Five things about Thursday night’s game…
- Pekka Rinne recorded his second shutout in a row and his third in his last four games. He’s playing just about as well as a goalie can play right now. His stat line in the last seven games, you ask? 6-1-0, 0.83 GAA, .967 save percentage.
“I think right now I’m feeling good but the biggest thing is the team in front of me. Defensively, we are doing a great job. There are not too many times they have second chances. My job is to make the first save and hopefully hang on to the puck. If there is a rebound, our guys have been there for me almost every single time. They are doing a good job. Even the penalty killing, we have been doing an awesome job. Special teams have been our bread and butter in the past. Play a solid five-on-five game and make the difference on special teams,” Rinne said.
- Nashville was finally able to get a win over the Coyotes. Phoenix really dominated the Predators during their playoff series last season and handily beat Nashville by a 4-0 score in their previous meeting this season. In total, the Coyotes had won seven of the previous 10 meetings.
- Mike Fisher scored his second goal of the season and his first since Jan. 21. It was the third goal of the game for the Predators, and it really iced the game away. The Predators need Fisher to contribute offensively if they’re going anywhere this year.
- Steve Sullivan created several good chances for the Coyotes but was unable to score in his return to Nashville. He played a solid game and was one of the best forwards for Phoenix.
“Sully was good tonight. I was hoping he wouldn’t score against us. I was hoping he would have a good game, and he did. He had that one move where he walked our defense. I’ve seen that move before. It’s good to see him have his speed back. He seems to be fairly healthy. When he holds that puck out there, you know he’s coming across. I thought the tribute was touching. You could tell the city of Nashville and the fans still feel attached to him. The first time back must have felt weird for him,” said Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz.
- The Predators have now blocked 228 shots this season, which is the most by any team in the NHL. Nashville is doing a good job of not allowing quality shots to get to Rinne, and he has been able to stop them when they do get to him.
Three stars of Thursday night’s game…
1. Gabriel Bourque, NSH… Bourque scored the game-winning goal for the Predators while on the power play and played another solid game.
2. Pekka Rinne, NSH… Rinne recorded his second shutout in a row and was absolutely stellar in goal once again for Nashville.
3. Martin Erat, NSH… Erat recorded two assists on the night and created a few scoring chances.