Post-Game Musings: Game 1 at Phoenix

Saturday, 04.28.2012 / 12:18 AM CT / Nashville Predators Playoffs Coverage
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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Post-Game Musings: Game 1 at Phoenix

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

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