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Mully's Musings: vs. Phoenix

Tuesday, 12.6.2011 / 10:49 PM CT / Features
By Bryan Mullen
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Mully\'s Musings: vs. Phoenix
After two periods on Tuesday, there seemed to be a feeling inside Bridgestone Arena that the Predators would defeat Phoenix. The game was tied 1-1 and Nashville was outplaying the Coyotes.

Even when Ray Whitney put Phoenix up 2-1 early in the third, there didn’t appear to be any panic. Eight minutes later, Nashville Captain Shea Weber tied it with a 5-on-3 power play goal. But the backbreaker for the home team was on the horizon, and it came in the form of a 4-on-4 goal by the Coyotes’ Keith Yandle with 1:45 to go.

It resulted in a 3-2 loss for the Preds, who continued their home struggles. Nashville is 0-3-1 in its last four home games, but will try to regroup when they head to Columbus for Thursday’s game.

On to the musings…


THREE MUSINGS
Rinne returns: Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne started on Tuesday after getting a breather on Saturday against Buffalo. Rinne stopped 32 of 35 shots and had a solid night. He gave up a goal nine seconds into the game, but didn’t get rattled. He stopped the next six shots of the period, and stopped another 11 in the second. Phoenix was more aggressive in the third and fired 17 shots at Rinne, who stopped 15 of them. But it was one too many. While the rest from the one-game break certainly helped Rinne’s mind and body, sometimes it can be tough for a goaltender to step back in and be on top of his game. It’s safe to say Rinne will be tougher to beat on Thursday in Columbus.

Weber’s will: When Nashville is on the power play, there are times when Captain Shea Weber simply takes over a game. It happened again on Tuesday when the Preds were on a 5-on-3 power play and desperately needed a goal to tie it. Weber launched a shot, which slightly deflected off of a Coyotes defender, and beat goaltender Jason LaBarbera. Weber played a solid defensive game, was second on the team in shots (five), led all players in hits (five) and played a game-high 28:21. Weber’s on-ice and off-ice leadership will be needed as Nashville attempts to break out and string a couple of victories together.

Draw it up: One of the issues Preds coach Barry Trotz sees with his team right now involves face-offs. Nashville has struggled on draws recently, and it bit the team once again late in the third when Chris Mueller lost a face-off, which helped lead to the Coyotes’ game-winning goal. Mueller, it should be noted, was 6 for 7 on draws through the first two periods. Still, it’s an issue that the coaching staff will address. And it’s something the Preds are likely to improve on. During practices, face-off drills are taken seriously, so expect them to be ramped up even more now.


THREE QUOTES
Barry Trotz: “Right now we seem to be better road warriors than we are at home. We just have to get some wins at home.”

F Patric Hornqvist: “We gave them a little too much time and space on the 4 on 4. They made a great play and won the game right there. We have to get back on track.”

D Ryan Suter: “We can’t hit the panic button. We have to continue to get better and work hard.”


THREE STARS
D Keith Yandle, Phoenix: Game-winning goal
G Jason LaBarbera, Phoenix: Stopped 30 of 32 shots
D Shea Weber, Nashville: PP goal, 5 hits, 5 shots

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 57 36 17 4 158 130 76
2 DAL 54 34 15 5 174 145 73
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 52 32 17 3 144 119 67
5 SJS 52 28 20 4 149 138 60
6 ANA 52 26 19 7 117 122 59
7 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
8 COL 56 27 25 4 149 155 58
9 MIN 53 23 20 10 130 130 56
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 53 21 20 12 123 143 54
12 CGY 52 24 25 3 138 151 51
13 WPG 53 24 26 3 137 151 51
14 EDM 55 21 29 5 133 166 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 54 11 27 -3 38
F. Forsberg 54 17 18 -7 35
S. Weber 54 14 21 -5 35
M. Ribeiro 54 6 27 2 33
J. Neal 54 19 13 18 32
M. Ekholm 54 6 18 3 24
R. Ellis 53 6 16 2 22
C. Smith 54 11 7 -2 18
C. Jarnkrok 53 9 8 0 17
C. Wilson 37 4 12 -1 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 18 7 .903 2.54
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36