Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Preds cough up two leads, fall to Flames (again) in the shootout, 3-2

Ugh. A three-game losing streak. Here we go again...

Talk about frustrating. Why can't Nashville solve Calgary? At times, it seemed like tonight was the night, but two bad goals later, and the Preds give up a point they should've obtained. Hopefully tonight was just a case of the boys not being able to shrug off the rust from the all-star weekend.

1st Period

  • Great start, eh? Two penalties right off the bat, but thanks to a couple of stellar saves from All-Star snub Pekka Rinne, the puck stayed out of the net.
  • The Preds only had two shots on Miikka Kiprusoff in the first 7:43, but they made shot #2 count, as Sergei Kostitsyn centered a pass towards the net, and a driving Martin Erat managed to get his stick on the puck  and past the Flames goaltender. Hopefully Marty can wake up and provide some much needed offense down the stretch run.
  • Impressive attempts on both power plays. No goals, but one can hold out hope that it'll start clicking soon. That one may just me, though...
  • Certainly a tale of two halves during the first period. It was all Calgary during the first 10 minutes, even though Nashville got their goal during that time span, but Nashville really cranked up the pressure soon thereafter.
2nd Period 
  • For a team that is well renown as one of the least penalized teams in the NHL, the Preds were taking them left and right. And all four penalties through two periods were on players who are on one of the PK units; not good.
3rd Period
  • Pekka Rinne is known to give up an occasional soft goal, and that reared its ugly head again tonight. At 2:57, Matt Stajan took what seemed to be a harmless slapper from a sharp angle to Rinne's right, and somehow it found the five-hole, knotting the score.
  • Nashville was quick to respond on the power play at 5:24, as Patric Hornqvist stepped away from his garbage goal routine and fired a shot from between the circles past Kiprusoff.
  • Calgary tied it up again at 9:04 on an ugly goal that was 100% Colin Wilson's responsibility. Somehow, someway, he had a mental lapse and let, of all people, Cory Sarich get behind him. Wilson got a late start on trying to track him down, but by that point it was too late. The Flames defenseman received a centering pass from Alex Tanguay, and promptly doubled his goal total for the season.
  • Calgary really amped up the pressure after tying the game. Thankfully, Pekka didn't break, but the defense got a tad sloppy. 
Overtime/Shootout
  • Awful.
Other Thoughts 
  • The Preds haven't won a game in sudden death since the playoff clincher over Detroit on April 3rd. I think I can speak for many Preds fans: 4-on-4 play scares the living daylights out of me. Case in point tonight.
  • Outstanding night in the faceoff department, as the Preds won 27 out of 46 tonight. Marcel Goc brought his A-game, winning 11 of 15, while Jerred Smithson had an off night, winning 2 of 7.
  • Ryan Suter had six shots tonight. A little bit of an oddity, considering offense is not exactly his specialty.
  • Maybe it's just me, but I'm failing to wrap my head around the Dumont-Mueller-Halischuk line getting very little ice time tonight. J.P. had the most ice time between the three at 11:24, while Mueller and Halischuk didn't even break ten minutes.
Calgary has had Nashville's number over the past several games between the two, and tonight was no different. Up next, a trip to Philly to take on ex-Preds Kimmo Timonen, Scott Hartnell, and the Eastern Conference leading Flyers. A tough task, for sure, but the Preds need to step up; this losing streak cannot reach four.

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