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Predators grab two important points in comeback win over Stars

Roman Josi

Jan 20, 2014


Dropping into a 5-4 decision Saturday night against the Colorado Avalanche, including seeing Nashville fight back from a 5-1 deficit to nearly tie the game in the final minutes of regulation, the Predators were unable to gain any ground on their Western Conference opponents. The end result, and more importantly dropping into a 3-0 hole in the first period, left a bad taste in the mouth of Nashville’s roster. Coming in to tonight’s game against the Dallas Stars, the emphasis was on playing a mistake-free, sixty minute game, and grabbing two points against the team directly ahead of them.

While early on it seemed things may not be heading in the Predators favor, Nashville rebounded and made tonight count. Scoring four unanswered goals after allowing an early first period powerplay goal, the Predators earned their fourth win in their last five games and leapfrogged the Dallas Stars in the standings.

“I think right from the start we were playing really well and we had some good responses after their goal. So we’re happy with our performance,” said Predators forward Nick Spaling. “I think we did a good job on our key, which was limiting the mistakes and not giving up chances, that was our goal.”

Spaling, who is only four points away from a career-high with the Predators, tied the game at one nearly seven minutes after the Stars made the game 1-0. With four different players netting goals for Nashville tonight, the Predators are making their patented “scoring by committee” approach count every night.

“It was everybody contributing and that’s what it takes for our team to win. It is all lines going and the defense going and when they’re chipping in, it’s great for us,” said Spaling.

“We need a different lineup to step up every game and that’s the good thing about us. If one line isn’t going the other line tries to step up and today, everybody stepped up,” said Predators defenseman Roman Josi.

Shea Weber would give Nashville a 2-1 lead late in the first period, a lead the Predators wouldn’t relinquish. Roman Josi’s goal with 32 seconds remaining in the second period would set a new career-high for the Swiss defenseman. By the end of the game, Josi had new career-high’s in goals (6), assists (14), and points (20).

“I’ve just gotten luckier I guess, I always try to jump up and play and make something happen and get a lot of shots through and lately they’ve been going in,” said Josi.

With Nashville getting a very important win and two points against the Dallas Stars, they head to the road for their Western Canada trip where they’ll face the Canucks, Flames, Oilers, and Jets in a span of six games. A tight schedule with a back-to-back against Vancouver and Calgary mixed in hands the Predators a “sink or swim” scenario approaching the Olympic break in early February.

“I’ve been hoping all year we could string some wins together. We have to take it one game at a time. That sounds very cliché , and it is, but you can’t worry about what happens tomorrow between Dallas and Minnesota or Phoenix and someone else. We just have to worry about our next game,” said Predators head coach Barry Trotz. “We’ll get a chance to practice maybe a day or two here and get to Vancouver. We go to Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, those are all going to be tough trips.”

“One of the things you look at: Vancouver and Calgary, that’s not a long trip, but we’re going to probably show up at Calgary at three in the morning after a hard game in Vancouver. Then you have to go against the Flames, and that’s a quick turnover because you’re playing two games within 22 hours basically. Sometimes that’s real tough. We’re going to have some mental toughness, we’ve acquired some all year, this will be hopefully a trip where we can continue to show what we’re made of.”

Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua