Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Game Recap: Dallas Ends Predators Streak with 3-1 Win

Barry Trotz Post Game Comments

Steve Sullivan, Pekka Rinne, Shea Weber and Ryan Suter speak.

Coach Marc Crawford, Kari Lehtonen, Trevor Daly, and Loui Eriksson speak

The Dallas Stars went into Music City on Tuesday night and came a way with a 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators that snapped the Pred's six game winning streak in a game that lacked the intensity or drama of recent contests.

Going into the third period the game was tied 1-1 and Dallas jumped on the scoreboard with two quick goals 30 seconds apart, by Loui Eriksson and Matt Niskanen to take a 3-1 lead. From that point forward there was little pressure on either net for the remainder of the game.

In the second period, Trevor Daley scored for Dallas at the 8:10 mark and Shea Weber matched the goal at 16:02 with one of his patented bombs from the point.

In the third period the game appeared over before fans settled into their seats. At 1:30, Eriksson got past Ryan Suter and Shea Weber and slipped a shot past Pekka Rinne on a breakaway that ended up being the game winning goal.

Ryan Suter was willing to take the blame, "I passed it right to their guy. It was a bad play on my part and it cost us."

Thirty seconds later, on the following shift, Brenden Morrow fired a shot into traffic from the blue line that Niskanen tipped into the net to make it 3-1.

Barry Trotz felt that was the turning point, "If it was a 2-1 game, I think maybe we tie it up. With the two goal lead, they were checking too well tonight."

The Predators out shot the Stars 35-14 and had an astounding 70-32 margin in the Corsi numbers.

Kari Lehtonen stopped all but one of the Predator shots for the win. Pekka Rinne only saw 14 shots from the Stars but let three find the net.

Trevor Daley gave Lehtonen credit for the win, "Our goalie was unreal and that was a big part of our win tonight."

Storylines From The Game

All Streaks End at Some Point...

While the Predators dominated on the score sheet they did not have the same level of intensity as they have had in recent games.

"We definitely played with a lack of urgency," said Shea Weber. "We weren't really jumping the pucks and playing the way we are used to. We got a not of shots but none really of great quality."

Steve Sullivan was in agreement, "We didn't play sharp. Maybe it was a lack of urgency on our part. We couldn't sustain pressure. I think that's what kills teams, when you can sustain pressure, you can't kill their will. We couldn't do that. We played soft hockey."

Preds Trapped to Death By the Stars...

Dallas's trap defense kept the Predators from putting as much pressure on the net as they would have wanted. After the Stars went up by two with 18 minutes left in the game, the Stars chose to play defense and only had one shot for the rest of the contest.

Shea Weber discussed the Dallas system, "They are patient. They play a trap system and have the skill and transition to counter on turnovers and make you pay."

"I don't think we had enough guys going to the really hard areas," explained Barry Trotz. We stayed a little bit to the perimeter and you can't do that, not with the way they are playing. You've got to go to the hard areas and win those puck battles."

Western Conference Race Tightens...

With the Predators, Coyotes, and Canucks losing, and Chicago, San Jose, and Calgary winning, the Western conference race became more jumbled.

The Predators stayed in sixth place with 89 points, which is two points ahead of Colorado and four points in front of Detroit. Both the Wings and Avs have played two less games. Calgary picked up a bit of ground and is now six points behind the Preds with a game in hand.

Up Next...

The Predators will continue their homestand on Thursday night against the Phoenix Coyotes who also saw their nine game streak come to an end with a 2-0 loss in Chicago. To a man, each Predator player pointed to the team's short memories of losses and were positive they would be ready for Thursday's game.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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