On Saturday, the Predators traveled to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers in a 12:00 pm CST match-up.
The 1st period was not typical Predators hockey. The Preds were outshot by the Flyers 13-3 and dominated in many facets of the game. A redirection by Wayne Simmonds at 08:59 gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead. The Preds did get score by Colin Wilson at 18:58 of the 1st. The period ended with a Shea Weber penalty for slashing at 19:55.
The first half of the 2nd period was very physical from both teams. Roman Josi had to be attended to because of shots to the head where Philadelphia’s Zac Rinaldo (10 min. Misconduct), Chris VandeVelde (2 min. Illegal Check to the Head) received penalties. The Flyers scored at 11:21 as Ryan White outworked Seth Jones for the puck and beat Pekka Rinne. At the end of the 2nd, the Preds were being outshot 22-7.
The 3rd period was very faced paced and the Nashville Predators seemed to fair much better than the previous periods. Early on, the Preds got chances and Craig Smith buried a Mike Fisher pass to tie the game. There were many chances, for both teams, but at the end of regulation the game was tied.
The OT was similar to the 3rd period. Both teams had equal chances, but neither could beat the others’ goaltender. Therefore, the game went to the shootout and the Preds were outmanned. Pekka Rinne allowed two goals from Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds. Nashville sent Matt Cullen and Craig Smith, but to no avail, and the Preds dropped this one in the shootout by a score of 3-2.
The Preds have a quick turnaround today as they travel to Buffalo to take on the Sabres at 5:00 pm CST.
The Buffalo Sabres (17-38-4) last faced off against the New York Rangers on Friday night. Only 14 seconds into the game, the Sabres Matt Moulson (9) put the Sabres up 1-0. Carl Hagelin (14) tied the game at 5:51 and neither team was able to do any more damage in the 1st period.
During the 2nd period, the Rangers took over the game with a goal by Rick Nash (37), 37 seconds into the period. The final goal of the game came at 08:05 as Mats Zuccarello (12) put the Rangers up by a final of 3-1.
Keys to Watch
Anyone watching the Nashville Predators recently can notice their less than spectacular performances, especially early on in the game. With the Islanders, the Preds were down 3-0 and couldn’t recover. With the Flyers, they were always trying to catch up and only having 7 shots after two periods?! Unacceptable. Look for this Nashville to get back on track today against the Sabres.
Rinne or Hutton
Today would be a great day to give Rinne a break. The only race that Buffalo is in would be the race for Connor McDavid. Carter Hutton looks to be tabbed for today’s matchup against the Sabres. It would be a stunner to have Rinne in against the worst team in the NHL. Hutton has played in 14 games this season with a 5-4-4 record, 2.65 GAA, and .905 SV %.
What happens when Ellis returns?
Ryan Ellis went down and there were concerns, defensively, for the Nashville Predators. Anton Volchenkov and Victor Bartley played moderately well, but Ellis’ offensive production has been missing from the lineup. Cody Franson has been traded for and did well in his 1st game. With Volchenkov now on the IR, Bartley’s role becomes even more vital until Ellis returns. It will be another 2 weeks until he returns to the lineup. Bartley will be the odd man out when Volchenkov and Elllis returns to their healthy status.
The Predators look to salvage this road trip with a win. The game will begin at 5:00 pm CST. It will be televised on Fox Sports Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Don’t miss any action!