Power Play: Weber’s two goals lift Nashville over Dallas in overtime
Nashville, Tenn. — In another close contest between both teams, the Nashville Predators (27-9-4) benefited from a two goal night by Shea Weber to down the Dallas Stars (18-15-7) 3-2 in overtime.
Producing the first goal often spells success for Nashville
Nashville’s been one of the league’s best teams this season when allowing the first goal in a game, but it’s been just as deadly when they score first.
Prior to Thursday’s contest against the Dallas Stars, the Predators owned a 13-1-2 record when netting the first marker of the night. After a Shea Weber blast from the point with less than five minutes to go in the first period, Nashville grabbed that all-important first lead.
"We want to score first if we can," said Predators forward Filip Forsberg. "We’ve been battling back from [deficits] this year too. It’s good to get the first one, but if not we try to get the tying goal from there."
For the first time in four games (against St. Louis on December 30th), the Predators were able to get on the board first. Even though they’ve been resilient when the opposition gets ahead, it’s always helpful to start out on top.
Salomaki scores in his first career NHL game
It’s always a treat to see a player get their first career goal in the NHL, it’s even better when it comes in their first game.
Called up for Nashville’s recent West Coast trip against the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks without ever seeing any action, Predators forward Miikka Salomaki cashed in to break a 1-1 tie late in the second period.
"I have no words to say. It was just an awesome feeling," said Salomaki. "It was good to get called up last week too, but I didn’t play. It’s good for me to see how people do things here."
Scoring five goals and 11 assists in his 29 games with the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL this season, Salomaki made an immediate impact in his first game with Nashville. It’s unknown how long he’ll be on the roster for the Predators, but a positive impact during his call-up could go a long way for the young Finnish forward.
"It’s awesome," said Forsberg. "You saw his face when he scored. It’s awesome to see that. He’s an awesome guy outside the rink and on the rink. He’s just flying around everywhere, hitting people, scoring goals, and making plays."
"You saw a little bit of what he can do tonight," said Predators defenseman Shea Weber. "He had some big hits, he blocked some shots, and obviously got his first goal. It’s a special night for him and I’m sure he’ll always remember it. He was a little tank. It was impressive."
Stars not fading away against the Predators
In three games this season against Nashville, it hasn’t been a walk in the park for either team. Even with a 2-0-0 record against Dallas coming into Thursday’s game, the Predators have had their hands full in all three meetings against the Stars.
"It was a tight game out there. Dallas plays a tight game," said head coach Peter Laviolette. "Dallas is a good hockey team and our guys showed up and played the game hard tonight. We played hard for 60 minutes. There was give and take. There was good and bad, but we kept swinging."
It’s the second time this year that Nashville has been tied with Dallas after 40 minutes of play. While the Predators were able to put away the Stars both times previously in the third period, it wasn’t so easy for them this go-around.
"It’s just two really good teams playing," said Forsberg. "[Dallas] plays really hard. This is a tough league and they’re one of the best teams in the league with a lot of skill up front. It’s tough games."
After a disallowed Forsberg goal late in regulation, Nashville and Dallas were forced to overtime where Weber scored the deciding game-winner only 17 seconds in.
"They’re a good team," said Weber. "They are a desperate hockey club. I think they were 7-2-1 in their last 10 games before tonight. We knew it was going to be a challenge. We made a push. Another good job coming back after a disallowed goal and sticking with out game."
Shea Weber — For the second time in the past five games, Weber’s two goals paced the Predators in scoring for the night. This time, his second gave Nashville a 3-2 win over the Stars.
Roman Josi — Collecting another two assists, Josi jumped to fourth in scoring for Nashville and has been one of the most underrated players on the roster this season.
Miikka Salomaki — Scoring his first career goal in his first NHL game, the Finnish forward gave Nashville a 2-1 lead with just over three minutes to go in the second period and rattled off seven hits and four shots in less than 11 minutes of ice time.