The Nashville Predators welcomed in the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night to try and get rolling during the second half of the season. This would not be the case at Bridgestone Arena.
Nashville would be down 2-0 after the first period of play with bad defense from the Preds. Pekka Rinne was left out to dry on multiple occasions.
The Preds finally got on the board at the beginning of the second period when Ryan Johansen came through for his 10th goal of the season. The defense of Nashville allowed two more goals in a matter of 12:00 of the second period. Calle Jarnkrok was able to get the Predators within two goals only 25 seconds after the fourth Philadelphia goal of the game.
During the third period, Radko Gudas was called for hi-sticking against Calle Jarnkrok and Nashville went on the power-play. Shea Weber came through in the clutch and cut the Flyer lead to one goal at 10:03. The Preds would give up two more goals in the third period and ended an embarrassing defensive effort on Thursday with a 6-3 loss.
Keys to Watch
The Return of Joel Ward
When Joel Ward left Nashville, many in the Nashville Predators organization and fanbase were enamored with Ward’s play. Ward is a gritty player that doesn’t mind going to the front of the net. He is a big body that takes pride in his play. This season, Joel Ward has 15 goals, 16 assists and is currently fifth on his team with 31 points. Look for Ward to get a rousing response from the Nashville crowd.
Help for Rinne
On Thursday night, the Nashville Predators did not give Pekka Rinne any assistance, and was held out to dry on more than one occasion. The defense needs to give Rinne more help around the goal. In some instances, the defense was pressing too much on the back end and the Philadelphia forwards were getting breakaways. Look for a better effort on the defensive end tonight or we could see a similar outcome from Thursday.
Weber on the Power-Play
The captain has been an anchor on special teams recently, especially on the power play. Best example that I can give is from Thursday night when Nashville was in desperate need of a goal and Weber was able to get his team within one. This season, Weber has a total of 19 total points on the power play, 10 goals and nine assists. If the Nashville Predators are going to go anywhere this season, and possibly make the playoffs, look for Weber to be the catalyst to get them there.
Tonight, Nashville looks to get past the horrific performance from Thursday night’s three goal loss. Be sure to get all the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 7:00 pm!