It doesn’t happen very often, but when a puck bounces in a team’s net from one of their own players, it certainly has the potential to be a negative catalyst on the end result of a hockey game. However for Klein and the Predators, it was the opposite effect that prevailed.
Breaking in on a three-on-two midway through the third period, Henrik Zetterberg found Jordin Tootoo streaking down the right side of the boards. Tootoo sent a centering pass intended for Zetterberg that found the skate of Kevin Klein instead and careened into the Predators goal past a displaced Pekka Rinne, tying the game at 2.
“That doesn’t feel good when it’s a 2-1 game. Most of the time you get that, you clear the pucks for Pekka. It’s just one of those bad bounces. The guys showed great heart coming back,” said Predators defenseman Kevin Klein.
With the game tied at two, the floodgates would open for the next two minutes, seeing both the Predators and Wings exchange goals to make it a 3-3 game at the 13:30 mark.
As a defenseman, sometimes bad bounces are just a part of the game. While Nashville could have let the bad luck bounce ruin their night against one of their largest rivals, they found a way to get it to overtime and grab the extra point.
“Yeah, your upset obviously. Pekks knows, he gave me a little tap on the pads and shrugged it off,” said Klein. “It’s one of those things where stuff happens, just like the other night. We battled back and stayed diligent.”
Even Pekka Rinne, who can get visibly irritated when he personally makes a mistake, knew that there isn’t much you can do in that particular scenario.
“It’s going to happen. It is always disappointing when you give up a goal, but when it happens that way you just try to cheer him up and move on – next shift,” said Rinne.
Klein has been a steady workhorse for the Nashville Predators over the past few years, only recently coming into a positive light of his own after his stellar play last season and throughout the playoffs as well. While his play may be overshadowed a bit by the presence of Shea Weber, it’s hard not to underestimate the value he brings night in and night out.
“Klein is one of those guys who saves a lot of goals by blocking shots,” said Pekka Rinne. “He always battles in front of me.”
Ultimately, the play ended up not having a large impact on the end result, unlike the offsides-allowed goal from yesterday’s afternoon contest with Colorado. Either way, Trotz’s confidence in Klein showcases why he isn’t concerned on the outcome of one unfortunate play.
“I was just more worried about him being tired. The defense has put in a lot of minutes in the last couple of games. He’s ok. Kleiner is made out of rubber, he’ll bounce back,” said Trotz.
Nashville is back in action Friday night as they take on the Vancouver Canucks at Bridgestone Arena. Game is at 7:00pm CT.