Nashville wasn’t phased by the league’s point leader Phil Kessel and took advantage of Toronto’s goaltending issues getting goals in all three period completing a 4-1 dismantling of the Maple Leafs. Pekka Rinne backstopped the Predators with 39 saves going 5-0-1 since signing his new contract extension.
Nashville would get 2 goals from Martin Erat, including goals from Ryan Suter and Matt Halischuk. The Maple Leafs only goal would come from John-Michael Liles
Powerplay – 0 for 3, 0%
Penalty Kill – 1 for 2, 50%
Best Play of the Game: Ryan Suter fires a wrister through nearly every player on the ice straight past Ben Scrivens to make the game 2-1 in favor of Nashville midway through the second period.
Worst Play of the Game: Whether it was a bad play from Pekka Rinne or a poor defensive job from Ryan Suter, John-Michael Liles goal should never have happened. Although it was a VERY nifty shot from Liles, a poor breakdown in the defensive zone gave the Leafs the tying goal 10 minutes into the 2nd period.
My Three Stars:
(Prefacing this before-hand, but I’m not giving Erat one of the stars of the game. Although he played a great game and had 2 goals, there were much better players on the night as listed below)
#1: - Ryan Suter – 1 goal, 1 assist, +4 on the night. Rough defensive zone break down leading to the Leafs only goal, however Suter comes back and grabs the tie-breaking goal, and was on the ice for all 4 Nashville goals (including his partner Shea Weber)
#2: - Pekka Rinne – 38 saves on 39 shots. Just another great game by Pekka Rinne who has gone 8-1-2 in his past 11 games. Impressive stats and another impressive game
#3: - Sergei Kostitsyn – 0 goals, 3 assists, +3 on the night. Although he had 0 shots on the net, he collected three more points on the night. Great night for Kostitsyn
Coming off a 3-1 win against Washington on Tuesday, Nashville looked to continue their hot streak against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight in the Bridgestone Arena. In front of a near-capacity crowd, Nashville surely didn’t disappoint as they lit up the Leafs for 4 goals while getting stellar goaltending from Pekka Rinne.
At 5:48 in the first period, Martin Erat started the scoring getting Nashville on the board on, making it 1-0 early in the game. While the remainder of the first stayed scoreless, the Predators were severely outshot 9-3.
Toronto made it interesting halfway into the second period at 10:36 when John-Michael Liles zoomed a nifty wrister straight past Pekka Rinne to tie the game at 1. Yet, the tie wouldn’t hold up for long as Ryan Suter followed suit and nailed a wrister of his own past Ben Scrivens to make the game 2-1.
While it had been more of a mild-mannered 40 minutes between the two teams, the third period added a little excitement. 2:05 into the third, Martin Erat finishes a two-on-one with Mike Fisher to give Nashville a 3-1 lead. Yet, the most entertaining part of the game wasn’t the goals, but a lengthy fight between Brian McGrattan and Jay Rosehill at 7:02.
Past that, we’ll let Craig Smith’s little Patrik Stefan-like flub be talked about by everyone else, I’ll just note that I feel sorry for anyone that misses an empty net from about 6 inches away. It’s okay though, Smith is young and it happens. Matt Halischuk was able to ice it away, though, instead, scoring the Frosty goal at 19:37.
Stay tuned to The Predatorial on Saturday morning for the gameday preview of the Blue Jackets game!
Stay frosty, friends.