Preds Quick Hits From The Crease 4-8-16
Well it wasn’t easy, but on Fan Appreciation Night, the Preds came from behind to dispatch the Coyotes 3-2 in overtime in front of a record 35th sellout crowd at Bridgestone Arena.
Shea Weber tallied his 20th of the season, the 14th on the power play to bring Nashville to within one in the third. The tying goal was scored with just 19 seconds left by Filip Forsberg, deflecting a shot by Roman Josi to beat goaltender Mike Smith 5-hole. It was Forsberg’s 33rd, matching Jason Arnott’s club record for most goals in a season. Just 20 seconds into OT, Josi took matters into his own hands, skating around rookie Max Domi and burning Smith to the far post to seal the deal.
The victory marked Nashville’s second straight as they head into Dallas on Saturday for the regular season finale. The smart money is on Carter Hutton getting the nod in net and giving Rinne extra rest heading into the playoffs. Rinne gave up less than three goals for the first time in five starts. That’s not a great stat, but he played solid despite not seeing a lot of rubber his way.
Around the West: St Louis went into Chicago and defeated the Blackhawks 2-1 in OT as Vladimir Tarasenko netted both goals for the Blues. Dallas took care of the flailing Avalanche 4-2, so both the Blues and Stars remain tied for the top spot in the Western Conference. Dallas owns the tiebreaker so they still control their own fate. The match-up that most Preds fans were keeping an eye on was Anaheim at LA for the inside track at the Pacific crown. The Kings stifled the Ducks attack, badly out shooting them and keeping their top ranked PP off the scoreboard in a 2-1 win. LA is now two points up with one game left and can clinch the division with a win Saturday.
What to Watch For: No games of significance on Friday as the regular season winds down this weekend. Amazingly, there are no guaranteed playoff series set in the NHL as we approach the final games.