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Preds 1, Lightning 5

Friday, 09.20.2013 / 5:00 AM CT / News
By Jimi Russell  - Nashville Predators
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Preds 1, Lightning 5

Nashville Goal Scorer: Cullen (SHG, 00:46 of the third period) Assists: None

Tampa Bay, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning struck early and kept their foot on the pedal, scoring four goals on their first 17 shots of the game. Nashville’s defensive breakdowns and small mistakes allowed the high-power Lightning to capitalize quickly.

Matt Cullen got the Preds on the board with shorthanded goal just 46 seconds into the final frame, after breaking in and taking advantage of a bad pass from goaltender Cedrick Desjardins. Cullen’s goal looked to give Nashville some jump, but the Lightning opened a four-goal gap once again less than two minutes later.

The Predators finished their Florida trip with a 0-2-1 record.

Three Big Things:

Fountain of Youth: Matt Cullen was the Predators’ best player on Thursday night, not only because of his goal, but because of strong play on both ends. Cullen’s speed and offensive mindset paid off with his shorthanded marker, and his game-changing abilities will be a welcomed asset for Nashville this season. Cullen, along with wingers Colin Wilson and Viktor Stalberg, look like the leading candidates as the Preds line this season. They have demonstrated a skill level and speed that Nashville has not seen in years.

Jones continues to pile up minutes: Rookie Seth Jones totaled 21:31 of ice time on Thursday night playing alongside captain Shea Weber on Thursday night, with Weber playing spending most of his time on the left point. Jones once again showed off his skill set and made a couple of nice plays on defense, including a race to beat Tampa’s Steven Stamkos to a loose puck in the defensive end. Jones had a hard collision with two Lightning players midway through the third that hobbled him for a moment, but he quickly returned to the ice for a power play shift.

Getting off to a quick start is imperative: As discussed after the Preds first game against Florida, they must get off to quick starts this season – that is not what happened on Thursday night. Tampa quickly jumped on the scoreboard, rocking Nashville back onto its heels and leaving the young Preds scrambling. Nashville was able to respond in its two previous exhibition games when faced with adversity early, but that was not the case in Tampa.

Quotes:

Matt Cullen on his goal: “The goalie tried to wrap it around and bounce it to his defenseman. It ended up right on my stick and I put it into the open net. It was nice to get a goal, but it would have been nicer to get the win.”

Zach Budish on his first preseason games after five development camps: “It was exciting to play my first game, even though it was an exhibition game, it was really exciting. I wish we could have come out with a win, but it was good to get my feet wet.”

Head Coach Barry Trotz on tonight’s game: “The first 10 minutes we were kind of stuck in the mud. They came out hard – they’re a high pressure team and they got on us early. They came at us really hard, they transitioned the game well and they buried their chances. They jumped on us early and caught us off guard. I thought we responded better in the second period, but that third goal did us in. They had four goals on 17 shots – two of them were way too easy.”

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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