Nashville Predators 1, Washington Capitals 4: Too many messages, not enough goals
The Nashville Predators looked to come out of a slump tonight against the Washington Capitals, hoping to get back on track themselves.
Although the Predators got off to a good start, pressing early and getting in front of the net, the Caps drew first blood when a falling Yakov Trenin gave up a three-on-one and Joe Snively was able to capitalize. A couple of good chances – from Filip Forsberg and Trenin himself – didn’t materialize, and the Capitals came back on the attack, forcing Juuse Saros to make several good saves.
Play back and forth for much of the period, with the Capitals getting the better of the odds overall, before Alexandre Carrier lost his helmet (with considerable help from Connor Sheary) and Saros has to deal with another odd situation. for the Capitals, this time successfully. Penalty calls were somewhat lacking in this game, but at times like this it might have been good to at least get a whistle.
About five minutes from time, Tanner Jeannot caught a slapshot from Roman Josi in front of the Caps net and was very slow to get off the ice, but he came back. The Preds finally found their feet after that. In the closing seconds of the period, the Duchene line had some great chances, with Mikael Granlund getting the final honors, but Caps goaltender Ilya Samsonov held on and the Preds went into intermission still trailing 0-1.
The Preds came out pretty lackluster to start the second, although Matt Duchene sounded the iron early. With about thirteen and a half minutes left in the period, Michael McCarron took the first penalty of the game, putting the Capitals on the power play, but some good work from the penalty killers and some key saves from Saros which the Preds managed to kill. off.
Forsberg hit a crossbar a few minutes later, but the puck again stayed outside. Right after that, the Preds went on the power play as Snively and Dimitri Orlov took a hit to Duchene, with Snively the one calling it out. That power play was called short under a minute, as Granlund threw himself full length on the ice trying to play the puck and Nick Jensen skated right over him, which resulted for Granlund a penalty for tripping.
Despite intertwining penalty calls, the teams came back to five with no further scoring. Forsberg hit another crossbar. A ping from Luke Kunin with three minutes left was called as the goal, but a quick review determined the puck had never crossed the line. The Preds had a good flurry before the end of the period, but again no joy, as Samsonov continued to make superb timely saves.
The Preds started the third with another post, only to finally manage to score soon after when Samsonov lost his stick in the scramble and McCarron was able to score to tie the game at one. However, on the next shift, Nick Jensen salvaged an excellent pass from Garnet Hathaway and restored the Caps’ one-goal lead, and shortly after, Trenin was called off for kneeling and Alex Ovechkin does things to Alex Ovechkin from Alex Ovechkin’s position.
Now trailing 1-3, the Preds failed to get any good chances (although they did manage some zone time) before Granlund was called in to hold. They killed that penalty, but again failed to advance much. With less than four minutes left, Jensen put the puck over the glass, giving the Predators a late power play. Hynes retired Saros, but even the 6-for-4 didn’t give the Preds the goals they needed.
With Saros still on the bench as the Preds continued to attack 6-5, Ovechkin scored his second of the night in the empty net. It wasn’t a bad effort from the Preds, and players like Forsberg have reason to be proud of their contributions, but the end result wasn’t what the team wanted.