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 CHI 58 36 18 4 160 134 76
2 DAL 55 35 15 5 178 147 75
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 54 33 18 3 151 128 69
5 COL 58 29 25 4 155 160 62
6 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
7 ANA 53 26 19 8 120 125 60
8 NSH 55 25 21 9 142 148 59
9 MIN 54 23 21 10 133 134 56
10 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
11 ARI 53 24 23 6 139 163 54
12 CGY 53 25 25 3 143 156 53
13 WPG 54 24 27 3 139 157 51
14 EDM 56 22 29 5 138 168 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 55 11 29 -2 40
F. Forsberg 55 18 18 -7 36
S. Weber 55 14 21 -5 35
M. Ribeiro 55 6 28 3 34
J. Neal 55 20 13 18 33
M. Ekholm 55 6 19 3 25
R. Ellis 54 6 16 2 22
C. Smith 55 11 7 -1 18
C. Jarnkrok 54 9 8 0 17
C. Wilson 38 4 12 -1 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 18 8 .902 2.57
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36