Saturday, March 3, 2012

New Predators come up big in 3-1 win over Florida

The Nashville Predators beat the Florida Panthers 3-1 on Saturday night at Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida.

The game marked the first time that the three new players for Nashville took the ice together and the trio hooked up for the game's first goal in the opening period when Paul Gaustad and Hal Gill assisted on Andrei Kostitsyn's first goal in a Nashville uniform.

Kostitsyn also assisted on David Legwand's goal in the final period. Mike Fisher had the second goal that ended up being the game winner. Wojtek Wolski had the lone goal for Florida.

The real hero of the night for the Predators was Pekka Rinne, who picked up his league leading 36th win while stopping 40 Panther shots that included 16 in the final period when they were playing desperate hockey.

The victory gave the Predators 83 points for the season and pulled them within six of the division leading Detroit Red Wing and only four points behind St. Louis.

Make the jump for more details from the game...

At The Puck Drop...

In Goal: Pekka Rinne (35-13-7, 2.33, .926)versus Scott Clemmensen (11-5-5, 2.82, .904)

Scratches: Nashville - Kevin Klein, Brandon Yip, Brian McGrattan, Matt Halischuk, and Ryan Ellis. Florida - John Madden, Marco Sturm, Kris Versteeg, and Ed Jovanovski.

First Period...

Florida almost got the first goal at 3:09 when Tomas Fleichmann got one past Rinne and hit the post. The Predators had a good scoring chance seconds later when Clemmensen made a solid save on a Patric Hornqvist point blank shot.

Florida got the first man advantage when Mike Fisher was called for holding Fleichmann at 7:20. The Panthers got one shot on the power play.

The Predators got on the board first at 11:35 when Andrei Kostitsyn scored his first goal as a Predator when he rung the puck in off the post with an assists going to Gaustad and Gill.

1st Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        1         6        13       1-2:00 9-9 50%
Panthers           0        15        20       0-0:00 9-9 50%

Second Period...

The Preds got on the board quickly to start the middle stanza when Fisher scored on a feed from Marty Erat, 28 seconds into the period.

Nashville continued to mount an aggressive attack and had several additional scoring chances in the first half of the period.

After a turnover Andrei Kostitsyn in the Predator offensive zone, Florida moved the puck down the ice and made a tic-tack-toe play that found Wolski with an open shot at 7:49 to cut the Predators lead to 2-1. Marcel Goc and Fleichmann had the set-up assists.

At 12:24, the Panthers got another man-advantage when Sergei Kostitsyn slashed Sean Bergenheim. Florida had two shots and no goals for their power play.

Florida went on the power play for the third time of the game at 16:45 when Jordin Tootoo tripped Brian Campbell. Florida had two shots.

2nd Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        1         8        15       2-4:00 4-15  21%
Panthers          1         9        17       0-0:00 15-4  79%

Third Period...

The Predators went back up by two at 7:02 when Andre Kostitsyn fed Legwand with a nice pass in the neutral zone and he drove to the net and put the puck past Clemmensen.

Nashville played their best defense of the evening in the final period as they defended their lead down the stretch. Both teams had plenty of scoring chances but neither were able to convert.

With 16.3 seconds left Marty Erat got a breakaway on the empty net and was hauled down by Jason Garrison but no goal was awarded.

3rd  Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        1         9        15       0-0:00 12-10 55%
Panthers         0        16        21       1-2:00 10-12 45%


Final     Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        3        23        43       3-6:00 25-34 42%
Panthers              1        40        58       1-2:00 34-25 58%

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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