Noah Graham - Getty Images
Nashville Predators "earned" their second win of the season last night, and overcame their apparent 2013 shooutout curse, as they beat the Kings 2-1 after an 8 round shootout. The team nudged last years Stanley Cup champions in their home areana after what has been a difficult start for many fans. This was also Pekka Rinne's first win this year. Brendan Yip scored a great goal for Nashville less than a minute in. The shot went bar down from the hash marks and was really a beauty goal. But that was the only goal Nashville had, as they went goaless with only 13 shots in the rest of the period. The Kings knotted it half way through the first, and the rest of the game, including 7 rounds of a shootout, was a complete stalemate.
Nashville took to the ice with some crazy line juggling, both offensively and defensively, that took some fans off guard. Trotz, was obviously looking for some sort of hidden chemistry to motivate the team out of the start of the season slump. Fisher centered the first line with Wilson and Erat while Weber and Hannan (!) were the top defensive pair.
On the second shift of the game, not long after the Kings laser show, Legwand won the faceoff to Bourque, who dropped it to Yip for the beautiful wrister past 2012 Vezina nominee Jonathan Quick. It's Yip's second goal of his season; the 28th in his career.
What looked like an explosive start for the team - and the game - fizzled out quickly. The Preds, notably Scott Hannan, gave the King's league worst powerplay plenty of in game practice, taking four penalties in the first period. With 8 minutes to go, with Hannan already in the box, Gaustad took a mysterious unsportsmanlike minor, putting the Kings up two men. The kings finally managed to net their second powerplay goal of the season, despite taking a penalty of their own.
The following two periods mirrored just about every period of Predators hockey this season, except with an equally incompetent Kings side making as many mistakes (Kings are 2-2-2 after tonight by the way). Hannan and Gaustad both took another trip to the box, as did Gill, but the team were able to kill off the penalties.
The Preds had a couple of chances in front, including a Spaling opportunity on a nearly open net, but as we've seen a lot this season thy were just unable to get that final stick on it and convert the opportunity.
Overtime came and went with little excitement, although the away team definitely had the upper hand throughout, and the dreaded shootout was on the cards, Nashville's 4th of the season. Even though unable to convert more than once in the first 3 shooutouts this season, the Preds brought it to 8 rounds, and won it. Here is a brief summary:
Legwand - Goal
Smith - Goal
Erat - Miss
Wilson - Miss
Yip - Miss
Bourque - Goal
Josi - Miss
Kostitsyn - Goal
And yes you read that correctly. Quick made literally 0 saves. All Predator players either put it in the net, or missed said net completetly. The Kings, on the other hand, put every shot on net and forced Rinne to make 5 saves. The team got the much needed win, and hopefully some positive momentum to get this season going.
Line Up Report
#35 Pekka Rinne
#32 Jonathan Quick
Predators Scratches: #7 D Jonathon Blum, #23 W Brian McGrattan and #27 W Patric Hornqvist (IR)
Coyotes Scratches: B. Richardson (Knee), D Penner, A Bodnarchuk
Defensive shake up: Hannan played well alongside Weber, despite taking three Penalties, all of which were due to his slow speed. I don't know if I like him there for a full season (because of burnout), but for the time being, it could work. Hannan had 24:48 , which his higher than his highest season average (2005-06). Trotz put Klein with Josi, a pairing that I see destined to fail, and kept Gill with Ellis. It's a surprise that he didn't give Jon Blum a run amidst all the other changes. It's hard to determine who will take the ice on Saturday against the Sharks.
Richard Clune - 65 Minute game, no penalties: Yaaaaayyy good job Rich! He played 5 minutes of ice time and didn't drop the gloves or take a silly penalty. Which made me wonder if he was even playing, as opposed to most other games where I just complain about him.
Pekka Rinne - Big win Preds writer Joshua Cooper had some post game quotes here, includin Trotz on Rinne " “It was just a weight off his back. He’s one of those guys where every game he wants to be the star.” No one could blame Rinne for any of the losses so far this season, but it is definitely good for the starting net minder to get some confidence under his belt. After being winless in 5 starts, the Vezina caliber goalie was apparently quite frustrated (who wouldn't be) and looking to turn it around. Hopefully after the win we will be able to see some more confident play out of the superstar goalie. Not to mention that he played quite well tonight, stopping 23 shots.
Goals and Assists
1-0 NSH: Yip - Bourque, Legwand at 0:58 in the 1st
1-1 LA: Brown - Doughty, Richards (PP) at 13:08 in the 1st
My Three Stars of the Game
1. Brendan Yip (Bar down baby)
2. Pekka Rinne (.958 sv%)
3. Craig Smith (13 minutes of play and a shootout goal)