Friday, December 11, 2009

Preds Halt Garon's Shoot Out Streak in 4-3 Win

Barry Trotz Post Game Presser

Jason Arnott, Pekka Rinne and Mart Erat comment after the game

The Nashville Predators had to go five deep in a shoot out but finally came up with a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night at the Sommet Center.

Blue Jacket Goalie Mathieu Garon has a streak of thirteen straight shoot out wins but Steve Sullivan put one past him in the fifth round of the shout out to break the streak and bring his NHL record run to an end.

Preds Goalie Pekka Rinne stopped 28 of 31 Blue Jacket shots prior to the shoot out, and then three of five in the shoot out to pick up the win and bring his record to 13-6-1 on the season.

The first period got off to a good start for the Predators as they pelted Garon with 16 shots, many on rebounds off Garon's pads.

The Preds got on the board first at 11:03 when Kevin Kline fed a beautiful pass to Dave Scatchard who redirected it into the Jacket net. It was a good return for Scatchard who had missed five games due to an upper body injury.

The Jackets came back early in the second on a rebound goal by Kris Russel to tie the game at one. The Preds came back quickly with a goal by Marty Erat with the assist going to Ryan Suter, his first of two on the evening.

The Jackets came back to tie the game with a power play goal by Raffi Torres where he circled behind the net and threw if off of Rinne's skate to get the puck into the net.

The Preds appeared to be struggling with the pressure that Columbus was putting on them as the second period moved toward a close. However, Ryan Suter picked up a puck behind the Jacket net and passed it to Shea Weber who fed Jason Arnott who was skating down the ice for a breakaway goal with 28 seconds left in the period to give the Preds a 3-2 lead.

At 4:18 of the third period Rick Nash got a break away goal to tie the game once again at 3-3. There was controversy on the play as Jerred Smithson had received a hit worthy of a penalty at the other end of the ice which distracted several Pred players who thought a penalty would stop play. Unfortunately, Rick Nash played to the whistle and took advantage of the distracted Preds.

The period ended with both Garon and Rinne making several important saves to push the game into overtime. The biggest save of the game was by Pekka Rinne on R. J. Umburger at 8:01 in the final period.

The Preds were able to create more chances in OT out shooting the Jackets 4-1 but neither team scored.

In the shoot out, both Columbus goals were scored on an odd moves where Kristian Huselus and Fedor Tyutin slowed to a near stop right in front of the blue ice then flipped the puck past Rinne.

"The shoot outs have become a real art. The younger players coming into the league have been more creative," Barry Trotz said, explaining the odd moves. "It's a technique that you are seeing more and more of."

Pekka Rinne discussed the move, "It's hard. I was expecting a lot of moves by Huselius but he skated down and kind of stopped and made a good shot. The same thing happened with number 51 (Tyutin) he came down and put it over my back."

The Preds received shootout goals from Marcel Goc to open the series, Jason Arnott to tie and extend the shoot out, and then the winner by Steve Sullivan.

Storylines from the Game

A Streak Would End...

Going in to the shootout it was clear that either Mathieu Garon's 13 shoot out win streak or the Predators 12 game home win streak against Columbus would fall.

Pred players and coaches did not appear to be aware of either streak. When Jason Arnott was told of Garons streak he replied ,"Oh Really!"

Pekka Rinne was equally surprised saying, "Really, I didn't know that."

When questioned about Garon's streak, Barry Trotz said, "He had a good run with Edmonton in the past and he's been pretty good in the shoot outs."

When asked if the had a plan on Garon, Trotz was humorous in his response, "We scout them all, absolutely." He then paused, laughed and said "No." With a more serious tone he said, "There's tendencies every goalie has and we have tried to pick up on a few and the guys use that information and go to work."

As far as the Preds 13 game win streak against the Jackets Trotz commented, "I don't keep stats like that. That's history, there's different players, different teams different days. I learn that more by what you guys write. The only stat I'm worried about is today."

Pekka Saves The Day...

Pekka appears to be rounding back into form, winning his last two games after going 0-2-1 since his seven game win streak ended.

"Peks made a huge save when it was 3-3 and Umberger was all alone," Barry Trotz explained. "He made a huge save there. They score there and they probably walk away with a win."

Trotz continued, "We found a way and Peks was good when he needed to be."

Timely Goals by the Preds...

The Preds were able to score first and never fell behind in the game in spite of being tied three times in the course of the game.

"We had some timely goals," Trotz related. "Marty Erat , right after they tied it up, and Arnott at the end of the second period. We had some really timely goals and some timely saves."

Up Next...

The Preds will practice on Friday before meeting the Red Wings on Saturday night. They will then pay a return visit to Columbus on Monday before playing the Lightning at home on Tuesday night, ending the extended run of playing 12 of 16 games in 32 days in the friendly confines of the Sommet Center.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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