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Mully's Musings: vs St. Louis

Saturday, 12.17.2011 / 10:55 PM CT / Features
By Bryan Mullen
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Mully\'s Musings: vs St. Louis
If your favorite team is about to face the Nashville Predators, here’s something you should know. Give the Preds any chance to be in the game late, any shred of a thread to hang from, and they will make you pay.

Saturday, it was St. Louis’ turn.

Nashville was thoroughly outshot for most of regulation, managed one goal in three periods, went to overtime, then won in the shootout when David Legwand lifted a back-hander past Jaroslav Halak. The sold-out crowd of 17,113 at Bridgestone Arena witnessed another nail biter as the Preds moved their winning streak to five games. This was the 10th consecutive one-goal game for Nashville, and its record is 7-3-0 during that stretch.

It wasn’t always pretty, but there are no pictures in the standings. Nashville earned two more points against one of the Western Conference’s hottest teams and closed out its four-game homestand in style.

Let’s muse...


Rinne stellar once again: It’s almost come to the point where observers have to remind themselves that Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne’s night-in, night-out performances are remarkable. It can sometimes be taken for granted how great of a player he is because of his high-level of consistency. Rinne was once again peppered with shots and he stopped 39 of 40. The only one he gave up was a power play goal by T.J. Oshie. He also stopped all three of St. Louis’ shots in the shootout. Rinne is living up to the big contract he recently signed, and the looks of frustration from opponents are becoming routine. Simply put, Nashville does not win this game if Rinne was above average. He had to be outstanding, and that is why the Preds continued their winning streak.

Fisher a quiet catalyst: When Mike Fisher was acquired by Nashville last season, much was made about his experience and smart play. A perfect example took place during a key moment in the third period. Seconds after a Nashville penalty expired, Fisher gained control of the puck, held it through the neutral zone, and waited for his teammates to make a push. Under complete control, he fed a pass to Shea Weber, who found Martin Erat near the net who scored an easy goal. It was the type of play that Nashville’s inexperienced players can learn from, and a prime reason why Fisher’s role with the Preds continues to pay off big.

Home ice and a streak: To say Nashville has dominated its opponents during this five-game win streak would be misleading. But it’s equally – if not more – impressive to see the way the Preds are winning. They faced two of the NHL’s hottest teams in the last two games (Detroit, St. Louis) and hung in the entire game when things were not going their way. Against the Blues, they were outshot 14-2 in the first period, and 29-13 through two periods. Didn’t matter. Call it moxie, grit, or determination. Further, after the team lost some veteran players following last season, the Preds are appearing to gel. During training camp, Nashville General Manager David Poile said this team would be better in the second half of the season than in the first. If that holds true, Preds fans could be in store for a special ride.


THREE QUOTES
F David Legwand on shootout goal: “We pre-scout. It was nice to have the opportunity and score one for Pekka. He stood strong and gave us the opportunity to be there in the end.”

G Pekka Rinne on shootout: “This year it seems like all our games have been decided in regulation. It’s a little bit different when you’re in the shootout. You just try and stay calm and not do too much.”

Barry Trotz: “It was hard to get shots but you have to have the mindset that you want to shoot it. It was a hard fought two points. It really was a test to see where we were, especially against the last two teams we faced.”


THREE STARS
G Pekka Rinne, Nashville: Stopped 39-of-40 shots, stopped all 3 in SO
F Mike Fisher, Nashville: 1 assist, +1 rating, team-high 21:37 for forwards
F T.J. Oshie, St. Louis: 1 goal, 24:11, 4 shots

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 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33