Post-Game Musings: vs. St. Louis

Thursday, 02.23.2012 / 11:58 PM / Features
By Doug Brumley  - Nashville Predators
Having handed the St. Louis Blues shootout losses twice already this season, the Nashville Predators saw the tables turned on them Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena, falling to the Blues for the first time in six games, by a 3-2 margin. Nashville—fifth in the Western Conference—earned a point in the standings for taking the game to overtime, but ultimately lost ground to a fourth-place St. Louis team that secured two points with the win. Nashville did extend its lead to four points over sixth-place Chicago, which lost in regulation on Thursday.

Continuing a recent trend, the Nashville Predators got off to a slow start Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena. While in previous games the Preds have been able to rally and collect victories, their resilient nature came up a bit short Thursday. Down 1-0 after one, the Preds authored a two-goal second period to gain a brief 2-1 lead. Vladimir Sobotka tied the game within 34 seconds, though, and his teammates held on for overtime before edging the Predators 2-0 in a two-round shootout.

The Predators, still 8-0-2 in their last 10 home games despite Thursday’s loss, continue their four-game homestand with a Saturday night contest against the San Jose Sharks. Game time is 7 p.m. at Bridgestone Arena.


THREE OBSERVATIONS
Green Light for Josi: Roman Josi scored early in the second to even the game and record his first point in 14 games. The goal was his third of the year. He nearly won the game in overtime as well, sending a redirect of a Martin Erat pass just wide. After Thursday’s game, Josi credited his pairing with defensive-minded blueliner Hal Gill for his chances to jump up into plays offensively. “[Gill] is so strong defensively,” Josi said after the game. “Like I know that he’s going to be back and he’s going to make the right play, so that helps me to jump up.”

Smashville Breakthrough: A few weeks ago, St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock likened Saturday night Preds games at Bridgestone Arena to the atmosphere at the Colosseum in Rome. Hitchcock’s comment may have been motivated by his recent record in Smashville; he entered Thursday night’s game with an 0-11-6-1 record in his last 18 games when behind the Bridgestone Arena visitor’s bench. Thursday’s shootout win for the Blues snapped the coach’s winless streak in Music City.

Close Shaves: Thursday’s game echoed the prevailing theme between the Predators and the Blues: that the games couldn’t get any closer. The clubs went to a shootout for the third time in five games this season—with Nashville winning the two prior to Thursday’s loss. Now 17 of the last 26 games between the Central Division rivals have been decided by one goal. A playoff series between these two clubs—which would happen if the season were to end today—could mean many a late night.


THREE QUOTES
Roman Josi on his backdoor chance in the final minute of overtime: “That was a great pass by Marty [Erat] and I just couldn’t handle it right. So I just tried to tip it, tip it right in but I couldn’t handle it.”

Colin Wilson: “They came out in the beginning and they were a little bit more hungry than us I guess. We got taken aback, I think. In the second and third we matched it. We were getting pucks behind them, behind their [defense]. That’s how we generate our offense.”

Head coach Barry Trotz: “We’ll have a shootout tomorrow [at practice].”


THREE STARS
1. F, Vladimir Sobotka (STL): 1 goal, +1, 3 shots
2. D, Roman Josi (NSH): 1 goal, +1, 3 shots
3. F, Colin Wilson (NSH): 1 goal, +1, 3 shots


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

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