It seems like the Nashville Predators can’t go a game without an injury happening these days. Luckily for them, they’ve been able to battle through and win despite the injuries in their last two games. Even though defenseman Roman Josi missed the second and third period of the game, the Predators battled to a 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins.
Josi went down and stayed on the ice following a late hit by Boston defender Anton Blidh. The hit resulted in a 5-minute major for interference. Nashville wasn’t able to convert on the extended power play and they lost Josi for the remainder of the game with an upper body injury. No update on Josi’s condition was given following the game.
“When you lose a guy that logs 26 or 27 minutes a night, it wasn’t great for us,” said Mattias Ekholm, who logged 29:11 on the ice. “But we managed that, and that was a big win for us.”
Aside from losing Josi, three Predators elevated their game in Thursday’s win. Austin Watson continued his hot streak as he extended his goal streak to three games.
“It feels great to contribute and obviously with guys like Nealer (Neal), P.K. and Willy (Wilson) that who are out of our line-up,” said Watson. “They’re good scorers and good point-getters for us, so some guys need to step up and we’ve done a good job about that.”
Filip Forsberg also made an incredible play to finally get into double digits with his goal total, scoring his 10th of the season.
“I flipped from El (Ellis) and just tried to beat the guy and obviously both guys, pretty tight from the long shift and was just able to out wrestle them and slide it through finally,” said Forsberg.
— Thomas Willis (@TomAWillis) January 13, 2017
Lastly, but certainly not least, goaltender Juuse Saros was incredible between the pipes. He looked like a veteran with the way he tracked the puck and made absolutely stellar saves. Saros stopped 35 of 36 shots, and it was the sixth time out of eight games played that he’s allowed one or fewer goals.
“He was quick,” said head coach Peter Laviolette. “He was sharp. He made the saves he had to, but then he made the ones that weren’t routine. [He was able to make] the backdoor plays, the quick passes to the slot when he was already in a different position and he was able to get back quick. He had a terrific game.”
As it was said in the latest radio show, Tuesday’s win over Vancouver was an opportunity to be a major building block. It was up to the team however, to use the overtime win to catapult them into another one. Through much adversity, they found a way to win Thursday night. Now, the Predators embark on a five-game road trip where they need to earn at least six or seven points to keep pace with the Western Conference and continue to work their way into playoff positioning.
“It feels good, we haven’t been too good at that lately,” said Mattias Ekholm. “I think everyone understand the situation now and that we have to give everything. Maybe it was the previous game. We didn’t dominate the way we wanted to, but the two points are in our column so we’ll take it and move on. Those are big.”
To begin their road trip, the Predators kick off their road trip in Colorado to take on the Avalanche Saturday at 2:00pm Central.