For all the excitement that was Tuesday night, Thursday night was the opposite.
In front of 17,231 at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday night, the Nashville Predators and Toronto Maple Leafs played a lackluster – and sometimes sloppy – contest in which the Leafs won, 2-1, in the shootout.
Pekka Rinne played a great game, seemingly turning pucks aside every time Toronto got a shot through. The big Finn made 22 saves and four more in the shootout before Peter Holland found the back of the net in the fifth round to end the game.
“I thought both teams played well in a bit of chip and chase game but they earned the win,” Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis said. “They played well. I don’t think their record speaks much about their game because they played hard.”
Toronto is now 4-8-4 on the young season.
After two periods, the Preds led the shot count 14-12. In the third, however, there was actually some offense.
Just a couple minutes into the final stanza, James Neal found Shea Weber with a cross ice pass from the corner. The captain opened the scoring with his 151st career goal in his 700th career game.
About three minutes later, Shawn Matthias got around Weber at the Nashville blueline and broke in 2-on-0. After sending a pass across to Tyler Bozak, Toronto evened the score, eventually sending the game to overtime.
In the extra session, the Predators had a power play but couldn’t convert, ultimately queuing up the shootout.
“We worked hard,” Ellis said. “We wanted to come into this one with a workman-like attitude. I thought we did that but it was a little too late. Overall, I thought it was a solid game by our team.”
The Predators are now 9-3-3, including 5-1-2 at home.
Nashville will finish up their hosting of Canadian teams for the week when the Winnipeg Jets come to town on Saturday. Unlike the Ottawa game on Tuesday night or the Toronto game Thursday, Saturday will be a divisional game and a chance to not only get two more points in the standings but also keep two (or even one) away from a divisional rival.
Puck drops at 6:00pm Central.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jeremy K. Gover // Nashville Predators Radio Network