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Exhilarating finish helps Nashville snap five-game losing streak

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Dec 28, 2013


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The Predators hoped a three-day rest for their Christmas break would help right their ship. Unfortunately, with a 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Friday, things didn’t start as planned. However, a wild finish against the Los Angeles Kings gave Nashville a huge win, snapping their five-game losing streak, and providing the Predators with the ability to exhale for the first time in nearly two weeks.

Patric Hornqvist notched his first goal since December 2nd, however all of Nashville’s forwards this evening seemed to be on point. Combining for 19 of the Predators 31 shots on net and six points altogether, Nashville rolled their top three lines all the way to victory.

“The guys stepped up. You talk about your leadership. Guys like Fisher, and I thought Josi and Weber were phenomenal against the line. They were a handful. Legwand got that assignment with them. I thought the Fisher, Hornqvist, Wilson line was very good for us, but so was the Cullen line,” said Predators head coach Barry Trotz. “I think we got the look through the lineup, and I thought the first three lines were really solid for us tonight.”

Hornqvist’s goal in the first period gave the Predators an all-important first lead of the game. It was also the first time that Nashville had played with a lead in the previous 314:42 of on-ice action, dating back to their December 14th win against the San Jose Sharks.

“We were getting better and better, and having the lead today was a different feeling. It was much more relaxed on the bench from probably a player’s and coach’s standpoint,” said Trotz. “We’ve got a little bit of wiggle room. When you’re down a goal or two or three, there is no wiggle room. It’s a constant pressure. It was a little different than it has been over the last four or five games.”

Predators rookie defenseman Seth Jones, who has seen his ice-time fluctuate over the past handful of games, played one of his strongest games of the season, registering two assists and nearly twenty minutes of ice time against the Kings (19:08).

“It was nice to get back in the win column, for sure. We had lost five straight. We’re not playing too bad, we just couldn’t find a way to win. Tonight we did and it definitely feels nice,” said Jones.

Tied at one after the second period, the exciting finish to the game would gave the sellout crowd at Bridgestone Arena a bit of holiday cheer as it could be the jump-start the Predators need with four games over the next eight days.

Nashville grabbed a 2-1 lead with 3:18 left to play in regulation on a powerplay goal from forward Mike Fisher. The Kings would tie it after pulling their goaltender with only 37 seconds remaining in the third. However, Fisher would get the game-winner not even ten seconds later after his shot squeaked past Kings goaltender Ben Scrivens, which would stand as a goal after an official review.

“[Wilson] made a great play trying to take the puck to the net and I was just trying to find a hole and he caught me in a great spot and just trickled through the goalie,” said Fisher.

“I was pretty close and from where I was I didn’t think it completely crossed, the video has a better view and can zoom in. Those are the breaks sometimes,” said Scrivens. “There was a guy that broke out in front and broke the wall. They got a stick on it and were able to direct it on net. I got a large chunk, but not enough. That is an extremely frustrating way to lose a hockey game.”

The Predators see their former divisional rival the Detroit Red Wings come to town Monday night. Carrying tonight’s momentum and sticking to the gameplan that’s been laid out for them will be the main priority over the next handful of games.

“We gotta stay detailed. Tonight, we had a strong start and we did a lot of good things in the defensive zone, which lead to offense. We have to keep doing more of the same things, stick to the gameplan, and if we do that I think it will work,” said Jones.

Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua