Nov 23, 2013
Coach Barry Trotz talked after the team’s morning skate before their game against the New York Rangers about this evening’s contest having the potential of being a “trap” game, as the team took a day off on Friday after playing their last nine of ten on the road. Unfortunately for him, that turned out to be the case.
Nashville went down 1-0 midway in the second period, gave up another midway through the third, and had their three-game winning streak snapped with a 2-0 shutout loss to the Rangers, their fifth time being shutout this season.
“They played a really good game. Sometimes you just have to tip your hat. We didn’t play terrible, we just didn’t do some of the things we needed to do like getting pucks through and causing that chaos around the net,” said Predators defenseman Kevin Klein. “The past few games that we won, we were able to get those through and create chaos in their end, bang in some rebounds, stuff like that. We didn’t play a terrible game, but we definitely had another level we could have used.”
The Predators had a clear head of steam coming into this game, outscoring their opposition 13-4 in their previous three games against Chicago, Detroit, and Toronto. However, University of Alabama-Huntsville alumni Cam Talbot stopped 17 Nashville shots to record his second shutout of the season.
While Nashville appeared to change the flow of the momentum at the end of the first period, they came out flat in the second. A clean body-lifting check by Kevin Klein near the nine minute mark led to Nashville’s assistant captain dropping the gloves against Rangers forward Derek Dorsett.
“Yeah, that happens. He thought I did that one when Boyle didn’t have the puck, but the puck was clear there. Sometimes that happens, you have to answer, and that’s hockey,” said Klein.
While Klein very clearly won the fight, giving an emotional boost to a team that sorely needed it, McDonagh’s redirection goal at 13:13 killed off all momentum that Nashville had gained to that point.
“We started turning it up a bit and we got on our heels for a bit in the second. They played a really good job defensively tonight. They were boxing out, blocking a lot of shots, and we couldn’t create anything until the end,” said Klein. “We were still in it in the end. If one of Weber’s posts go in, it could have definitely changed the momentum. Unfortunately, it didn’t.”
With 12 of their next 17 games in the friendly confides of Bridgestone Arena, Nashville has to take advantage of home ice, where their record drops to 5-3-1 after tonight. If the Predators can’t hold serve at home, they could find themselves further out of playoff position than they already are.
“We’ve done a pretty good job for the most part, minus that little losing streak, of battling on the road and getting points. To have the home crowd, and we usually play pretty well in here which is good, but we just need to grab points every night,” said Klein.