The Nashville Predators had the worst start to a game that we have seen the entire playoffs. The Penguins scored on a 5-on-3 powerplay that was the result of questionable calls by the officials, a defensive breakdown, and an “own” goal by Mattias Ekholm. They were also thwarted when P.K. Subban scored the first goal of the series, yet to have it overturned by a “conclusive” offside by Filip Forsberg on the entry into their offensive zone. Needless to say, the Predators will need a better start to Game Two. Down 3-0 going into the second period was not ideal and the Predators will require a better effort tonight. Nashville absolutely dominated Game One holding Pittsburgh to zero shots on goal for 37 straight minutes, and only twelve shots for the entire game. A quick start will allow the Preds to bring the series back to Nashville tied up.
If not for bad luck, the Predators would not of had any luck at all in Game One. This can not be the excuse in the series. The Preds need to focus on what needs to be fixed and not come up with excuses (which they haven’t). The defense was not the best in Game One. There were many instances where Nashville had the opportunity to clear the zone, become aggressive on the forecheck, and for some reason, they could not get it done. Pekka Rinne did not have a great game with four goals allowed on 11 shots, a .636 save percentage. This is not acceptable at this point in the season. Nashville will need Rinne and the defense to bounce back after their sub-par performance from Monday night. In the playoffs this season, Pekka Rinne is 4-0 following a loss. Going down 2-0 in the series is not the ideal scenario as the series will push to Smashville.
Better in the Circle
With all of the negatives coming out of Game One, the Predators need to focus on faceoffs against the centers of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins garnered 58% of the wins in Game One, with Nashville winning 42% of the faceoffs. Mike Fisher was atrocious inside of the circle winning only 37% of the time. Colton Sissons was not much better with a 40% success rate. Nashville will need these two to have a better game tonight to continue their domination that we saw in Game One in nearly every statistical category.
The Nashville Predators will look to change their misfortune from Game One with a win tonight. The storylines are interesting for Game Two as we anticipate a better performance from Rinne to the possible sighting of another catfish in Pittsburgh and see how many individuals and groups freak out. Be sure to catch all of the action on NBCSN or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drop is expected for 7:00 pm!