The Nashville Predators were struggling to create offense the entire evening in their 3-0 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Following a successful back-to-back road trip that included two victories, the Predators were looking for their first three-game winning streak since October. In the first two periods, Nashville only generated two and six shots, respectively. The only real push came in the third period when they generated 11 shots on goal. The Predators were also given five power play opportunities, but couldn’t get much going during them. On the other side, they also found themselves in the box four times, but luckily Vegas couldn’t convert.
Even though it was a 1-0 game until midway through the third period, it just didn’t feel that way with how much the Golden Knights dominated possession. Their period by period shot breakdown was 14, 15 and 10. At times, it seemed like Nashville was stuck in their own defensive zone for minutes on end, and for what it’s worth, the Predators were even credited with 20 blocked shots.
It has been a struggle at home all season, as Nashville has the sixth worse home record in the league. They have been fairly successful on the road however, garnering the 12th best road record. Shocking for a team that has relied heavily on winning at home in the past.
Yes, it’s been said multiple times about how important every game is right now, but the loss against Vegas was a big one. Nashville entered the game four points behind Vegas for the first Wild Card spot with three games in hand. With Arizona earning a point in their loss to Chicago, they are currently four points above Nashville, with the Predators having three games in hand. Winnipeg and Chicago also jumped Nashville Saturday night, but the Predators continue to have games in hand. Eventually though, Nashville will not have games in hand, and it’s coming down to the wire.
Head coach John Hynes, captain Roman Josi and the rest of the players understand that there has been a lack of mental fortitude with the team this season. Yes, there will be losses, but everyone is still waiting for this team to put together a mini streak that shows things are truly beginning to change and that they are a playoff-ready team.