Sunday, February 19, 2012

Predators win crucial game in Dallas 3-2

After the heart-breaker in Detroit on Friday when the Predators lost in the last five seconds of the game, you had to wonder how the team would react against the Stars in Dallas where they have had little luck in the past.

After falling behind 1-0 early, the Predators scored three unanswered goals and held on for a 3-2 win at American Airlines Center on Sunday night.

The Predators goals came from Gabriel Bourque, Shea Weber and Colin Wilson, who had the best play of the night on the eventual game winner. Dallas's goals came from Michael Ryder and Alex Gologoski.

Pekka Rinne picked up his 32nd win of the season as he faced 28 Stars' attempts in the final period. Officially, he stopped 22 of 24 for the game. Kari Lehtonen took the loss, allowing three Preds goals on 21 shots.

The win gave Nashville 74 points and they will remain in fifth place, five points behind St. Louis and three points ahead of Chicago. Detroit leads the Western Conference with 84 points.

The Predators headed home after the game and will begin a four game homestanf on Tuesday night against the Vancouver Canucks.

At The Puck Drop...

In Goal: Pekka Rinne (31-13-6, 2.40, .924) vs. Kari Lehtonen (21-14-3, 2.41, .919)

Scratches: Predators -Jack Hillen (healthy), Mike Fisher (illness), Patric Hornqvist (Injured Reserve), and Brian McGrattan (Injured Reserve). Stars - Jamie Benn, Toby Petersen, and Sheldon Souray

First Period...

Dallas got on the board first at 6:49 when there was a defensive breakdown by Kevin Klein and Craig Smith that allowed Ryder to have a clear shot from the slot to put the Stars ahead 1-0.

The Predators tied the game at 15:39 on an odd play where Matt Halischuk sent a cross-ice pass to David Legwand who was deep on the opposite side. He fired it toward the goal and Bourque deflected the puck into the net to tie it 1-1.

The first infraction of the game came at 19:09 when Philip Larsen was called for high-sticking Sergei Kostitsyn. Weber scored on the power play off a rebound with .2 seconds on the clock to give the Preds a 2-1 lead at the end of the period. Ryan Suter and Kostitsyn assisted on the goal.

Craig Smith took a hard shot to the head from Mark Fistric with 11 seconds left.

1st Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        1        10        19       0-0:00 10-12  45%
Stars            2          8        17       1-2:00 12-10  55%

Second Period...

At 9:52, Weber blasted a shot from near the blue line that found the net. Halischuk was pushed  in front of the shot by a Dallas defender and the review of the play indicated that it went in off of his glove so the goal was disallowed.

Wilson got a goal that would definitely count at 16:05 when be basically bulled his way toward the net and put the shot into the open side of the net to give Nashville a 3-1 lead. Jordin Tootoo and Pekka Rinne were given the assists on the play which was one of Wilson's best individual efforts in a while..

The Preds went on the power play at 16:38 when Stephane Robidas was called for holding Halischuk's stick. The Preds had a couple of chances and were credited with two man-advantage shots.

2nd Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        1        5        10       0-0:00 9-4  69%
Stars              0        5        18       1-2:00 4-9  31%

Third Period...

Dallas played well putting plenty of pressure on Nashville in the final period. The Stars finally broke through and made it a one goal game at 15:11 when Gologoski had an unassisted goal to cut the gap to 3-2.

The Predators took their first penalty of the game at a very inopportune time with 2:05 left in the contest when Hal Gill tripped Ryder. The goalie was pulled with 1:25 left. Dallas had great chances in the final minute but the Preds held firm for the 3-2 win.

3rd  Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        0         6        12       1-2:00 8-9   47%
Stars             1        11        28       0-0:00 9-8   53%


Final     Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators            3         21        41       1-2:00 27-25 52%
Stars            2         23        63       2-4:00 25-27 48%

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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