Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images
It wasn’t meant to be and it felt a little like the last time Vancouver played in Nashville except in this case, for fans of the Fang, there is another game to be played.
Vancouver would jump out to a two-goal lead towards the end of the first on some hard charging and sloppy line changes by the Predators. The Bitz goal was incredibly disheartening because the Predators got beat by a very lazy line change and no one picked up the trailer (Bitz) and allowed him an unmolested shot on Rinne.
Colin Wilson squeaked one by Luongo in the first, but the second period proved to be the equalizer where a beauty of a pass from Kevin Klein was tipped in and confirmed from above of a good goal for Kostitsyn. 1:02 later in the period, Fisher tipped home a wrister from Shea Weber that ever so gently trickled over the red line to tie the game.
Amidst the multitude of chances for both squads in the final period, Rinne and Luongo held their ground to force overtime. The Predators controlled much of the play in overtime but alas this game was going to a shootout.
First 2 rounds were nada, then Burrows beats Rinne to force Nashville to tally on their last shootout attempt. Legwand buries his patented backhand move to force the extension. In the 6th round, Edler moved in to drive a five-hole shot past Rinne for the game winner as Colin Wilson would be denied by Luongo on the other end. (Still scratching my head as to why Ryan Ellis instead of Patric Hornqvist was called out for shootout duties)
Powerplay – 0 for 4, 0%
Penalty Kill – 0 for 1, 0%
Best Play of the Game: Kevin Klein’s pass from the blueline to an awaiting Sergei Kostitsyn for the tip-in goal and a momentum shift in the game. Great set-up and finish.
Worst Play of the Game: Leaving Kesler any space is dangerous, especially on the power play and Kesler made the Predators pay with the game’s first goal.
My Three Stars:
#1: – Byron Bitz – 1 goal, 1 assist, +2 on the night. Notching his first goal of the year followed by the assist on Daniel Sedin’s goal. Not a bad night for the “player to be named later.”
#2: – Roberto Luongo – 37 saves on 40 attempts. Might have let in a softie at the beginning but came up huge on the penalty kill robbing Wilson of a sure goal to give the Predators the lead. His shootout work was the difference.
#3: – Mike Fisher – 1 goal, +2 on the night, Fisher just finds a way to contribute with gutsy play and timely goals. Tonight was no exception.
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