On Thursday night, the Nashville Predators tried to break their current losing streak as they took on the New York Islanders at Bridgestone Arena.
The beginning of the game seemed bleak as the Predators tried to come back from a 2-0 deficit early in the game. The Islanders tallied two goals from John Tavares at 11:24 and a PPG from Anders Lee at 18:30 of the 1st period.
It seemed as though the Predators would go into the first intermission down 2-0, but after some great pressing by Nashville’s offense, the Predators were able to get a goal at 19:58 from Colin Wilson.
The 2nd period afforded opportunities for both sides, but both goalies stood tall, and at the end of the 2nd, the score was still 2-1.
The 3rd brought a resurgence of offense from both sides. The scoring started at 8:39 as Nick Leddy put in his 9th of the year. Down 3-1, The Predators offense became desperate and started to play like old. At 10:16, Mike Ribeiro got his 13th goal of the season. Just 31 seconds later, Nashville tied the game with a beautiful Craig Smith goal.
It seemed as though Nashville had a chance to finally break their losing ways, but Brock Nelson gave New York the game-winner at 13:52. Nashville lost to the New York Islanders by a score of 4-3.
Tonight, the Preds try to break their current 5 game losing streak to the Winnipeg Jets.
The Winnipeg Jets (32-21-12) had their last outing on Wednesday night against the Ottawa Senators. It was a struggle for the Jets to combat with the offensive power that Ottawa was producing.
The score was 3-0 before the Jets got their 1st goal at 05:46 of the 3rd period by Michael Frolik. The Jets would lose at home by a score of 3-1.
Keys to Watch
Success against Winnipeg
This season, Nashville has had lots of success against Winnipeg. Nashville has won four out of five games and Pekka Rinne has a .977 SV% against Winnipeg this season. Also, with Winnipeg being without Dustin Byfuglien (2-4 weeks for an Upper Body injury) and Bryan Little has an undisclosed injury that will keep him out of part of one of Winnipeg’s current road trip, the Preds have an opportunity for a win. With all of that being said, look for Nashville to play well tonight against the Jets tonight, and possibly break this losing streak.
Logging lots of ice time
The Nashville Predators have two players that, together, log more time on ice than any defensive pair in the NHL. Currently, Shea Weber and Roman Josi are the NHL’s leaders in logged ice time for a defensive pair. Josi currently ranks fourth in the NHL with 26:34 TOI and Weber is fifth with 26:31 TOI. These two players give the Nashville defense a solid pair, and it it won’t be a surprise if both are up for the Norris Trophy at the end of the season.
Rinne’s recent struggles
It has been noted of the recent struggles of Pekka Rinne since his return from injury. In his last 5 games, Rinne is 1-5, allowing 16 goals, .885 SV%, and has been pulled for an extra skater 4 out of 5 of those games. Nashville seems to live and die with Rinne’s success. If they want to break this trend, Rinne has to get in the groove again.
Tonight’s match up at Bridgestone Arena will start an hour earlier than usual. With a 6:00 pm CST start, be sure not to miss any of the action due to the earlier start. If you can’t make it out to the arena, the game will be covered on FOX Sports Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game.