Sunday, November 22, 2009
Preds Beat Blue Jackets 4-3 in Shoot-Out
The Nashville Predators extended their winning streak to five games with a 4-3 shoot-out victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Sommet Center on Saturday night.
David Legwands's wrister past Steve Mason was the difference maker in the 2-1 shoot-out match. Mike Santorelli and Rick Nash had already scored giving Legwand the opportunity to ice the victory.
It was a big day for David Legwand from start to finish. He was not expected to play due to the birth of his son. "The baby came at 5:30 and I got over here (Sommet) about ten after six and got my stuff and went out for warmups so I didn't have much thinking to do so I went out there and played," Legwand explained.
Legwand received first start of the game honors for the game winner in the shoot-out as well as a short-handed goal and an assist during regulation. Leggy was also 11 of 21 in the faceoff circle.
Things did not go well for the Predators in the first period as they were not as sharp as they had been in recent games. They were much improved after the first intermission.
"We started out flat," Martin Erat explained. "We started more skating and get more forecheck and created more turnovers and that was the difference." Erat, for the game, had a goal and an assist.
Coach Barry Trotz commented on the slow start, "We didn't quite have our emotional level very high and I don't think we executed very well and I don't want to take anything away from Columbus, they were pretty good early and we weren't able to do a whole lot and as the game went on, we got our feet a little more under us and started playing with a little more emotion.
The Predators poured plenty of shots on the Jackets with an increasing number each period. The final shot count was 48-29 in favor of the Preds. Six of Columbus' shots came in the last 1:16 of the third after Kevin Klein's tripping penalty as Columbus repeatedly put the puck toward the net trying to end the game in regulation.
Shea Weber had a team high seven shots followed by Jason Arnott with six. Again, the shots were well distributed among the lines with all but three Preds having at least a shot.
The Predators were two of eight on the power play, scoring on two of three early and then went 0-5 in the third and overtime periods. "The power play was good tonight, they got us two goals," Barry Trotz explained. "I can't complain, they were getting chances, even in the four in the third. If they weren't getting chances I would have been disappointed."
Trotz continued, " Special teams were a big part of the game, two power play goals and one shorthanded." Those three goals were all the Preds needed to take the game to over-time.
Pekka Rinne again got the win but acknowledged that his 26 of 29 save performance was not his best. "I don't think I was shining today," Rinne said. "The guys played an outstanding game."
He also commented on Columbus's last goal, "The third goal was one of those that I have to have when the season gets going longer, those goals are huge. Luckily this time we pulled it out in the shootout."
The game was not without controversy as the Jackets first goal at 4:55 in the first was initially called a high stick when R J Umburger swatted the puck into the net giving Columbus a 2-1 lead. Barry Trotz said after the game, "It was a bit controversial and it woke us up a little bit."
Trotz felt that it was played with a high stick but explained that the video review was inconclusive so the four officials conferred and there was a three to one decision to allow the goal. The only dissenting vote was the official behind the goal that originally ruled no goal.
Pekka Rinne agreed that he thought it was a high stick, "The way he hit it like a tomahawk, to me that is a no-brainer but it's a tough call for the refs."
The game was also marred by a couple of ugly situations. Rostislav Klesla received a roughing call in the first period for a horse collar type move on Wade Belak that surprisingly did not result in a fight.
In the second period, Belak used his stick on Jared Boll to inflict intense pain to Boll's groin area from the rear. In addition to a hooking call, Bleak received a reprimand from Trotz and did not return to the game. It was a bit of a surprise that a game misconduct was not levied by the officials.
The Preds have little time to dwell on the victory as they will return to the ice Monday night against the Detroit Red Wings in their first meeting of the year against the Central Division rival. The puck will drop at 6 p.m. in a special start time in order to accommodate the Versus Network.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass