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Patten’s Plus-Minus: Nashville Predators vs. Phoenix Coyotes

PattensPlusMinus

Nov 26, 2013


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The best and worst from Nashville’s 4-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night.

Plus:

  • Marek Mazanec has been simply outstanding in net over the past two weeks. For a player who had never even appeared on an NHL roster until three weeks ago, Mazanec has stepped up into the role that has been given to him. Over his past five games, Mazanec is 4-1-0 with a .950 save percentage and a 1.61 GAA. The only loss in that stretch came when he was given exactly zero goal support. Two months ago, Mazanec was slated to be the backup in Milwaukee and games in Cincinnati were probably not out of the question. Instead, like Dan Ellis and Anders Lindback before him, he’s put the team on his back and kept everything from collapsing in on itself while Pekka Rinne has been out. Pretty impressive for a goaltender who claims that he isn’t entirely sure what he’s doing yet. He started at the bottom…now he’s here.
  • Gabriel Bourque, who is still not an enforcer, seems to have found his stride. After taking 13 games to score his first goal of the season, Bourque has three goals in his last six games. In addition, Bourque has five points in that six game stretch. While eight points on the season isn’t exactly a statistic to be blown away by, it’s a definite improvement over the way his season started.
  • Viktor Stalberg is another player who seems to have found his game as the season has stretched on. His feed to Bourque was nothing short of beautiful. It was only Stalberg’s seventh point of the season, but – much like Craig Smith earlier in the season – Stalberg’s game has definitely shown signs of change and he seems poised for a significant offensive breakthrough.
  • Shea Weber’s absolutely ridiculous bankshot empty net goal at the end of the game was his seventh of the season. His seventh goal not only puts him in the team lead for goal-scoring, it also ties him for the NHL lead for all defensemen. Nashville is 7-0-0 when Weber pots a goal.
  • Nick Spaling opened scoring by burying his third goal of the season merely 1:02 into the game.
  • So far this season, injuries have hampered Mike Fisher’s game a bit. However, they did not hamper his ability to register his fourth goal of the season in the first period.
  • Nashville is now 10-1-2 when scoring the first goal.
  • The Predators only committed one minor penalty last  night – a second period boarding in the offensive zone by Rich Clune. Phoenix did not score in the ensuing power play.
  • Nashville is now 8-0-1 when leading after the first period and 8-0-1 when leading after two.
  • Paul Gaustad was 13 of 19 in the faceoff circle. Gaustad is second in the NHL in faceoff percentage with 62.0% and closing on Vladmir Sobotka (63.6%).
  • Nashville is now 12-1-1 when scoring multiple goals.
  • This.

Minus:

  • After leaving Saturday night’s game early, Patric Hornqvist sat out Monday night’s game.
  • Filip Forsberg also missed last night’s game due to injury. Forsberg has missed Nashville’s last five games.
  • Nashville leapt to an early 3-0 lead, but as in several games on the road trip, they appeared to back off the attack. Phoenix scored two second period goals to make the game much closer than it should have been. Nashville showed in the first period that they were able to break apart Phoenix’s defensive schemes and should have been able to make the game out of reach. It worked out in the end, but it probably should not have been as close as it was. Again, this is where Mazanec shined, making the saves he needed to and bailing Nashville out of a potential second collapse against the Coyotes in a month’s time.
  • Rich Clune took the only minor penalty of the entire game – a boarding penalty in the offensive zone.