The Nashville Predators (47-22-10) finished a three-game home stand vs the Dallas Stars on Saturday night. The Preds were in need of two points to keep up with the St. Louis Blues for the Central Division title. In a hard-fought, back-and-forth matchup, Nashville lost to Dallas 4-3 in OT.
Going into the 3rd period, the score was 1-1. Filip Forsberg (24) scored at 9:59 of the first period, but the Stars’, Travis Moen (3) tied the game at 4:09 of the second period.
The third period was the tale of two halves. The 1st 10:00 of the third period belonged to the Dallas Stars. Dallas got two quick tallies from Tyler Seguin (37)-PPG at 3:23 and Colton Sceviour (8) at 7:28. All was looking bleak for Nashville, and then the team woke up to get back in the play of the game.
Both teams had many chances to score in the OT. On a breakaway, Cody Eakin received a penalty shot at 4:06 of the OT, due to a penalty by Mattias Ekholm. Eakin was able to take advantage of the PS and Nashville was only able to get a point.
Tonight, the Nashville Predators travel to Pepsi Center to take on the Colorado Avalanche at 8:00 pm CDT.
The Colorado Avalanche (36-31-12) were taken down by the LA Kings on Saturday 3-1. The lone score for the Avs was by Ryan O’Reilly (16) at 1:12 of the second period.
On the season, Gabriel Landeskog leads the Avs in total points with 57. Jarome Iginla leads the team with 26 goals and Tyson Barrie leads the team with 39 assists. Colorado is currently last in the Central Division with 84 points and 12th in the Western Conference.
Keys to Watch
Down to the Wire
The winner of the Central Division looks like it will come down to the final day of the regular season. After 79 games, the St. Louis Blues have the lead with 105 points, Nashville has 104 points and the Chicago Blackhawks have 102 points. The Blues have the Jets, Blackhawks and Wild remaining. Nashville has the Avalanche, Wild and Stars. Chicago has the Wild, Blues, and Avalanche. It will be an exciting finish. With the Blues/Blackhawks facing each other one more time, Nashville seems to have the easier route to the title. Preds fans will just have to wait and see.
Forsberg back on track
The past few games, Filip Forsberg seems to be back on his game and has started producing once again. Forsberg has five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in the last five games. He is playing with a higher level of intensity, and coach Peter Laviolette has put the top line back together of Forsberg, Mike Ribeiro, and fresh off of injuries, James Neal. In Saturday’s games, Forsberg attained his 15th multi-point game of the season. He looks primed for a outstanding post-season performance.
Rinne, not so hot
On the flip side, Pekka Rinne has not been playing particularly well. He has allowed at least two goals in his last five game and in the last two games, he has allowed four goals. If Nashville intends on making a deep run into the playoffs, Rinne has to be on top of his game. The Preds will live or die on the work of Rinne. In order for a team to do well in the Stanley Cup playoffs, their goalie has to be on top of his game.
The Nashville Predators will look to finish out the season strong, as they strive towards the Central Division title. Tonight’s matchup can be viewed on FOX SportSouth (pre-game show begins at 7:30 pm CDT) or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 8:00 pm CDT!