Sunday, November 28, 2010
Predators Out Play Rangers But Lose 2-1 In A Shootout
The Nashville Predators played an excellent game at both ends of the ice but managed to lose to the New York Rangers 2-1 in a shoot out after leading for most of the game.
Erik Christensen scored the only goal of the shoot out to clinch the victory for the Rangers. Ryan Callahan scored the game tying goal at 13:04 in the third period to send the game into overtime.
The Predators goal came from Colin Wilson 5:10 into the contest which gave the Preds the first early lead since they played in Montreal on November 18.
Both goalies were superb in the tight defensive contest. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 29 of 30 Nashville shots and all three in the shootout while Pekka Rinne stopped 23 of 24 and all but the game winner in the shootout.
Trotz was frustrated after the game, "I think it's really frustrating. It seems like a lot of gloom and doom. It's unfortunate when you have a lead but can't hold on to it. These things are coming a little bit harder. We had a lot of chances but Lundqvist was really good."
He further said, "Wins are not coming real easy, but we got a point, and you take the points whenever you get them."
One of the highlights of the game was the first period bout between Jordin Tootoo and Sean Avery. Tootoo was asked if he was surprised that Avery was willing to fight, "Absolutely, He's the guy that wants to have the advantage on you whether you are at the end of your shift and he's fresh. I knew he was going to try to surprise me but I knew it was coming."
Coming into the game the Predators had gone 17 for 17 on the penalty kill and decided to put it to the test at the 1:00 mark in the first when Jordin Tootoo was called for holding Ruslan Fedotenko. The Preds kept the streak intact by allowing only one shot.
The Preds had a great scoring chance at 4:10 when Marty Erat had a breakaway but could not find the net. A minute later, at 5:10, Wilson took advantage of a Dan Girardi bobble and took the puck to the net and put it past Lundqvist to give the Preds a 1-0 lead. Phantom assists were given to Francis Bouillon and Marcel Goc.
The Rangers put the puck in the net at 8:52 but it was ruled null and void as it was deemed kicked by a Ranger player.
In an odd move at 14:31 after a TV time out, Tootoo and Sean Avery were each given roughing penalties for contact before a faceoff. After serving their time, as the pair left the box at 16:35, they drew together like magnets and immediately reengaged. Tootoo bested Avery in a clear take down after a couple of solid punches to Avery's head.
Thirteen seconds later, Shane O'Brien and Brandon Prust engaged behind the Preds net and fought to a draw as the referees intervened after they wore each other out.
As the period ended there was more pushing and shoving between Colin Wilson and Brandon Dubinsky. For the period the Preds out shot the Rangers 13-11 and were dominant in the Corsi 25-15. On the fight card the Preds led with a 1-0-1 record with another bout with potential to be continued later.
Both teams committed infractions at the start of the second period, Rinne for delay of game at :09 for going into the trapezoid and Alex Frolov for holding Steve Sullivan's stick at 1:55. The Preds went back on the man advantage at 6:01 when Brian Boyle for tripping Jerred Smithson.
At 9:05, Bouillon was called for roughing Avery after a little bump into the boards. On the penalty kill, Rinne saved a goal at 10:06 with a great save on a point blank shot from Erik Christensen.
Rinne was called for entering the trapezoid a second time at 18:13 and was not pleased with the call. It is an infraction that is rarely called and it happened twice in the second period.
For the second period, the Rangers out shot the Preds 7-5 and led the Corsi 18-11. The Preds faced a barrage of shot attempts but were excellent at clearing any rebounds to cut down on quality second chance attempts.
Cody Franson had to be hauled out of the arena at 5:53 in the third when Avery hit him in the neck and/or face with the blade of his stick. No penalty was called.
Trotz explained the injury, "He basically took a stick high up in the head and neck area and he's being evaluated at the hospital right now. Talking to the trainers, he'll probably be fine, but the hospital trip is precautionary."
The Predators returned to the power play at 9:30 when Fedotenko tripped J.P. Dumont. The Preds managed two shots but nothing on the scoreboard.
At 13:04, the Rangers tied the game 1-1 when Callahan picked up a rebound off of a Michael Del Zotto shot and put it past the out-stretched glove of Rinne.
The game went to overtime with the Predators outshooting the Rangers 11-5 in the third period and leading the Corsi 28-10 as the Preds really limited the Rangers chances while putting significant pressure on their defense.
Overtime was a brisk back and forth period with no whistles and no real scoring chances as each team was credited with a single shot.
In the shootout, Christensen went first for the Rangers and scored the only goal. Cal O'Reilly, Goc, and Marty Erat missed for the Preds while Derek Stepan and Callahan failed for the blue shirts.
The bottom line is that the Predators have now lost four in a row, albeit two were in shootouts where a point was earned, and have scored five goals in their last five games. The Preds are still only three points out of the Western Conference playoffs so it's not time to panic but the team needs to find more consistency and find ways to win instead of ways to lose.
The Predators will return to action Tuesday night at the Bridgestone Arena when they take on the Western Conference.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass