Getting two goals from Wayne Simmonds, the Philadelphia Flyers were able to stop the red-hot Nashville Predators 4-1 on top of a great Ilya Bryzgalov performance at home. Nashville had increasingly good chances through all 3 periods, but a 4-shot second period and being 0-4 on the powerplay may have done in the Preds as they lost their first game in their past 5 outings.
Anders Lindback collected the loss on the evening as Nashville goes to 31-17-4. The Predators play host to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday evening in front of a should-be sold out crowd.
Nashville would get good chances through the entirety of the 60 minutes of this game, however unlike their previous venture into Minnesota, the Predators wouldn’t be able to stage a comeback. Ilya Bryzgalov stopped all but one of the Predators shot on goal during the contest, yet the real story is the constant pressure applied by the Flyers forecheck and backcheck.
Getting outshot by the Flyers 28-27, Nashville couldn’t get enough of their chances through to the Philadelphia net, even with the continual pressure they seemed to have during the third period. All but 5 of the players on Nashville’s roster (Legwand, Smithson, Ellis, Bourque, Bouillon) would end up a -1 on the night.
Philadelphia would get on the board first near the end of the first period getting a great screen from Zac Rinaldo as he beat Lindback for a 1-0 lead at the 15:41 mark. Although Nashville had two powerplay chances in the first, a high-stick goal from Craig Smith was waved off that would have given Nashville the 1-0 lead earlier in that period.
Nashville would come out a little slow in the second and being able to only muster 4 shots during the whole period, including another powerplay chance, would almost prove to be the difference maker. After failing to cash in on a lengthy 5-on-3, Philadelphia’s Matt Read would intercept a pass to Kevin Klein and cash in on a breakaway to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead at 14:32 of the second.
The Predators wouldn’t leave this game without a fight, though, bringing the game a little closer as Craig Smith’s fancy stickwork fed Ryan Suter with the puck who zinged it past Bryzgalov to end the shutout bid at 8:37 of the third period, making it 2-1 Flyers. A late penalty on Jerred Smithson would prove to be a big mistake, though, as Wayne Simmonds would collect a rebound and fire it past Lindback for his second of the game, giving the Flyers back their 2 goal lead at 15:19. Philadelphia would add an empty netter at 18:55, giving them a 4-1 lead as the period wound down.
The Predators are back in action as they come back home to Nashville on Saturday night for a Central Division matchup against the St. Louis Blues. Tickets are going quick for this game, so if you need some you can get them at http://www.nashvillepredators.com/martel and use the special code PREDS
Powerplay – 0 for 4, 0%
Penalty Kill – 2 for 3, 67%
Best Play of the Game: Wayne Simmonds had a point blank chance late in the third and Anders Lindback stopped him cold. Coming in the middle of a 2-1 game, this was a HUGE save
Worst Play of the Game: Not sure what was going on, but Philadelphia’s Scott Hartnell ran Anders Lindback twice in just a couple of minutes in the second period. Although he was given a double minor after his second attempt, I’m not sure what brought that on in the first place
My Three Stars:
#1: – Wayne Simmonds – 2 goals, 0 assists, +1 on the night. Almost a hat-trick night for Simmonds if it wasn’t for Lindback, collecting his 14th and 15th goals of the season
#2: – Ilya Bryzgalov – 27 saves on 28 attempts. Falls just short of his second shutout of the season, as the veteran stood tall on home ice this evening
#3: – Ryan Suter – 1 goal, -1 on the night, 26:12 in ice time. Suter’s goal would be the only one the Predators would get, as it would be his first in 28 games.
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