Power Play: Predators get power play help, beat Bruins in shootout

BY foxsports • December 17, 2014

Nashville, Tenn. -- Notching a power play goal at home for the first time since their season opener, the Nashville Predators (20-8-2) matched the Boston Bruins (15-3-3) blow for blow before squaring off in a shootout and escaping with a 3-2 victory.

Elite goaltenders square off against each other

Rarely in a season does the opportunity present itself to see two world-class goaltenders face off against each other. With last season's Vezina Trophy winner Tuukka Rask in net for the Bruins and Vezina finalist Pekka Rinne opposite him for the Predators, the night was set to be a true goaltending duel.

"It makes you appreciate when it goes in," said Predators forward Colin Wilson. "They're both great and it's hard to get it past both of them. It's fun to watch."

There were no shortages of thrilling moments for the two competing netminders.

Rask finished the game with 38 saves on 40 shots, Rinne with 33 saves on 35 shots, and the Predators squeaked out a 3-2 victory in the shootout.

"That's why it was such a low scoring game," Predators forward Filip Forsberg said. "Only two goals each, I don't know what to say. [Rinne] has been unbelievable for us all year. To see him play his fellow countryman, it was great. Obviously we wanted to score more goals than two, but we were lucky he could keep us in the game."

Predators having to fight from behind yet again

In what is quickly becoming recurring theme this season, Nashville gave up the first goal for the 18th time in 30 games. For the Predators, sometimes it's a wake up call for the team and serves as a catalyst for their somewhat normal comebacks. Other times, it can take a bit more than that.

"It's always about momentum swings," Wilson said. "Getting that [first] goal is huge. We were shut out last game so we needed to get on the board and get rolling."

Ending the first period scoreless and tied in shots with Boston at nine, the Bruins blitzed Nashville for the first six minutes of the second, peppering eight shots towards Rinne and seeing forward Milan Lucic cash in for the opening tally. 

"We don't want to put ourselves in that position to have to come back," said Forsberg. "We've been able to do that this year and that's good. If you want to be a successful team, you have to be able to win every night. Even though you may be down one goal or two goals, you just have to try and battle back."

It wasn't until coach Peter Laviolette used his timeout at the 14 minute mark that the Predators began to mount their own attack and climb back into the game.

"Great job by [Laviolette] knowing when to call the timeout," Wilson said. "I think we needed a little kick in the bottom, and we responded really well. I think when Lavy gets on us, our team has respected that and always come out with a chip on their shoulder." 

"I was mad," said Laviolette. "I tried to change the direction of the game. The timeout is one thing, what's impressive is the response by the players. They came out, I thought, and really attacked the period, and the game, from that point on." 

"I didn't mind the first period. It was mostly just the start of the second. I really liked the response from our guys. They really did a great job from that point on. In a period where it was a little slow in the second period, they really turned up the heat."

Power play finally finds another goal at home

Against the Ottawa Senators in Nashville's season opener, the Predators were able to tally their first power play goal of the season and, at the same moment, their first goal of the season. Who could have known that they would go on an 0-for-45 drought at home until their next power play goal?

"We haven't scored at home in a while," Forsberg said. "On the road it's been a little better, but obviously our power play has been struggling a bit."

With only 29 seconds remaining in the second period, Nashville's Mike Fisher tipped home a Shea Weber point shot and gave the Predators their second power play goal in 47 attempts at home so far this season.

"Hopefully we can start rolling," said Wilson. "It was a good job by [Fisher] in front, a good shot. Those are the goals that we need to start getting on the power play."

Mike Ribeiro -- Nashville's second leading scorer on the team, Ribeiro's ninth goal of the season bumped his point total to 26 on the year. All coming from a bargain bin signing by general manager David Poile.

Reilly Smith -- With the third-highest shooting percentage for the Bruins, Smith is making his goals count. Tying the game at two early in the third, the 23 year old Canadian continues to be a bright spot for Boston.

Pekka Rinne -- It's hard to find the words to describe some of the amazing saves Rinne delivers every night. Stopping 33 of Boston's 35 shots, Nashville collected another win from their star netminder.


share story