Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ward Leads Predators to Final Preseason Win in Washington

Joel Ward scored two third period goals and Pekka Rinne threw a shut out at the Capitals as the Predators closed out their preseason with a 3-0 win over Washington.

Cal O'Reilly opened the scoring for the Preds at the 11:58 mark of the second period on a goal that was assisted by Patric Hornqvist and Steve Sullivan.

On a day when Jonas Andersson did not dress and Sergei Kostitsyn was slowed by a foot injury, the O'Reilly's goal as well as the primary assist on Wards second goal had to help his case on making the team's final roster.

Joel Ward scored an unassisted short-handed goal at 7:43 in the third period to give the Preds a 2-0 lead. Ward put the icing on the cake with his second goal five minutes later with Cal O'Reilly and Steve Sullivan adding assists.

Pekka Rinne capped his best preseason as a Predator with a 22 shot shut out. The Predators' defense limited the powerful Caps offense to eight 8 shots in the first period and seven in each of the last two.

Rinne finished the pre-season with a 2-0 record and a .957 save percentage and a .99 goals against average in four games.

The Predators power play was held scoreless again going 0-3, including a four minute double minor that ended seconds before Ward's second goal. The Predators penalty kill held the Caps scoreless on two opportunities and contributed on the positive side with Ward's first goal.

There were reports of chippyness between Shea Weber and Alexander Ovechkin that started when Weber slashed Ovechkin in the first period. We will see if that carries over to the regular season meeting between the two clubs in Nashville on October 16.

Ward's two goals tied him with David Legwand and Marty Erat for the preseason lead in goals for the Preds with two each. Sullivan's two assists pushed him into the assist lead with three. Even with no shots on Sunday, Patric Hornqvist still led the team in shots with 13.

The Preds finished the preseason with a fairly anemic 13 goals in six games but only allowed 10 goals to the opposition.

The Predators finished the preseason with a 4-3 record, including wins in the final three games that were after the "evaluation" phase.

The Predators returned home after the game and will practice at 3 p.m. on Monday at Centennial Sportsplex before going to the Bridgestone Arena for the Meet the Team Party for season ticket holders.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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