Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images
A much looser game than what the Predators normally play ended with the higher-flying team winning 6-3. The Oilers are this year’s Flames as they have bested Nashville 3 out of 4 times and clobbered the Predators at Bridgestone Arena with two 6 goal efforts.
Many fans will be clamoring about the officiating of tonight’s game which was rough for both sides. Whether it was the allowed goal for Edmonton that looked to be goalie interference, or the Hornqvist goal that was disallowed because of ???, the franchise-record 21st sellout of the season let their voices be heard in displeasure and disbelief over this contest.
The scoring started with former Predator toughman Darcy Hordichuk getting his first goal of the season; a lucky redirect off of Kevin Klein’s skate. Ales Hemsky would score his first of three less than four minutes later on a questionable scramble in front of the net to put Edmonton up 2-0. David Legwand would cut the lead in half in the waning seconds of the first period with an all out assault on the front of the net to stuff it home.
In the first minute of the second period, Hemsky would open the 2 goal lead again with a rebound chance to make it 3-1. This would be curtains for Rinne only stopping 4 of 7 shots in the contest. An ill-timed high stick from the Captain would put the deadly Edmonton PP on the ice and Ryan Jones would put home a rebound to make it 4-1. Then came the goal, or what should have been the goal to make it 4-2. Klein fired a shot and it hit off Dubnyk, then Hornqvist and tricked over the goal line. Immediately the fans went nuts, and just as quickly the referee signaled no goal as he determined that Hornqvist interfered with Dubnyk. No video review…nothing but a quick whistle and a faceoff to move things along. (re: bitter). Hornqvist would redeem for this catastrophe with a PP goal at 12:35, but less than two minutes later, Hemsky would score on a breakaway to notch his first ever career hat trick.
The Predators kept pushing in the third and carried much of the play throughout the game. Legwand would make it a little more interesting with an off-angle shot that would careen into the net. It was all said and done when Gagner puts in the empty netter at 18:19 to ice the game.
Powerplay – 1 for 5, 20%
Penalty Kill – 1 for 2, 50%
Best Play of the Game: David Legwand taking his lumps at the goal crease in the first period to bring the Predators within one. At that late stage of the first period, it was an important goal going into the dressing room.
Worst Play of the Game: The Predators getting caught napping on the second and third goals by Hemsky. Hemsky is too good a sniper to let fall through the cracks and Hemsky made the Predators pay with his first career hat trick. (Honorable mention to the non-reviewed goal)
My Three Stars:
#1: – Ales Hemsky– 4 point night, first career hat trick, +4. Need I say more?
#2: – Devan Dubnyk – Faced a firing range from some pretty aggressive Predators going 41-44 with a SV% of .932
#3: – David Legwand – 2 goals, +1, team leading 6 SOG. Played very well on both sides of the ice. With Bourque and Hornqvist on that line, Legwand is starting to look like the playoff Legwand from last season.
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