Three games. Similar results. The Nashville Predators have started the 2015-16 campaign as a mode of consistency.
On Tuesday night, the Predators were able to come out of New Jersey with a win against a very gritty, determined Devils squad.
The Preds were able to get an early goal, a PPG, from Roman Josi at 10:34 of the first period. Nashville would be able to hold on to the lead for the remainder of the game.
Late in the 3rd period, the Devils would pull Keith Kincaid, and Roman Josi would make them pay again with his 2nd goal of the night at 17:21. The Devils would come within one as they took advantage of a Cody Hodgson holding penalty against Jon Merrill. Kyle Palmieri was able to get a PPG at 18:20.
With Kincaid pulled once against, Eric Nystrom scored the second empty net goal of the game for Nashville at 19:08 to give the Preds a 3-1 victory to move their record to 3-0-0.
Tonight, the Preds will continue their trek through the Northeast as they encounter the New York Islanders.
In their last time out, the Islanders were able to put together a dominant performance and defeat the Winnipeg Jets 4-2.
New York was able to get two PPG’s from Ryan Strome (1st-19:48) and John Tavares (2nd-10:45). The Islanders tacked on two more goals from Brock Nelson and an EN goal from Josh Bailey to complete their scoring.
Keys to Watch
John Tavares is the most dominating force for the New York Islanders. The first overall pick of the 2009 draft, Tavares has a knack to finish and get others involved. Over his career, the Mississauga, ON, Canada native has averaged nearly one point per game. In 2015, Tavares scored 86 points (36 goals, 48 assists). Already, he has gotten two goals and two assists, with one game-winning goal. The Nashville defense will need to key on his scoring ability or it will be a long night for the Predators.
Watch the shot count!
The New York Islanders are currently tied-1st (Dallas) in the NHL with 36.3 shots/game. Nashville has not faced a team this year that enjoys to put the puck on net as much as the Islanders. With players such as Johnny Boychuck (12), Josh Bailey (10), Travis Hamonic (10), and Brock Nelson (10), the Preds will have to watch for multiple shots per shift from the back end of the Islanders offense.
Preds Penalty Kill
In the last session of our Keys to Watch, we focused on the PP. The penalty kill has been solid this season for the Nashville Predators, and it will have to be on full-optimization for the offensive firepower of the Islanders. Currently, the PK ranks 8th in the NHL with a 90% kill rating. Nashville will have to stay out of the box against the Islanders, but as well as the PK has been working, they can be up to the task of shutting down the New York Islanders.
Game two of this road trip will be the toughest test so far this season. Nashville is 1 of only 7 teams that do not have a loss in regulation. To continue this trend, they will have to take down a formidable opponent in the New York Islanders. Tonight’s matchup can be viewed on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game.