Thursday, November 27, 2008

Long Battle Ends In Defeat As St. Louis Beats Nashville In a Shootout.

Shea Weber shoots on Chris Mason on the power play in overtime

The return of Chris Mason ends in a loss last night vs. St. Louis. Mason faced a flurry of shots all game long, not letting one go by. That marks his 13th shutout of his career and his first with St. Louis. The Predators played their best all-around game last night, despite the loss. They were awesome on keeping the puck out of their zone and reducing St. Louis’ chances. The offense played an incredible game all night.

The first period consisted of 15 shots and three power plays for Nashville. There were so many opportunities in this period alone. I don’t know how many times I heard the puck hit the post in the first 10 minutes. Chris Mason really pulled this performance out of nowhere. The first period has been a key part of the game for the Preds this season. When they are leading at the end of the first period, they are 6-0-0. A goal in the first is obviously the key to winning games for this team and we just couldn’t find it.

The second period didn’t seem as get up-n-go as the first period had seemed, but the Preds were still obviously in control. St. Louis came back out on the ice and kept up with the Preds the whole period. They got more chances/shot this period than the first. Dan Ellis stopped all 6 shots thrown his way this period (it sounds like an overstatement, but some of the saves were unreal). Chris Mason got lucky a few times this period. At one point, it hit the post and went off to hit Roman Polack, which bounced the puck back into the crease. Luckily for Mason, Polak was right there. With another period down, still, with no score, the Preds kept on trucking.

The third period was amazing. The Preds only allowed St. Louis three shot the whole period. Our defense was on top of them. An onslaught of shots from the Preds continued. Our defense definitely carried our team tonight. Most of our shots and chances were produced by our blue line. It was very impressive. The score remained tied, 0-0, and regulation ended.

The Scoreboard tells the story before the shootout

This overtime period was crazy. We racked up nine shots in five minutes. This all made possible by Barret Jackman, who got called for tripping 43 seconds into the overtime. This began a series of shots that were all stopped by Mason to draw it into a shootout.

The shootout was a huge disappointment. I’m pretty sure everyone was disappointed in Barry Trotz’s choice of shooters. I trust Barry though so I’m not going to get pissed at him. The first shooter in the shootout was David Perron. He deeked out Ellis to get him sprawled and then just knocked it in. The first attempt by Nashville was shot by Rich Peverley. His shot was weak. He’s usually a top contender in shootouts, but this time he just couldn’t produce. The second attempt by St. Louis was shot by Brad Boyes. He did the exact same thing as Perron and sealed the deal. The second attempt by Nashville was shot by Ville Koistinen. I feel that he should’ve waited a bit longer on his shot because Mason was already in the butterfly and he would’ve had a wide open net. Ville, missing this shot, ended the game. Ellis obviously dropped too early on both goals. Despite the loss, we looked great.

Antti Pihlstrom played last night. Trotz only had good things to say about him. “I like Pihlstrom. He skates hard every shift and gets scoring chances. He was aware on the ice and he has great speed. I really liked the line with him, Legwand and Ward.” I think he got a haircut though. That’s a real bummer.

Jackson Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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