|STL||1||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
|NSH||0||0||1||1||(0 - 0)||2|
Scott Nichol scored a highlight reel goal to tie the game late in regulation and Shea Weber's power-play blast 0:40 into overtime capped a 2-1 come-from-behind win for the Predators in front of a sellout crowd on Saturday night at Sommet Center.
Marek Zidlicky was the offensive catalyst for the Predators in the waning moments of the third period, making a strong play on Nichol's goal and then leading a rush with under 30-seconds remaining in regulation that led to the power-play Nashville converted for the game-winner.
Because of Zidlicky's play, the Preds opened overtime with a four-on-three power-play. Nashville worked the puck along the perimeter before Zidlicky's soft pass teed-up Weber's slap shot at the top of the point. Weber blasted the puck just under the crossbar to the glove side for his fourth goal of the season, second game-winner. Jason Arnott drew the other assist on the play.
|Highlights: Predators 2,
Blues 1 (OT)
The Predators out-shot the Blues 44-19 on the game and had several quality scoring chances, but were unable to get on the board until the 11:40 mark of the third period, when Zidlicky and Nichol combined on a highlight reel goal to tie the game. Nichol ended up batting the puck out of the air inside the near post and under Legace's glove. Zidlicky started the play when he held a clearing attempt in at the right point and made a toe-drag move to split Paul Kariya and Andy McDonald. Zidlicky passed to Vernon Fiddler at the far face-off dot. Fiddler's shot went wide, but the rebound caromed off the glass and came back over the net where Nichol batted it in, with a baseball style swing, for his eighth goal of the season, fourth against St. Louis.
St. Louis opened the scoring off a face-off to the right of Dan Ellis with 4:20 remaining in the first period. Neither team was able to control the draw, but Yan Stastny corralled the puck and snapped a shot through the scrum which beat Ellis five-hole.
The Predators had the majority of the scoring opportunities in the opening period, including an Arnott partial breakaway within the game's first minute that was turned aside by a Manny Legace leg save and an Alexander Radulov rebound attempt in the final minute of the period that was stopped with a sliding blocker save.
Nashville out shot St. Louis 16-7 in the second period. The Predators created three sequences of high quality scoring chances in the first 5:20 of the period, but were unable to convert. On a power-play early in the period, Erat cut across the middle slot and snapped a shot on net. Arnott picked up the rebound off the pad save and quickly put another shot on net which was kicked out with a leg save. Arnott got his own rebound, but put his next attempt wide.
Legace made a pair of glove saves to thwart the next two scoring opportunities, tipping a Shea Weber blast with his glove at the 16:15 mark and blocking Jerred Smithson's shot alone in the slot 2:00 later.
Dan Ellis made a snow angel save on a Paul Kariya rebound attempt midway through the period to keep the Preds down just 1-0. The Blues had another opportunity early in the third period to extend their lead, but Jamal Mayers' shot coming down the right wing hit off the far post and bounced out. That would be the closest the Blues would come to a shot in the period as Nashville held St. Louis without a shot on goal for the final 23:36 of the game, including the last 22:56 of regulation.
Ellis finished with 18 saves for the win, while Legace made 42 saves in net for St. Louis.
Tonight's crowd was the third home sell out of the season for the Predators ... Nashville held St. Louis without a shot on goal in the third period, the first time in franchise history the Predators have held an opponent to no shots on goal in a regulation period ... Nashville's 44 shots on goal matched a season-high originally set Dec. 1 at Montreal ... The Predators improved to 12-6-4 against Central Division foes ... J.P. Dumont did not play due to a cold. This is the first game Dumont has missed since joining the Predators before last season, a string of 141 games ... Erat took Dumont's spot on the line with Arnott and Radulov ... Radulov, Greg de Vries, and Gerg Zanon are the only Predators to appear in all 60 games this season ... Ellis improved to 4-0-2 in his last six decisions.
Head Coach Barry Trotz
On the way the team responded after the last game… “We responded really well we recognize that we had one of those games where we were really flat and didn’t get off to a good start. It became a bad date, if you will. I think the guys showed their true character. We talked about that the other game. That was not an identity that they forged this year and I think the guys were really focused on coming out and showing everyone their true colors as far as an identity goes.
On the character of the team… “I’d probably say that in many elements, this team has a consistent character right through the lineup and it shows on the ice.”
On getting their first goal of the game… “I knew that if we scored we were going to win the hockey game. I knew that if we were going to get beat tonight it would be by the goaltender absolutely standing on his head but Blues-killer Scott Nichol got the goal. We just kept throwing pucks and people at Legace and we knew that sooner or later one was going to go in. Once we scored the one goal we felt pretty comfortable that we were going to win the hockey game. They didn’t even have a shot in the third period except for the one they rang off the post.”
On the Predators’ power play… “Our first couple power plays I didn’t think we were that effective. But I thought from the second period on our power play became a lot more effective and we had a lot of chances on Legace. Your best penalty killer is your goaltender and he had five or six ten bell saves that he had to make. On the power play we actually got better as the game went on in terms of doing good things. And obviously the power play ended up winning us the hockey game.”
Defenseman Shea Weber
On all of the missed opportunities… "We had some good chances for a lot of the game – we played well. We kept the pressure on them, but their goalie played well and they defended well."
On what he saw on last scoring opportunity… "Just luck, I guess. If you’re out there with good players, they’re going to make good plays, so we were just fortunate."
On open space on the ice in 4 v. 3 situation in overtime… "The net was looking pretty small after all of the shots that I missed early on, but with all the space that we have on the ice and the players that we have, anything can happen."
Forward Scott Nichol
On if it was difficult adjusting to J.P. Dumont’s absence… "No, I think Erat jumped in on that line and played really well. Legwand played with Radek Bonk -- that’s what we’ve been doing all year. We have a resilient group, so we can step in for each other and play well."
On importance of home games… "Yeah, we want to take care of our home games. I think we take pride in winning games at home for our fans and getting the two points. Now we’ll go to Minnesota and try to take care of business."
Goaltender Dan Ellis
On frustration of game / play of Blues’ goalie Manny Legace… "It was one of those games that Legacy deserved personally, but we probably deserved it a little more as a team. We put pressure on them the entire night. We were getting shots on goal, we were hitting posts, and Manny just played a terrific game. He was probably the only reason that they stayed in the game."
On hitting the road on a positive note… "Oh, definitely. It’s always good to go on the road on a winning note. I think our team got a lot of confidence tonight. We were losing until the final minutes of the third period, and we were still able to come out with the win."
|Yan Stastny Wrist shot - ASST: Ryan Johnson|
1 - 0 STL
|Scott Nichol Slapshot - ASST: Vernon Fiddler , Marek Zidlicky|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Shea Weber Slapshot - ASST: Marek Zidlicky , Jason Arnott|
2 - 1 NSH
|Jason Arnott Cross checking against Bryce Salvador|
|Keith Tkachuk Interference against Rich Peverley|
|Eric Brewer Cross checking against Alexander Radulov|
|Eric Brewer Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Keith Tkachuk Interference against Martin Erat|
|Jamal Mayers Roughing against Shea Weber|
|Barret Jackman Hooking against Radek Bonk|
|DJ King Hooking against Marek Zidlicky|
|Martin Rucinsky Hooking against Rich Peverley|
|SA: 44||TOI: 60:40|
|Saves: 42||EV: 26 - 27|
|PIM: 0||PP: 16 - 17|
|SV%: .955||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 19||TOI: 60:40|
|Saves: 18||EV: 14 - 15|
|PIM: 0||PP: 3 - 3|
|SV%: .947||SH: 1 - 1|