The Nashville Predators did what they had to do last night in a match between two Central Division rivals that were on losing streaks. The Predators proved that their streak may just have been a bump in the road while the Blackhawks showed evidence of bigger problems to deal with as they fell seven points behind the Preds and are now only three points from being out of the playoffs.
It was a close game that could have gone either way. Craig Smith pointed to that after the game when discussing Ryan Ellis' game-winner. "There's been a lot of funny bounces around the league and anytime the puck is flipping in the air like that it can be dangerous in front of the net."
Ellis responded to last Saturday's benching in Boston with a solid two point effort, including his first goal since January 10.
Nick Spaling's goal off of Ellis' slapper that put the Preds in the lead late in the second period was his eight of the year and extended the team's unbeaten in regulation record to 14-0-1 when he scores a goal.
Even though the Predators allowed 32 shots, Pekka Rinne and the team only allowed two goals which is far better than their run of three 4-3 losses in a row.
With the win, the Predators pulled within three points of fourth place St. Louis but remains eight behind Division and Conference leading Detroit.
During last night's game, I saw a Tweet from a reader who was concerned that the Preds would not make the playoffs. At this point, the team has left behind any thoughts of missing the playoffs and are only focused on winning the Division or Conference. Sports Club Stats projects the Preds with 104 points and a gives them a 100% chance of making the playoffs with 96 points which would be an 11-12-2 record for the rest of the season.
All eyes are now focused on the Predators traveling to Detroit on Friday night to try to break the Wings record-setting 21 game home winning streak. The team is more focused on cutting the gap with a two point regulation win, but the media hype will be big about breaking the streak,
Here is our game story from last night and Barry Trotz's postgame presser. Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...
Main Stream Media...
Josh Cooper: (The Tennessean) Game story - Notes - Postgame Ponderings
David Boclair (The City Paper)
Doug Brumley Musings - From the Locker Room (Preds.com)
John Manasso (NHL.com)
Scott Burnside (ESPN)
Jim Diamond (The Examiner)
Ryan Porth (Smashville 24/7) Game Story - One More Thing
Amanda DiPaolo (Inside Smashville)
Robby Stanley (Hockey Night in Nashville)
Jeremy Gover (Section 303) Game Story - LeftGovers
Patten Fuqua (Puck Scene)
Dirk Hoag (On The Forecheck)
Kris Martel (Predatorial)
Paul McCann (HockeyBuzz)
Second City Hockey
The Sun Times
The Daily Herald
Audio from the Predators comes from....
From Chicago, we hear from...
Coach Joel Quenneville
Three Stars of the Game...
1. Ryan Ellis
2. Ryan Suter
3. Marian Hossa
Highlights come from NHL.com....
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass