Remarkably, five of the Nashville Predators’ first eight games of this young season have needed a shootout to decide a winner. After dropping the first three shootouts, the Predators have won the last two. The only other time the Predators have participated in five shootouts in an eight-game span was during the 2006-07 season. Early in the 2010-11 season, they partook in five ‘skills competitions’ in a nine-game span.
This recent run of shootouts got us thinking: what are the top shootout moments in Predators history? Here are 10 memorable shootouts, in chronological order…
October 8, 2005 vs. Anaheim
It was the first shootout in Predators history, and it had a fitting ending. In just his second game with the Preds, former Anaheim star Paul Kariya beat Mighty Ducks goaltender J.S. Giguere top-shelf to win the shootout.
March 21, 2006 vs. Detroit
Though the Red Wings had pulled away in the Central Division standings, the Predators still had a shot at catching them with 14 games left, so this was a big game at the time. The shootout was back-and-forth and went six rounds before Martin Erat scored to give the Preds their third win at Joe Louis Arena that season.
April 8, 2006 vs. Chicago
Kariya was 5-for-7 in the shootout in 2005-06, and he struck again late in the season to beat the Blackhawks. His shootout goal clinched the second playoff berth in franchise history.
March 22, 2008 vs. Chicago
Pekka Rinne was supposed to start this game, but his flight was delayed by snow and he couldn’t get to Nashville in time for a matinee start time. Dan Ellis made the start and secured his starting spot for the rest of the season with a big performance, which included a sprawling save on Patrick Sharp to close out a shootout win against the Blackhawks. The win kept the Preds within striking distance of the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
February 14, 2009 vs. Boston
Rinne and David Legwand lifted the Predators to a big shootout win over Boston on Valentine’s Day in 2009. Rinne stoned Bruins sniper Phil Kessel in the fourth round of the skills competition, only to be followed by Legwand’s game-winner.
April 9, 2009 vs. Detroit
With their backs against the wall, the Predators needed a win to keep their dwindling playoff hopes alive. Dumont’s game-tying goal forced overtime with a minute remaining in regulation, where Ville Koistinen and Jason Arnott scored clutch shootout goals to cap the comeback in Game 81. A loss in Minnesota 24 hours later ended Nashville’s season.
February 14, 2010 vs. Pittsburgh
In the final game before the Olympic break, the Predators waltzed into Pittsburgh and snatched a shootout win. Cal O’Reilly and Martin Erat scored in the skills competition, while Ellis stopped Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby.
March 27, 2010 vs. Detroit
This shootout resulted in a Predators loss, but it was the longest one in franchise history. Detroit’s Jimmy Howard out-dueled Rinne in an 11-round marathon, with Niklas Kronwall tallying the shootout winner. The shootout also featured a blooper-worthy spinout by Wings forward Patrick Eaves.
January 15, 2011 vs. Chicago
Down 2-0 through two periods, the Predators rallied back to force overtime in front of a raucous crowd. In the shootout, Marcel Goc scored the lone goal and Rinne stood in the way of all three Blackhawks attempts from Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The win kept the Predators ahead of the Blackhawks in a heated mid-season division race.
January 31, 2013 vs. Los Angeles
Needing a win in the worst way, particularly in the shootout, Rinne and company got one in Los Angeles against the defending champs. In possibly the most entertaining shootout in franchise history, four Predators shooters beat Jonathan Quick – none bigger than Sergei Kostitsyn’s winner in the eighth round.