Post-Game Musings: Game 1 at Phoenix

Saturday, 04.28.2012 / 1:18 AM / Nashville Predators Playoffs Coverage
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators

Nashville played a very un-Preds like game tonight, but still nearly came away with a win; as Coach Trotz referenced in his post-game press conference, the Preds got off to a very slow start and didn’t play a gritty enough “detailed” game. Still, for all the Preds didn’t do right tonight, Martin Erat’s power-play goal late in regulation forced overtime. In OT, Nashville did look a lot more like itself, creating several elite chances, before taking an ill-advised icing which the Coyotes converted into a faceoff win and OT goal.

This is just Game 1 of what promises to be a long series, so expect the Preds – who looked like the fresher team the longer the game wore on – to put forth a more complete effort in Game 2 on Sunday.

Now on to the musings…

THREE MUSINGS:
3rd Period Dominance – The Preds outscored Detroit 7-3 in Period 3s during Round 1; tonight the Preds got the lone third period goal in the game while holding a 16-1 edge in shots on goal in tonight’s Period 3.

Slow Start – Nashville spent all week talking about the slow start in last year’s Conference Semifinals series against Vancouver. Tonight was a sense of déjà vu as the Preds struggled out of the gate in the first period and never really seemed to get 100% into “Predators-style hockey” tonight. Nashville did get better as the game went along, but through regulation the top forwards --- with the exception of Martin Erat --- were not nearly involved in the game as Nashville needs to win this series. In OT, the Preds forwards stepped up their play, particularly Radulov and Sergei Kostitsyn.

Faceoff Circle – Nashville was very strong in the faceoff circle during Round 1 against Detroit, but tonight the Phoenix Coyotes owned the faceoff dots. The Preds won only 32 of the 78 faceoffs during Game 1, just 41%. Several of Phoenix’s faceoff wins were clean draws, allowing the Coyotes to set up their plays off the draws, including, ultimately the game-winning goal in overtime.


THREE STARS:
1) PHX F Ray Whitney – 1 goal, 1 assist, +1; scored the OT winner; creative with the puck on his stick tonight; was in line for one of the three stars even before scoring the OT goal
2) NSH F Martin Erat –1 goal, game-high 5 shots on goal; good energy tonight, strong on the puck, strong on the forecheck; even before his OT-forcing goal Erat was in line for one of the three stars
3) NSH D Francis Bouillon– 2 assists, +2; 3 hits, 1 blocked shot; steady defensively; was robbed by Smith on great chance early in P3 and had another great chance in overtime


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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