Saturday, December 11, 2010

Predators, Lindback Shutout Panthers 3-0

The Nashville Predators avoided any potential letdown after Wednesday's big win over Detroit and shutout the Florida Panthers 3-0 at the Bridgestone Arena on Saturday night.

Anders Lindback had his first NHL shutout and improved his record to 6-1-2, stopping all 22 Florida shots. The Panthers did not put much pressure on Lindback until late in the game and the defense played well in front of him.

Barry Trotz spoke highly of the team effort, "The more he plays he is settling in really well. The guys did a good job, very workmanlike, and had a good start tonight. They played very disciplined and wanted to help get him the shutout."

Florida was down 2-0 with a couple of minutes left and pulled their goalie for one last run. Ryan Suter said, "When they called that last time out we said let's bear down for him to get it for him."

Suter was the offensive star of the game getting the Preds first goal 1:14 into the contest and assisting on Shea Weber's goal at the end of the opening period.

The first goal came when Segei Kostitsyn picked up a loose puck and dropped it to Marty Erat who passed it cross ice to Suter who put it past Thomas Vokoun.

Suter explained the play, "It was a good defensive play that turned into a scoring chance and a goal. It was a good pass by Marty to find me."

The second goal was an oddity because Suter skated behind the net as Weber drove toward the net leaving the back end of the Predator defense exposed. Luckily, Suter passed to Weber and he made the goal. "If he (Weber) misses we're in trouble and are going to get yelled at," laughed Suter after the game.

The third goal was an empty net, power play goal from Joel Ward that happened with 54 seconds left in the contest.

Lindback was almost giddy after logging his first NHL shutout, "It feels good and to be able to help the team get another win. I got really good help from the D and didn't have to face many chances. They kept shooting from outside and didn't get good chances so you have to hand it to the boys."

If there was a negative to the game, it was in the face off circle where the Predators only won 18 of 47 draws. This was the second time recently where the Preds were poor in the circle after a horrible performance in Atlanta on Monday. Oddly enough, they did well in Detroit on Wednesday.

Jordin Tootoo returned after being a healthy scratch in Detroit. He played an excellent game and laid a crushing, legal blow on Michael Frolik in the first period that resulted in a brief skirmish. Barry Trotz was impressed with Tootoo's return, "He played very well, very detailed and had good jump in his game."

The win gave the Predators 34 points and moved them in a tie with Phoenix for fifth place in the middle of the Western Conference log jam.

The Predators have another trap set for them on Monday when they play the 5-17-5 New York Islanders at 7 p.m. at the Bridgestone Arena.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass

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