Saturday, December 17, 2011

Predators Give Away Point in 2-1 Win over the Blues

The Nashville Predators picked up two points with a 2-1 shoot-out win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night but were somewhat frustrated that the Blues also captured a point.

After a scoreless first two periods, the Predators broke through on a finely executed Shea Weber to Marty Erat pass with 7:28 remaining in the contest.

Less than three minutes later, the Preds were called for too many men on the ice, giving the Blues a their fifth power play of the evening. During the man-advantage, a bad line change quickly led to a goal by T.J. Oshie with 3:52 left in the contest that forced overtime and gave the Blues a point.

The Predators were forced to kill another penalty (slashing) by David Legwand, starting at 18:31 in the third period and carrying over into overtime before holding on for the skills contest were Legwand was the only scorer to give the Predators the victory, and the second point.

Legwand was pleased with the victory but frustrated that it wasn't a regulation win. "It's tough, but it starts with the bad penalty with too many men on the ice. Then, we have to be sure with four minutes left that we make a good change and get guys on and off the ice correctly."

"We should have won in regulation but we've got to manage the game a little better at the end, stated Legwand."

Pekka Rinne was stellar in net once again, stopping all but one of the 40 Blues shots. Predators' nemesis, Jaroslav Halak, stopped 19 of 20 Predator shots but allowed Legwand's game winner in overtime to take the loss.

Barry Trotz was obviously frustrated about the team going past regulation. "We mismanaged that change. On the line change, next lines up... you watch your guy come to the bench. When one guy jumped on, his man was in the corner with he puck and he wasn't paying attention. It put us at a disadvantage, and then we had a bad line change on the PK."

"From my standpoint, I wasn't too happy after the game. We got the two points but there was a very good chance that we could have ended up with no points, based on the way we mismanaged the line change and the too many men on the ice. It is unacceptable because we mismanaged it as a group."

The penalties were an issue all night for the Predators, who had to kill six Blues power plays and never had a legitimate man advantage opportunity, which caused the Preds to break their seven game streak of power play goals.

Trotz didn't call out the officials, but thought there was an imbalance in penalty calls. "There was a lot of clutching and grabbing on their part and a lot of stick work. I thought that they weren't "Snow White" in terms of the way they played, so I thought surely we'd get a power play, but the referees didn't see it our way."

Trotz continued to stew, in spite of the win. "The PK stepped up, five out of six, they did a good job and had a good chance to be six for six had we managed the line-change better."

"My only disappointment was that we gave them a point. Had they scored and earned it the right way I probably wouldn't be as mad, but I thought we mismanaged a point tonight. We gained ground on everyone else but St. Louis."

Trotz did have a positive note to cap the victory. "We found a way to get two points and that was the bottom line."

The Predators have now won five in a row and seven of their last ten and sit in seventh place in the Western Conference with 38 points. They will return to action on Tuesday in Washington against the Capitals before returning home to face Columbus on Thursday.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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