On Thursday night, the Nashville Predators struggled against the New York Islanders and dropped only their 2nd game this month by a 5-2 score.
It all started with a terrible first period, in which, Nashville gave up three goals. The Islanders were able to get scores in the first from Brian Strait (1:00), Johnny Boychuck (10:10), and a PPG from John Tavares (18:21). Filip Forsberg was able to get his 20th goal of the year at 19:42 to end the first with a 3-1 score.
The second period allowed for the Predators to calm down and get closer to the Islanders as James Neal scored his 21st goal at 16:38 to cut the Islanders lead to 3-2.
The third period was all Islanders with scores from Nick Leddy (07:02) and Josh Bailey (08:41). Nashville would end their winning streak at 6 games.
The Predators will have an afternoon matchup at Wells Fargo Center in the land of “Brotherly Love” to take on the Philadelphia Flyers (24-23-11) at 12:00 pm CST.
In their last outing, the Flyers took on the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday. In the 1st period, Buffalo got the scoring started at 04:41 Nicolas Deslauriers (5) to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead. At 07:23, Ryan White (1) tied the game up.
Buffalo decided to score quickly to begin the 2nd period, Brian Gionta scored his 6th of the year 38 seconds into the period. The Flyers responded with a PPG Jakub Voracek at 08:45 and the game was tied 2-2.
With no scoring in the 3rd period or the OT period, this match-up went to a shootout. Jakub Voracek scored for Philadelphia and Brian Gionta scored for Buffalo. Brian Flynn scored the game winner to give the Sabres a 3-2 win in the 4th round of the shootout.
Keys to Watch
Since the acquisition of Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli on Sunday, many of the Predators’ faithful have been wondering when these two will join the club. On Thursday, they joined the Predators during their game in New York. The delay is linked to bad weather and slow paperwork with the Canadian players’ work visas. These two should be in the lineup. In Friday’s practice, Franson worked with Mattias Ekholm while Santorelli centered the line with Matt Cullen and Calle Jarnkrok.
Flyers Fighting for a Playoff Spot
A team that is trying to get into the playoffs is a dangerous team. The Philadelphia Flyers are not going to win the Metropolitan Division. Sorry, Flyers’ fans. They are in an opportunity to fight for a Wild Card spot. With 59 points, the Flyers are currently six points out of the playoff race. The Predators cannot take this team lightly. They have talented forwards that can score. With players like Voracek, Simmonds, and Giroux, this team can be very dangerous.
A Penalty Problem
In the Islanders game, the Predators couldn’t stay out of the box. With 10 separate penalties, the Predators kept digging themselves into deeper holes, that led to their ultimate demise. Nashville is one of the better teams in the NHL for PIM at 8.8 PIM/GP, but when they get into trouble for penalties, their ability to win diminishes. In the 58 games played, Nashville has received 217 penalty minutes, 12 majors, and 197 minors. The Predators must clean this up!
Nashville’s early start could cause them to come out slow, which is something they cannot afford. Preds vs Flyers will drop the puck at 12:00 pm CST. You can catch all of the action on Fox Sports Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Don’t miss any of the NHL’s best team on their current road trip!