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Post-Game Musings: at Dallas

Sunday, 02.19.2012 / 8:58 PM CT / Features
By Doug Brumley  - Nashville Predators
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Post-Game Musings: at Dallas
Despite giving up a goal in the opening minutes of play, the Nashville Predators notched three consecutive goals and held on down the stretch for a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars Sunday night at American Airlines Center. Nashville’s 34th win on the season was just its seventh all-time in the Stars’ home arena in 26 tries.

The Predators were short a forward Sunday, with Mike Fisher out of the lineup with an illness. The team went with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, and got off to a bit of a slow start. The same can’t be said for Dallas, though; Michael Ryder put the Stars on the board first, as he eluded Nashville’s defenders to turn a Mike Ribeiro pass into a 1-0 lead at 6:49 of the first.

A strong shift for the Preds with five minutes left in the first period seemed to change momentum, building toward a redirection goal by Gabriel Bourque at 15:39 to make it 1-1. Then Nashville took the lead on its first power play, with Shea Weber converting just as the buzzer sounded to end the first period.

After Colin Wilson made it 3-1 for the Preds at 16:05 of the second period, the Stars returned with pressure in the third. Despite being 0-8-2 this season in the second half of back-to-back games (Dallas suffered a 2-1 overtime loss Saturday night against Phoenix), the Stars looked anything but fatigued in the final period. Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne made a big stop on Eric Nystrom four and a half minutes into the final frame, but Alex Goligoski broke through to cut the Predators’ lead to 3-2 with just under five minutes left in regulation.

Newly acquired defenseman Hal Gill was whistled for tripping at 17:55 of the third, upping the drama as Dallas skated with its first power play. But Nashville killed off the penalty and the remaining five seconds to secure the road win, 3-2.

Next the Predators return to Nashville to begin a four-game homestand with a Tuesday night match-up against the Vancouver Canucks. Game time is 7:00 p.m.


THREE MUSINGS
Hal Gill Debut: After being acquired by Nashville from the Montreal Canadiens on Friday, Gill made his Predators debut Sunday wearing No. 75. The 6-foot-7 blueliner led all players with a +2 rating and blocked two shots in 16:23 of ice time. He was also whistled for the lone Predators penalty of the game late in the third, in a game that was shaping up as Nashville’s first of the season without any penalty killing duties.

Feeling the Power: The Predators, who entered the game ranked second overall in the league on the power play (21.2 percent) but just tenth in the league on the road (20 percent), registered a power-play goal away from home Sunday night. Shea Weber’s first-period buzzer beater with the man advantage was Nashville’s first power-play tally in three games. Weber was the last to score a power-play goal for the Preds, too, February 11 in Boston.

Matt’s Minutes: Matt Halischuk saw more ice time Sunday with Mike Fisher out of the lineup with an illness. Halischuk, who was averaging 11:13 per game entering Sunday’s contest, skated a personal season-high 19:34 of ice time. On the scoresheet he tallied one assist, two hits and three blocked shots, but he also had a goal disallowed for batting it in with his hand while seemingly attempting to get the shaft of his stick on the airborne puck.


THREE QUOTES
Predators head coach Barry Trotz: “We broke down a little bit defensively on the first goal but then we sort of got our legs under us. Maybe we didn’t skate yesterday and it took us a period to get going here.”

Predators forward Gabriel Bourque on his first-period goal: “Matt Halischuk tried to pass to me. Legwand just threw the puck to the net. I drive the net and just tip it in. It was a nice play by Halischuk and Legwand.”

Predators defenseman Hal Gill: “That was a nice win. It was a lonely spot in the box at the end there. I’m glad the guys pulled through for me.”


THREE STARS
1. F, Colin Wilson (NSH): Game-winning goal, +1
2. D, Shea Weber (NSH): Power-play goal, 4 shots, 2 hits, 2 blocked shots
3. F, Michael Ryder (DAL): 1 goal, 5 shots

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

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