Preds Lose in Regulation for First Time This Season

Nashville, TN, United States / The Game Nashville
Preds Lose in Regulation for First Time This Season

Well, it had to end sometime.

In front of yet another sold out Bridgestone Arena crowd, the Nashville Predators lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-0. The loss was their first in regulation this season and they were the final NHL team to do so. The Preds are now 5-1-2 but still atop the Central Division.

“We weren’t going to run the table,” forward Eric Nystrom said. “That was a good start [to the season] but we lost to a good team tonight. We’ve just got to rebound and keep moving in a positive direction.”

Pekka Rinne made some incredible stops to keep his team in it but, unfortunately for the Predators, his 23 saves weren’t enough against Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Patric Hornqvist and the mighty Penguins.

The Predators have made a habit of allowing the first goal so far this season and Saturday night was no different. Crosby potted his fifth of the season when he corralled his own rebound and put it past Rinne for the early 1-0 lead.

“I don’t think we responded very well to that,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “I thought our start was okay. The guys came out of the gate the right way but I think that goal changed the tide a little bit.”

“We did come out flying there,” captain Shea Weber said. “I don’t know what it was. I don’t know if it was the goal or a shift in particular but I thought we sat back a little bit after that. We got life again in the third but it was already too late.”

Speaking of the third period. Pittsburgh was the benefactor of two power plays and they made the most of both. Just 2:03 into the frame, Crosby found Malkin breaking toward the net and hit him with a cross-ice pass for the tip in to make it 2-0. Then, moments later, Pascal Dupuis potted the third goal on a rebound.

At the end of the night, the Predators had solid chances but just couldn’t find the back of the net.

“I thought that there were some good opportunities in the game where we had an opportunity to hit the net and we missed it,” Laviolette said. “It just kind of killed the offense.”

The Preds will now head out on a six-game road trip that will take them to western Canada, Winnipeg, Dallas and St. Louis. The first game of the excursion is in Edmonton on Wednesday night.

“We’ve had a nice stretch at home and competing in front of our fans,” Nystrom said. “But it’s also fun going on the road and keeping buildings quiet playing a really hard brand of hockey.”

Puck drops at 8:00pm Central and you can catch all the action on 102.5 The Game.

MY THREE STARS (as voted on with 5:30 remaining in regulation):
1. Sidney Crosby (PIT)
2. Evgeni Malkin (PIT)
3. Patric Hornqvist (PIT)

1. Sidney Crosby (PIT)
2. Evgeni Malkin (PIT)
3. Marc-Andre Fleury (PIT)

Your October 25, 2014 installment of Five Minute Overtime:

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeremy K. Gover //

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