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Post-Game Musings: vs. Dallas

Thursday, 04.5.2012 / 10:46 PM CT / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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Post-Game Musings: vs. Dallas
It was a playoff-style game tonight between the Preds and Dallas Stars; Dallas needing to win tonight to keep its playoff hopes alive and the Preds looking to win tonight to move closer to locking down home ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs. The game was physical, defensive oriented, battles for every clearing attempt, for every scoring chance, for every rebound.

After playing to a scoreless first two periods, Nashville netted two goals in the third, the first with a scrum in front of the net and the second off a rebound into the slot. Pekka Rinne locked things down from there for his fifth shutout of the season, a 2-0 Preds win on Fan Appreciation Night at Bridgestone Arena.

Now on to the musings...


THREE MUSINGS:
Hornqvist’s Leadership: Patric Hornqvist has been noticeably more vocal on and off the ice for the Preds this season. As the schedule has gone deeper, Hornqvist has continued to elevate the “details” in his game. Known more as a goal scorer in front of the net, Hornqvist has become one of the team’s most dogged forecheckers and has also developed more of an offensive presence with the puck on his stick. Tonight his lines were consistently the Preds most noticeable and they were rewarded for their work when Hornqvist worked behind the net to set up Francis Bouillon early in the third period for the game’s opening goal. Hornqvist then scored the insurance goal late in regulation off a rebound from Brandon Yip’s shot.

Rinne’s Milestone Win: With his 28-save shutout, Pekka Rinne picked up his 43rd win of the season, ensuring Rinne at least a tie of the league lead in Goaltender Wins this season, becoming the first Preds netminder to lead the league in victories. After missing Tuesday night's game due to illness, Rinne was perfect tonight, including an acrobatic sprawling right pad save in the middle of the third period to keep the Preds up 1-0.

Scoreboard Watching: With Nashville, Chicago, and Detroit all in action tonight, Preds fans were glancing at out of town scores frequently tonight. And the Preds got the biggest answer they needed when New Jersey knocked off Detroit in regulation to put Nashville back in the drivers seat for home ice advantage. The Preds win around a half hour after Red Wings loss moved Nashville into the No. 4 seed, one point ahead of Detroit. The win also means Nashville is guaranteed to be a participant in the No. 4 vs. No. 5 series and need just one more point to secure home ice advantage in the series. The Preds will play Chicago if the Hawks win in regulation at Detroit on Saturday. The Preds will play Detroit if the Red Wings win in regulation or just force a extra time (overtime or shootout).


THREE QUOTES:
Head Coach Barry Trotz on tonight's game...
"Dallas Stars were really good tonight. From that stand point, I thought they had a lot of urgency in their game. We responded pretty good. I thought as the game got really urgent, especially in the third period, I thought we did a really good job there."

Forward Patric Hornqvist on being in control of the ability to secure home ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs…
"The Saturday night's game is going to be huge for us. We were great at home and have been all year. I’m looking forward to Saturday night and I hope we can get a big win and start at home."

Goaltender Pekka Rinne on tonight's game...
"The guys did a great job. They had a good push there at the end but we did a really good job five‐on‐five and on the penalty kill. It was just a solid game. We didn’t do anything out of the ordinary."


THREE STARS:
1) NSH F Patric Hornqvist - 1 goal, 1 assist; was at the center of most of Nashville's top scoring chances
2) NSH G Pekka Rinne - 28 saves, Shutout
3) DAL F Mike Ribiero - 3 shots on goal, 23:27 ice time; was creative and dangerous throughout the night for Dallas

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