The Nashville Predators went into the matchup on Thursday night to stop the offensive firepower of the New York Islanders.
The contest started off positive for the Preds as Austin Watson was credited with the 1st goal of the game at 2:14 of the 1st period, even though Marek Zidlicky should receive an assist.
Early on during the 2nd period, it seemed as though the Preds would run away with the game as Filip Forsberg (2) put the Preds up 2-0 at 4:22. After that moment, the Islanders would score 4 unanswered goals over the next 22:20 of the 2nd and 3rd periods. The goals were by Anders Lee, Kyle Okposo, Nikolay Kulemin, and John Tavares.
At 14:36 of the 3rd period, the Preds were able to settle down and get to within 1 goal as James Neal tipped in his 1st of the year. The Preds were unable to beat Thomas Greiss again and Nashville would fall 4-3 to the New York Islanders.
Tonight, the Preds will end their 3-game road trip as they go north of the border to take on the Ottawa Senators (3-2-0 6 points).
In their last outing, the Senators were dominated by the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 2-0. Evgeni Malkin and Daniel Sprong scored the goals for the Penguins early in the 2nd period, and that would be all that was needed for the win.
Keys to Watch
Comparison: Weber vs Karlsson
The past is the past. Erik Karlsson has won the James Norris Memorial Trophy. Twice. Shea Weber. None. When you look at the two, Weber plays a more defensive game, where Karlsson plays a more offensive game. Offensively, its hard not to see where Erik Karlsson is a gifted player. He currently leads the NHL amongst defensemen with 7 points (all assists) and 3rd in PP points with 3 points. Weber has been in offensive peril this season. He currently has only 1 point on the season. Defensively, Weber is the more physically-dominating force, kills penalties, and the more intimidating. These two players will always be compared. Right now, the advantage has to go to Karlsson because of his offensive ability. The Norris Trophy is for the best “defenseman”. Any person knows that its for the person with the best offensive ability in the defense position.
FOW% (Face Off Win Percentage)
In the offseason, the Preds needed to focus on winning in the faceoff circle. The ability to win faceoffs can either make you, or break you. Puck possession is a determining factor in a team’s long-term success. Early on this season, the Preds are not looking too good. Currently, the Preds FOW% is 46.8. This ranks them 26th in the NHL. Ottawa is currently 7th in the NHL with a FOW% of 52.6. Keep an eye on the circle tonight.
In sports, after an outstanding rookie season, there’s the reference to the “Sophomore-Slump”. Filip Forsberg is showing no signs of slumping in his 2nd NHL season. His ability to create offensive opportunities, his skating ability, and his puck-handling allow him to be a very dangerous player. Forsberg leads the Preds with 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists) and tied-1st in PP points. The Preds need Forsberg to continue scoring for this offense.
The Preds look to rebound after a loss on Thursday. After tonight, the Preds will make it back home to Nashville, but will need to take care of business first. Fox Sports-Tennessee will carry the game starting at 6 pm or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game.