(Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
In front of a sold out crowd at Bridgestone Arena, the Nashville Predators and Pekka Rinne shutout the Los Angeles Kings, 3-0. "It wasn't pretty, but we got the win," said head coach Barry Trotz. Rinne, who received the number one star of the game, turned away all 32 shots that came his way. “I was seeing the puck well,” said Rinne. “It was one of those games where they had to shoot the puck, most of them came from the outside. Even though they shot a lot, it was a fairly easy game for myself.”
The Predators extended their winning streak to four games Thursday night. This is a hot team right now, and not too many teams can stop them with a great goaltender and with the players taking advantage of their scoring chances.
After a seven game road trip, the Predators and their fans were looking forward to Thursday night’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. It didn’t take long for the fans to get into it as soon after the opening faceoff, the fans collectively chanting, “Let’s go Predators!”. It also helped the fans to see a fight at 2:15 between Richard Clune and Kyle Clifford.
That short fight didn’t just ignite the fans, it ignited the Predators as well. Gabriel Bourque scored the first goal of the game at 2:54. “Good work by Wilson and Legwand, I just went to the front of the net and Legwand made a good pass and I put it in the net.” Bourque’s goal was from the high slot--above the hash marks—and shot it high. The rest of the first period was highlighted by the forward’s play, shooting four times and three were quality scoring chances.
Barry Trotz said entering the second, “We’re going to have to be better in the second, than in the first.” That the Predators did not do as they were outplayed in time of possession and shots on goal. However, goaltender Pekka Rinne was able to stop the Kings’ attack, while Colin Wilson was able to score two goals.
Colin Wilson’s first goal came 7:01, following a timeout by Trotz, as Wilson conveniently cut through the slot and was able to receive a pass from Kevin Klein to redirect the puck past Quick blocker side. His second goal came 13:02 on the power play after drawing a roughing penalty on Justin Williams for hitting Wilson in the face. Shea Weber’s shot from the point left a rebound for Wilson that he was able to put home.
In the third period, defenseman Scott Hannan took a puck to the face from Drew Doughty dumping the puck into the zone. Hannan was shaken up and went to the locker room to be checked out. Luckily, he was okay and returned to the game shortly after.
It was a scoreless third period with limited shots, a combined six (4-2 in favor of LA). The Predators were able to hold on to the dangerous three goal lead and won the game, 3-0.
Line Up Report
#35 Pekka Rinne
#32 Jonathon Quick
Predators Scratches: #23 W Brian McGrattan and #24 W Matt Halischuk
Kings Scratches: #15 W Brad Richardson, #25 W Dustin Penner and #81 D Andrew Campbell
Paul Gaustad’s 500th Game: In the second period, Predators’ PA man Paul McCann announced that Thursday’s game was Gaustad’s 500th game of his NHL career. The fans at Bridgestone Arena all cheered in unison to celebrate his milestone.
Gaustad was drafted in the 7th round by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. The Sabres and Predators have been the only teams Gaustad has played for in his career. The faceoff ace has 71 goals, 116 assists in his career.
Pekka Rinne playing great: The Finnish goaltender is beginning to look like a Vezina Trophy candidate after winning his fourth game in a row by means of the shutout, turning away all 32 shots from Los Angeles. Since switching his pads back to the Reebok Premier 4’s, Rinne is undefeated allowing only three goals in four games.
Goals and Assists
1-0 NSH: Gabriel Bourque – Legwand and Klein at 2:54 in the 1st
2-0 NSH: Colin Wilson – Klein and Yip at 7:01 in the 2nd
3-0 NSH: PP Colin Wilson (2) – Weber and Fisher at 13:02 in the 2nd
My Three Stars of the Game
1. Pekka Rinne: Shutout, 32 saves
2. Colin Wilson: 2 Goals
3. Gabriel Bourque: Goal