Following two games with blown leads, the Nashville Predators came into Tuesday night’s match-up looking for a dominant win against the Carolina Hurricanes. While Nashville seemed lethargic in the first period of play, the Predators turned it around in the second period and began to apply pressure. Once the third period arrived, Nashville tallied three goals and turned in a 3-2 victory over the Hurricanes.
“Mostly, it was just ‘wake up,'” said Colin Wilson on Laviolette’s message to the team following the first period. “Our squad knows that when we’re playing hard we can beat anybody. I think in the first period, we just weren’t going. We didn’t have our legs moving. so it was just a bit of a check up. Everybody is held accountable and went out there and played better.”
After Carolina took a 2-1 lead in the third period, an excellent zone entry by Filip Forsberg and pressure from Mike Fisher and Colin Wilson helped notch the tying goal. Wilson found himself in the high slot and received the pass from Forsberg, shot it on net and Fisher buried the rebound.
“It definitely wasn’t a set play, just a good play by Filip,” said Wilson. “He checked up in the zone, so I’m down low. It was just a good give and go and Mike went to the net.”
While the Predators continue to battle through some injuries, some of the lines have seen players shift. On Tuesday night, Olli Jokinen joined Fisher and Wilson. On the night, Fisher led all forwards in ice time with 19:47, closely followed by Wilson at 19:33. The chemistry between Fisher and Wilson generated opportunities and presence in the offensive zone.
“I think we just started forechecking a lot more,” said Wilson on the pressure his line applied. “In the first, we just weren’t getting on their defense. Once we started getting our cycle game going, I think it opened up the game a little bit more.”
The Predators continue to bounce back after losses. While Sunday’s loss in the shootout to Anaheim still garnered a point, keeping the streak of zero back-to-back losses is something the team embraces.
“It feels good and we needed this one at home,” said Wilson. “We were down and I think everybody realized what we had to do, so it feels good to come back from that. Even though they got that second goal, we kept coming back and stayed strong.”
Thursday night, the Nashville Predators take on the Dallas Stars in another divisional match-up. This will be the third time the teams have faced each other this season and Nashville is currently 2-0 against Dallas. The Stars will be entering the game against the Predators coming off a 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. While Dallas hasn’t lived up to expectations this season, Nashville will be well prepared.
“They’re a fast, skilled team,” said Wilson. “It’s going to be a little bit different of a different team than what we played tonight. We know them and know what they have and we’ve played them before, so it’s just another divisional game.”
View Peter Laviolette’s post game press conference:
Photo credit: Kristen Jerkins