On Sunday, the Nashville Predators finished their California swing of the current road trip as they faced off against the Anaheim Ducks. This was their first back-to-back match-up of the year.
A slow start to the contest would be their demise as the Preds gave up three goals in the first period (Rickell-1:11, Vatanen-11:08, Cogliano-11:20). With two goals 18 seconds apart, the Preds would need to rebound during the second period to make a comeback.
The Preds were able to get two in the second period. Captain Shea Weber had a rocket-shot on the power-play 5:23 to put the match-up at 3-1. The Ducks responded at 11:00 with a goal by Chris Stewart. Nashville would continue to battle back with another goal, this time by Calle Jarnkrok at 12:59.
The Preds would press during the third period, but was unable as Nashville would drop their second in a row by a score of 4-2.
Tonight, Nashville will finish the final game of their road-trip as they travel 1,900 miles to Minnesota to take on the Wild.
In their last game, the Wild lost to the St. Louis Blues 3-2 in overtime.
Keys to Watch
Don’t Freak Out!
For the first time this season, the Nashville Predators have lost back-to-back games. As I read through social media, have conversations with dedicated fans, and observe the overall perception of the team over the past few weeks, I have come to a conclusion. This fan-base wants to win now. Many observers are losing their mind, though, when the Preds lose two in a row. The National Hockey League season is a marathon not a sprint. The Preds just finished a back-to-back, a grueling road trip, and will get back on track. R-E-L-A-X.
First Division Game
Nashville is currently 7-2-2 on the season with 16 total points. Tonight will be the first match up that they will have within the Centeral division. Their opponent, the Minnesota Wild, currently has a record of 7-2-2. The Minnesota Wild has not lost at home at all this season. They are currently 5-0-0. Nashville cannot come out sluggish and expect to come out victorious. A slow start could be disastrous against a talented Wild lineup.
Penalty Kill Woes
One glaring weakness of the Minnesota Wild is their penalty kill. The Wild are currently ranked 24th in the NHL with a percentage of 76.0%. On the flip-side, the Nashville power-play has played much better than previous seasons. Currently, the Preds are ranked 10th in the NHL with a percentage of 21.6%. If the Wild get into the box, the Preds have to take advantage of their lackluster performance this season on the penalty kill.
The Predators will look to get back on track and finish their nine day road trip as they take on Minnesota tonight. The game will be carried on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game.
Puck drops at 7:00pm!