All summer we’ve heard how it’s a new era in Smashville. Well the Nashville Predators opened that new era with a solid victory on Thursday night.
In front of 17,113 at Bridgestone Arena – and a TSN audience up in Canada – the Preds beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Goals from Craig Smith, Shea Weber and Eric Nystrom as well as two assists and a world class move from Filip Forsberg propelled the Preds to victory.
“There were a lot of good things we did out there tonight,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “We weren’t seeing the result that we wanted. We made a couple mistakes but, overall, there were a lot of positives to take from the game.”
Pekka Rinne turned aside 18 of the 20 shots he saw and Seth Jones threw in a save of his own when Ottawa was pressing to go up 2-0.
The first 20 minutes saw lots of action, some near-misses and a power play for both clubs but no pucks crossed the goal line.
To start the second, however, Ottawa’s Kyle Turris carried the puck over the attacking blue line and snapped a wrist shot past Rinne on his stick side to make it 1-0, Senators.
“We were confident in the way were playing,” Smith said about getting down 1-0. “The way we were shooting the puck, eventually it was going to go in.”
Things would stay 1-0 until the final frame when Forsberg made a gorgeous through-the-crease pass to Smith who slammed it home to make it 1-1.
“We worked on our routes,” Smith said. “Good things are going to happen if we continue to do the same things. If we know where a guy is gonna be then we can chip over sticks and get to areas. He got to an area and made a heads-up play.”
A few minutes later, Forsberg would put on a show. He wouldn’t get credited with an assist but he might as well have been. His move around Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson directly led to the chance that potted Weber his first goal of the season.
“It was a pretty quick play,” Forsberg said. “I was just trying to do something with the puck and I was lucky to get it through the legs.”
Nystrom then bagged the eventual game-winner less than two minutes later when Forsberg got the puck to Paul Gaustad who, in turn, sent it over to a breaking Nystrom to give his team the 3-2 lead.
Ottawa would add a deflection goal by Alex Chiasson but it would be too little too late for the Sens.
Nashville will host the Dallas Stars on Saturday night in their first Western Conference and Central Division match up of the new season.
Puck drops at 7:00pm Central and you can catch all the action on 102.5 The Game.
MY THREE STARS (as votes on with 5:30 remaining in regulation):
1. Filip Forsberg (NSH)
2. Shea Weber (NSH)
3. Paul Gaustad (NSH)
THE THREE STARS OF THE GAME:
1. Shea Weber (NSH)
2. Filip Forsberg (NSH)
3. Paul Gaustad (NSH)
Your October 9, 2014 installment of Five Minute Overtime:
PHOTO CREDIT: Jeremy K. Gover // TheGameNashville.com