At 7:09 of the third period, the Carolina Hurricanes were leading the Nashville Predators 1-0.
As the Predators’ Colin Wilson was skating across the center line, Carolina forward Jiri Tlusty’s stick hit him squarely in the chin. With a bleeding cut, Wilson drew a high sticking double minor penalty.
“I took the puck away and he high sticked me,” Wilson said. “A four-minute penalty is a big penalty. Thankfully I drew blood so we’d get all four minutes.”
Thirty-two seconds later, Patric Hornqvist scored on a play that – while Blake Geoffrion and Ryan Ellis were officially credited with assists – was generated by Wilson.
“I put it up to Ellis on the point,” Wilson said. “He took a shot, (Geoffrion) deflected it and Hornqvist was right there and batted it in.”
Shortly thereafter, Wilson had another chance that would not go – the puck hit the post, hit Carolina goaltender Brian Boucher and appeared to hit virtually everything except for the back of the net.
“Ellis made a really nice pass to me on the side and I just tried to get it off as quick as I could,” Wilson said. “It went through the five-hole and squirted out and hit the post. It was a little unfortunate because it would have been nice to get that one.”
Finally, after the tie game headed to overtime, it was Wilson who picked up the only assist on Craig Smith’s game winner in the closing seconds.
“Me and Smith had a really good forecheck and stayed on them,” Wilson said. “We got that turnover and Smith had a really good shot on the net to get the overtime win.”
“It was a great play by Wilson,” Smith said. “I just put it on net.”
PuckScene.com Three Stars (voted with 5:00 left in regulation)
1. Patric Hornqvist, Nashville Predators
2. Brian Boucher, Carolina Hurricanes
3. Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
Official Three Stars
1. Craig Smith, Nashville Predators
2. Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
3. Brian Boucher, Carolina Hurricanes