Coach Barry Trotz Postgame Comments
Steve Sullivan, Patric Hornqvist, Pekka Rinne, and Jason Arnott comment
Coach Joe Sacco and Scott Hannan Comment
The Nashville Predators surprised everyone at the Sommet Center with an outburst of three power play goals in route to a 5-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.
The Predator power play had been one for 25 in the last nine games and had not looked good in the process. On the other side of the coin, the Colorado Avalanche penalty kill had killed 25 straight coming in to the game.
Patric Hornqvist led the charge with two power play goals and one assist. Steve Sullivan also had a power play goal and an assist. The other two goals were scored by Joel Ward and Jason Arnott. Arnott actually had a four point night as he assisted on all three man advantage scores.
Colorado scored the only goal in the first period when Francis Bouillon fell at the Colorado blue line leading to an odd man rush at the other end when Cody McLeod put the Avs up 1-0. The Preds scored back to back goals 63 seconds apart early in the second period and never trailed again.
Storylines From the Game...
The Best Players were the Best Players...
"I thought it was good just to win. We'll start with that," explained Barry Trotz. "Our top players were our top players. Peks came up big with some really timely saves. You take all that and it was a good night."
Trotz continued, "Tonight they adjusted their games. I thought Arnie came up big. He's such a big body. He got pucks to the net with Hornqvist in front. Sully had great determination on a couple of goals."
Pekka Rinne came up big in net stopping 23 of 26 Avalanche shots, several on odd man situations.
Steve Sullivan gave credit to the team, "I think the whole team came out focused and ready to play. They really put the effort out and laid it on the line. We knew how big this game was. This was definitely a four point game. We could have been six points behind them but now we are only two."
Power Play Reappears ...
Coming in to the game the Predator special teams had been horrible, being ranked 29th in the league on the man advantage and 26th on the penalty kill. For the game the Predators were three of five on the power play and two of three on the PK.
"I thought special teams came up big," said Trotz. "We had some timely goals. On the five on three we were bumbling around and got a timely goal from Arnott. Had we not done that momentum would have gone the other way."
"They (power play unit) have been trying very hard. They work every day and review film," Trotz related. "Today we were able to get some pucks through and create traffic. The biggest thing is that we did the same things in other games and it didn't get through."
"It's a big plus for our PP to get on the board a few times," Arnott added. "The whole team played hard. When we were down we kept battling."
Hornqvist's Big Night...
Patric Hornqvist parked himself in front of the net and was able to pick up two goals on shots from Jason Arnott. Both goals were originally attributed to Arnott and later changed Hornqvist. In a bit of humor, on Hornqvist's second goal, the scoring change on his first had not been announced so hats flew on to the ice with fans thinking that Arnott had three goals for a hat trick.
Arnott explained, "When the hat's came flying I was laughing on the bench because he had tipped it. It's good spirits, gets our crowd into it, they haven't had much to cheer about as of late so it was good to see."
The Preds will play the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night and then hit the road for four games next week before taking a couple of weeks off for the Olympic break.
Linesman Steve Barton left the game early when he got caught in the middle of a Darcy Tucker Alexander Sulzer hit.
Cal and Ryan O'Reilly's parents were in attendance. Mother wore an Avs jersey while Dad wore the Preds.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass