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Predators Still One Point Behind Detroit – Lose 2-1 in SO to San Jose


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Photo by Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

An intense affair with multiple scoring chances occurred until the early morning of Nashville time, but through the tireless efforts of two Finnish goalies, the Predators would drop this decision 2-1 in the shootout.

The Predators would strike first with a power play marker by Hornqvist who was left with more than enough time to go top-shelf on Niemi and put the Predators up 1-0. San Jose would answer back at the beginning of the third period with their own power play goal. A shot by Boyle that careened off Marleau and the back boards went straight onto Joe Thornton’s stick and he doesn’t miss from two feet out.

A brutal game for both squads and a bit chippy with the size of both teams fighting for space on the ice in the goal scoring areas led to many a scrum and to an awkward landing for Gaustad who had to leave the game midway through the third period with an apparent hand injury.

The shootout was exciting and both goaltenders were in their prime to stop almost every shot. The one scored by Clowe for the game-winner Rinne got a piece of but not enough to stop the puck from carrying into the net. The head-scratcher was sending out Craig Smith instead of  Hornqvist or Erat for the shootout. Smith continues to be a goose-egg in the shootout this season.

Special Teams:

Powerplay – 1 for 2, 50%
Penalty Kill – 2 for 3, 66%

Best Play of the Game: Power play goal by Hornqvist with a great feed from Fisher. Obviously the Sharks didn’t do their homework and left Hornqvist with a ton of time and space to fire a wrister over the glove of Niemi.

Worst Play of the Game: The interference penalty from Legwand at the very end of the second. Led to the power play goal that would tie the game at the beginning of the third period.

My Three Stars:

#1: – Antti Niemi – 32 saves on 33 shots and stopped all the scorers for Nashville in the shootout.
#2: – Pekka Rinne – Faced an onslaught of shots going 34 saves on 35 shots. Even got a piece of the game-winner and not afraid to show some fight against Havlat who hooked Rinne’s leg in front of the net. (No call BTW except for the coincidental roughing)
#3: – Patric Hornqvist – Great, patient goal scored on the power play, 5 SOG and now leads the Predators with 22 goals on the season.

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