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Preds 2, Panthers 3 (OT)

Tuesday, 09.17.2013 / 4:21 AM CT / News
By Jimi Russell  - Nashville Predators
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Preds 2, Panthers 3 (OT)

Nashville Goal Scorers:            Smith (12:57 of the first period) Assists: Beck, Fisher
                                                       Bourque (11:30 of the first period) Assists: Legwand, Hornqvist

The Predators closed out their two-game set against the Florida Panthers on Monday night with a hard-fought game that ended on a tipped goal in overtime.

Craig Smith opened the scoring for Nashville on an odd-man rush midway through the opening frame. Mike Fisher raced into the zone and dropped a pass to Taylor Beck, who fired the shot on net. Florida’s Jacob Markstrom kicked the shot aside, but it deflected right onto Smith’s stick and he buried it into the net. Florida tied the game 13 seconds later on a goal from Jared Gomes.

The second time was a charm for Gabriel Bourque, who jammed away at a loose puck until it slid past Markstrom at the 11:30 mark of the second. Bourque was tenacious in front of the net all game and his efforts paid off for him tonight.

Tomas Kopecky once again tied the game midway through the final frame, and the score remained tied when the buzzer sounded on regulation.

In the extra frame, the Preds peppered the Panthers net with shots, but it was Tomas Fleischmann who got the last laugh as he tipped a shot past Carter Hutton with just 47 second left in overtime.

Three Big Things

Being hard to play against: With his offseason moves this summer, General Manager David Poile made one thing clear – the Nashville Predators are going to be hard to play against in 2013, and the team took their their first step in that direction on Monday night. The Predators racked up 27 hits, with Bourque, Eric Nystrom and Scott Valentine all collecting four a piece. Michael Liambas also dropped the gloves during the first period. Liambas’s fight was the third for the Predators on Monday following Rich Clune and Paul Gaustad’s bouts in the afternoon tilt. Nashville set a tone in both games on Monday and they will be taxing on all of their opponents this season.

Taylor Beck came to play: The second-year forward wanted to concentrate on the speed aspect of his game this offseason and he was noticeably faster in Monday night’s game. Beck showed a lot of poise with the puck, took the puck hard to the net and used his newly found speed to open up space and create scoring chances. If Beck continues to play as he did Monday night, he will have a good shot at making the Preds opening night roster.

Carter Hutton makes his case: Head Coach Barry Trotz has already named Hutton his back-up goaltender for 2013-14 season, but his lack of experience may have left some Preds fans feeling leery about the man behind Pekka Rinne. On Monday night, Hutton looked confident, turning away 24 of 27 shots in 64 minutes of action, including a couple of good scoring chances late in the game. The 27-year-old netminder was composed in all situations and flashed some quick reflexes. Even in the loss, Hutton showed he is more than ready to back-up Rinne this coming season.

Quotes:

Seth Jones on playing his first game against NHL-caliber talent: “I felt good, I felt really good. I got my feet under me and moved the puck around pretty well. I played with Josi tonight and he made it easy on me. Like I said, I felt really good out there. I know I can play at this level, it’s preseason right now and I know the regular season with be faster, but I felt good.”

Head Coach Barry Trotz on Seth Jones’ play tonight: “Seth played big minutes with Roman Josi tonight. I think the pace and the hard training camp is getting to a lot of guys, but Seth played well. His transition game is very good and he played big minutes against their top talent tonight.”

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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
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7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
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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