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Predators Leave Baltimore Perfect, Shut Out Capitals 2-0


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Photo Credit: ESPN

After splitting their Florida adventure with the Panthers yesterday, the Nashville Predators get back into the win column with a 2-0 win against the Washington Capitals in the 2011 Baltimore Hockey Classic.

Pekka Rinne and Jeremy Smith combined for the shutout tonight while nearly splitting the game’s goaltending (Rinne played a little over 30 minutes of action). Scoring for the Predators were Chris Mueller (assisted by Weber and Bergfors) and Colin Wilson (assisted by Bergfors)

Bergfors was the number one star of the game and rightfully so with his 2 assist night, however past that it’s a little hard to figure on how each of the lines did this evening, however I will note three things:

1) Colin Wilson/Chris Mueller/Niclas Bergfors is working.

If Mueller starts out in Nashville instead of Milwaukee and this particular line keeps producing, don’t mess with it. This line combined for 4 points tonight and the only 2 goals of the game, don’t mess with something that is working

2) The Big 3 are already in regular season form

Pekka Rinne gets a shut-out (perfect 31 minutes of action and shares the shut-out with Jeremy Smith), Shea Weber gets an assist, and Ryan Suter played like the elite defenseman he is. These three playing elite hockey will, frankly, determine whether or not the Predators stay competitive this season

3) Jeremy Smith made a statement

In my earlier preview of tonight’s action, I said that “Smith needs to have a stellar performance tonight against some of the elite players from the Capitals to keep that bar raised high for Pickard and Engren.” Boy did he ever have a stellar performance. With the way he handled himself tonight, don’t be surprised if you see him get some serious playing time in Milwaukee this year, AND Nashville if any of our goaltenders come down with an injury

That’s it for tonight’s game! The Predators will be back in action Friday night against Carolina at 6pm CST. After that, they’ll be home Saturday against Winnipeg.

Stay frosty, friends