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.

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.

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.”

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 is the official Web site of the Nashville Predators and are trademarks of the Nashville Predators.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Nashville Predators and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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