Sunday, January 2, 2011
Predators Explode With Three Goals in the Second Period to Beat Jackets 4-1
Shea Weber led the Nashville Predators to their 15th straight home victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets with a 4-1 win at the Bridgestone Arena Sunday evening. Weber had a goal and two assists, all during an explosive second period when the team scored three goals.
The Predators played a sub-par first period but played as well as they have lately for the rest of the game. Other Predator goals came from Nick Spaling, Patric Hornqvist, and Sergei Kostitsyn. Colin Wilson had two assists and Hornqvist had one for a two point game.
At the end of the first period, Trotz was not happy with the teams performance. Shane O'Brien explained, "Trotzy wasn't happy with the way we came out, being a division game, and he let us know about it. We're professional and all grown men so maybe it woke us up a little bit and we played a really good second and third period. For whatever reason, we didn't have our game in the first and we found it in the second and third."
Pekka Rinne stopped 19 of 20 Columbus shots in route to his tenth win of the season. Rinne commented, "The first period we didn't play that well but after that we played really well in the second and third. The pucks I saw after the first I saw really well."
Steve Mason was victimized by his own defense who allowed a couple of loose puck goals in the second period and traffic in front of the net for the entire game. Mason stopped 22 of 26 shots from the Preds.
The Predators did not start the game the way they had hoped. Thirty-seven seconds into the contest Umberger tipped an innocent looking wrister from Derek Brassard that made it past Rinne's glove and into the net to give the Jackets a quick 1-0 lead.
"If you ever want to suck the energy out of a building, then give up a goal on the first shift," said Barry Trotz.
Late in the first period, Rinne had a several excellent saves near the end of the period to keep the game close. The Jackets out shot the Preds 8-7 for the period and led the Corsi 20-16.
Trotz was forced to use his time out with 37 second remaining in the first after an icing call and his players had been out for almost a minute.
The second period started much better for the Preds as they dominated possession before and after a sharp goal by Weber at 2:59. The play developed as Colin Wilson pushed a perfect pass off to Weber who nailed the one-timer from near the blue line to tie the game 1-1.
Wilson explained the goal, "We had a really slow first period so to get that goal was a real turning point. Webby was kind of far out there, basically on the blue line,and he's got a hard enough shot that it's going to get there quick."
The Predators continued to dominate the period and went ahead 2-1 at 13:51 on a Spaling's second goal of the season. The play developed When Joel Ward passed the puck to Weber who blasted a slapper that rebounded to a falling Spaling who was able to slip the puck past Mason into the open side of the net.
The Preds came back again with a power play goal at 16:50 that mirrored the Spaling goal as Weber shot from out front and a falling Hornqvist was able to shoot the puck over Mason to give the Preds a 3-1 lead. The Preds' man advantage was the result of a Fedor Tyutin holding call at 15:49.
A mild scuffle broke out at 19:23 between Derek Dorsett and Francis Bouillon that sent box of them to the box for roughing.
For the period, the Preds out shot Columbus 11-5 and led the Corsi 19-12 with Columbus getting any real pressure on goal as they were able to do in the opening period.
The Predators struck again at 5:53 in the third when Kostitsyn picked up a rebound from a Colin Wilson shot and slipped it into the net to put the Preds up 4-1 and give the Bridgestone Arena crowd of 14,593 free Frosty's from Wendy's, a rare treat in Nashville.
The game ended with a scuffle between Wade Belak and a couple of Jackets as the two team's dislike for each other finally boiled over.
In the final period, the Preds out shot Columbus 8-7 to give them a 26-20 advantage for the game. Nashville was one for three on the power play and killed all three Blue Jacket power plays.
The only negative from the game occurred at 7:58 in the third period when Cal O'Reilly had to be helped off the ice as he could not put any weight on his right leg. After the game Trotz gave the prognosis "It doesn't look very good. I think he's going to miss some time."
It was later revealed that he had suffered a broken fibula which would probably mean that he would not return for months.
The Predators will have Monday off and practice Tuesday before leaving for a three game West coast trip that begins with a game in Anaheim on Wednesday and then the Kings and Sharks on Thursday and Saturday.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass