In their first two games of the season, the Nashville Predators have been able to overcome deficits. In front of a sold out crowd against the Dallas Stars Saturday night, it was the fourth line that provided the necessary pieces to secure the 4-1 victory with three goals coming in the third period. The line of Paul Gaustad, Taylor Beck and Eric Nystrom combined for six total points (2G-4A).
“Those guys are working and putting pucks at the net and doing a good job defensively as well,” said head coach Peter Laviolette on Gaustad, Beck and Nystrom. “It’s nice to see those guys being able to contribute like that.”
Nystrom was thrilled with his own performance on Saturday, especially since he spent time with the Dallas Stars during the 2012-13 season.
“It felt great; it was my old team,” said Nystrom. “I have a lot of friends over there and it’s a huge win for us. They’re a really strong team and that was a fun game. The tempo was really high and the intensity was high. For the second game of the season, it was great.”
While Peter Laviolette has addressed that he thinks the team has played strong throughout each game, winning the third period is what counts and what has led to two straight victories to start off the season. Nystrom credits this to confidence and consistency.
“You become a third period team by doing what we have, coming from behind,” said Nystrom. “We won a game in the third tonight. You get confidence in yourself knowing that you can do it. That’s one thing, but consistently the past couple of games we have just been doing the same things over and over again and have had waves of attack and putting the pucks in the net.”
As it is with every hockey game, getting the first goal can open the floodgates for a team. In the first two games this season, this has been the case for the Predators.
“The first goal seems to be getting us going,” said Nystrom. “We’ve been scoring in waves a little so that’s a positive. But we just want to be good at home and give our fans something to cheer about and they were going nuts tonight. I think they got Frosties so they’re pretty excited. We love it.”
Overall for Nystrom, Saturday night was one of his strongest offensive efforts in a Nashville uniform, besides his four goal game against the Flames last season. Against the Stars, Nystrom logged 12:13 on the ice in which he netted one goal and tallied two assists. His play, along with Paul Gaustad’s, was imperative to the victory for the Predators over the Stars.