Nov 17, 2013
The best and worst from Nashville’s 7-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.
- After scoring just two goals in their prior four games, the Predators exploded on Saturday night, putting up a touchdown and getting the extra point on the defending Stanley Cup Champions. The seven goals were the most that Nashville has scored since December 15, 2009, when the Predators defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-4.
- The Nashville Predators outscored the Kentucky Wildcats 7-6 on Saturday.
- Craig Smith tied a career high with three points (1 G – 2A). Smith had not registered a point in his previous five games and had not had an assist in his previous 10. Through 20 games, with four goals, seven assists and 11 points, Smith has as many goals as he had in 44 last season and just one less point. Considering Smith had a two-point game in his second-to-last game last season, Smith has more points and goals through 20 games this season than he had through 42 games last season.
- Marek Mazanec earned his first career win, stopping 39 of 41 Blackhawks shots and looking genuinely comfortable in net. He raised his save percentage on the season to .911 and lowered his GAA to 3.16. Mazanec becomes just the eighth goaltender in Predators history to register a win, joining Mike Dunham, Tomas Vokoun, Chris Mason, Pekka Rinne, Dan Ellis, Anders Lindback and Carter Hutton.
- David Legwand had two assists, giving him 13 on the year, tying him for 18th in the NHL. In 48 games last season, Legwand also had 13 assists. Legwand leads Nashville in scoring with 17 points, which places him in a tie for 37th in the NHL in scoring.
- Roman Josi, who missed 10 games at the beginning of the season, had two assists for his first multiple-point game of the season and his first multiple-point game in his last 28 games. The two assists were also Josi’s first home points of the season.
- Viktor Stalberg scored his first goal at Bridgestone Arena as a Predator against his former team to give Nashville a 5-2 lead. After the game, Stalberg admitted that while it might not be his favorite goal that he has ever scored, it was definitely one of them. The goal also came 15 seconds after Brandon Pirri scored to awaken the Blackhawks fans in the arena. Stalberg deflated whatever momentum Chicago seemed to have and the Predators continued to roll.
- Matt Cullen opened scoring in the first period and assisted on Craig Smith’s second period goal. Cullen had not registered a point since Nashville’s win at Winnipeg on October 20. That is a stretch of 10 games without a point. Cullen had not scored since turning 37 on November 2.
- Patric Hornqvist scored his team-leading sixth goal in the second period on the power play – the goal would become the game-winner. After missing half of last season due to injury, Hornqvist has played in every Predators game so far this season and has scored two more goals and just one less point than he did in 24 games last season. Hornqvist also unleashed 6 shots on goal.
- Shea Weber had a goal and an assist to put him at 10 points on the season. The Predators are 5-0-0 when Weber scores a goal this season.
- Twelve of Nashville’s 18 skaters registered points on Saturday night. Only Kevin Klein, Rich Clune, Matt Hendricks, Paul Gaustad, Colin Wilson and Victor Bartley were held off of the scoresheet.
- Seth Jones blocked a game-high five shots.
- The Predators are now 8-1-2 when scoring the first goal. They are now 2-0-0 when scoring six or more goals.
- Nashville dominated the faceoff battle, winning 43 of 67 draws. Paul Gaustad won 12 of 15 he took, while Mike Fisher and Matt Cullen each won nine of 13. The Predators retook the league lead on Saturday night.
- The Predators’ scoring average increased to 2.30 goals per game, moving them up a spot to 24th in the league.
- For the first time in nine games, Nashville held their opponent to under three goals.
- The Predators killed off all four Chicago power plays.
- Nashville scored two goals in five power play opportunities. The Predators are currently 12th in the league with a 20.3% conversion rate.
- Nikolai Khabibulin started the game for the Blackhawks, but appeared to suffer a lower body injury in the first period and was replaced by Corey Crawford.
- Filip Forsberg was scratched due to an upper-body injury.
- Eric Nystrom was a healthy scratch, but it was likely related to him being taken off the ice on Friday night after his fight with Tanner Glass.