect that to continue as the Preds head back to Nashville.

All that offense: Considering Nashville’s recent offensive troubles, it was a fair question to ask at the end of this one. Where did all of that Nashville offense come from? The answer: from everyone. Fisher had two goals, but David Legwand, Shea Weber, Jordin Tootoo and Colin Wilson also added scores. The Preds know they must receive balanced scoring, and they showed how successful they can be when it happens. And here’s something else that will put a smile on the face of coach Barry Trotz: Nashville had three power play opportunities and scored on all three.


TWO QUOTES
G Anders Lindback: “Vancouver came out hard and I was getting into the game right away with some shots. I felt pretty good. I try to stay mentally prepared because anything can happen at any time. I try to stay focused all the time and it worked today. We didn’t score in the last game, and it was good to see the guys put the puck in the net.”

F Craig Smith: “We had some penalties in the second period and that gave them momentum. We wanted to make sure we didn’t turn it over in the third. They have a lot of guys who can move their feet. If you’re not moving your feet, they’re going to put it in the back of the net.”


THREE STARS
F Mike Fisher, Nashville: 2 goals, game-winner, +2
G Anders Lindback, Nashville: Stopped all 19 shots
F Daniel Sedin, Vancouver: 1 goal, 1 assist

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 26 37 15 63
M. Ribeiro 82 15 47 11 62
R. Josi 81 15 40 15 55
S. Weber 78 15 30 15 45
C. Smith 82 23 21 11 44
C. Wilson 77 20 22 19 42
M. Fisher 59 19 20 4 39
J. Neal 67 23 14 12 37
R. Ellis 58 9 18 8 27
S. Jones 82 8 19 3 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 41 17 6 .923 2.18
C. Hutton 6 7 4 .902 2.61