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Mully's Musings: at Columbus

Thursday, 12.8.2011 / 9:22 PM CT / Features
By Bryan Mullen
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Mully\'s Musings: at Columbus
It wasn’t looking good for the Predators. In fact, it looked terrible.

Nashville was down 3-1 in the final two minutes of the third period at Columbus, and the offense wasn’t exactly clicking. Then the Preds hit a switch, scored two goals in the final 1:36 of regulation, and escaped with a 4-3 win after Colin Wilson netted the game-winner at 1:45 of overtime.

It was a gutsy, come-from-behind victory for the Preds, who appeared on their way to a three-game losing streak. Instead, they return to Nashville with a confidence boost after stealing two points. The Preds had to climb out of a large hole and struggled for most of the night getting shots on net. But it all came together in a flash. After starting goalie Pekka Rinne raced to the bench, Patric Hornqvist scored with 1:36 to go in the third to cut the lead to 3-2. Then with 12.1 seconds to go, Nashville’s Sergei Kostitsyn scored on the power play to knot it at 3-3 and force overtime. In the extra session, Martin Erat fed a perfect pass to Wilson, who knocked it home for the win.

It was difficult to discern who was more stunned, Columbus’ players or Nashville’s. On to the musings…


THREE MUSINGS
Hornqvist doing what he does: Nashville’s energy factor always seems to be at its highest when Hornqvist is on the ice. His goal late in the third to cut Columbus’ lead to 3-2 was another case of him making things happen around the net. After he scored, Hornqvist was cross checked by Nikita Nikitin, but no penalty was called. Hornqvist stayed down for a moment but was able to get to his feet and shake it off. When Hornqvist’s teammates see him sacrificing late in a game that appears to be over, they instinctively follow suit. It’s a trait the whole team needs right now due to some struggles on offense.

No panic for Erat: Martin Erat didn’t score a goal on Thursday, but he may have been the most impressive player on the ice for Nashville. He helped set up Kostitsyn’s game-tying goal with 12.1 seconds to go in the third, then had a perfect feed to Wilson in overtime for the game-winner. Nashville’s offense has been up and down this season, and sometimes it takes a veteran to do the little things to get more consistency for the group. That’s exactly what Erat did at Columbus, and now everyone will see if it carries over to the next game.

Will they keep it going?:
Taken as an individual game, the win at Columbus was a thriller. But looking at the bigger picture, it could be a huge moment in the season for the Preds as they move forward. Nashville will now play four consecutive home games, starting with Anaheim on Saturday at Bridgestone Arena. At the exact time of the victory, Nashville vaulted up to ninth place in the Western Conference. Now the Preds have a chance to use their home-ice advantage to gain more points. Nashville has struggled at home this season, going 4-5-3. But coming off a stirring victory against the Blue Jackets, the Preds are in perfect position to make December one to remember.


ONE QUOTE
F Colin Wilson on GW goal: “We knew we had the scoring talent on this team to win. It was a great play by Marty. I was just looking at the puck and let it go real quick.”


THREE STARS
F Martin Erat, Nashville: 2 assists, including one on game-winner
F Colin Wilson, Nashville: Game-winning goal
F Sergei Kostistyn, Nashville: 1 goal, 1 assist

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 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
11 ARI 53 24 23 6 139 163 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