After a loss in Philadelphia on Thursday night, it was imperative that the Nashville Predators return to Bridgestone Arena on Saturday night and regain their swagger.
The opponent was the St. Louis Blues who began the game a point ahead in the standings with two games in hand. The Blues came out firing but the Predators held tough. By the time Mike Fisher made it 2-0 Preds, it was almost a foregone conclusion that the Preds would win another game at home based on their recent record of 13-2 in their last 15 games at Bridgestone Arena.
The Predators were anything but dominant earlier this season as they started the year 4-5-3 on home ice. At the end of November, their 11-9-4 record showed little signs of things to come.
The turnaround had roots in a December 1 win in Vancouver when the team went down early and roared back to a 6-5 win. Unfortunately, they came home and laid a couple of eggs in losses to Buffalo and Phoenix that they would love to have back.
The season turned in the next game on December 8 in Columbus when the Predators played poorly but salvaged a win over the Jackets with two goals in the last 1:36 to force overtime and then grabbing the second point on a Colin Wilson goal in OT.
Including that game, the Predators have gone 20-6-0 and the difference maker has been Pekka Rinne who has won 20 of 22 decisions during the run.
The most unbelievable statistic is that the Preds are 12-2-2 against the Central Division which boasts four of the top eight teams in the entire NHL.
At the end of play on Saturday night, the Predators were sitting at 68 points, four behind Central Division leading Detroit and one behind Tuesday's opponent, Vancouver. Nashville has the fourth best record in the NHL and have the momentum to challenge the Wings for tops in the division of they continue on their current pace.
The Predators are at the high water mark in franchise history with their sights set on going even higher.
Here is our game story from last night and Barry Trotz's postgame presser. Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...
Main Stream Media...
Mike Organ: (The Tennessean) Game story - Notes
David Boclair (The City Paper)
Doug Brumley (Preds.com)
John Manasso (NHL.com)
Jim Diamond (The Examiner)
Ryan Porth (Smashville 24/7) Game Story - Decibel Readings -One More Thing
Amanda DiPaolo (Inside Smashville)
Mark Willoughby (The View from 111)
Robby Stanley (Hockey Night in Nashville)
Jeremy Gover (Section 303) Game Story - LeftGovers
Patten Fuqua (Puck Scene)
Paul McCann (HockeyBuzz)
Sam Page (On The Forecheck)
Kris Martel (Predatorial)
Laura Hutchings (Lady Preds)
St. Louis Media...
In the Slot
St. Louis Game Time
Audio from the Predators comes from....
Rinne (part 1)
Rinne (part 2)
From St. Louis, we hear from...
Coach Ken Hitchcock
Three Stars of the Game...
1. Pekka Rinne
2. Marty Erat
3. Jaroslav Halak
Here is the video of the Brian McGrattan - Ryan Reaves fight from last night...
Highlights come from NHL.com....
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass