The Nashville Predators collected their first point since April 2 on Friday night against the high-powered Chicago Blackhawks. Nashville lost in overtime to the ‘Hawks by a 5-4 score on a power play goal by Marian Hossa. The Predators are now winless in their last eight games.
Matt Halischuk led the way offensively for the Predators on Friday night, notching two goals and an assist in arguably the best game of his career. Kevin Henderson was called up from Milwaukee for the Predators and scored a goal in his NHL debut.
Nashville played perhaps their best game in the last two weeks. They generated some scoring chances and were able to capitalize. However, they did not play well defensively against the NHL’s best team. Chicago’s plethora of weapons proved to be too much for the Predators and their depleted lineup.
With the overtime loss, the Predators currently sit in 14th place in the Western Conference and sit in 26th place in the NHL. The Predators do not have a postseason to play for, but these final games are a useful tool in evaluating the young talent they have and figuring out what moves they need to make this off-season.
Nashville will take on the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night for their final home game of the 2012-13 season. The Flames are just one point ahead of the Predators in the Western Conference standings.
Five things from Friday night’s game…
- In their last 10 games, the Predators have posted just a 1-7-2 record. Only Carolina (1-8-1) has a worse record in their last 10 games.
- Bobby Butler had one goal and an assist and played arguably his best game as a member of the Predators. Butler has scored three goals in his last four games and seems to be making the case that he can play at the NHL level full time.
- With the overtime loss, Pekka Rinne’s record on the season fell to 14-16-8. Rinne’s 14 wins rank 20th in the NHL just one season after he led the NHL in wins.
- Matt Halischuk scored two goals in a game for the first time in his NHL career.
- Victor Bartley recorded two assists on Friday night, which is the first time he’s had a multi-point game in his NHL career.
Three stars of Friday night’s game…
1. Duncan Keith, CHI… Keith registered a goal and two assists and led the Blackhawks in ice time with 24:55 played.
2. Matt Halischuk, NSH… Halischuk had a three-point night for the Predators and was the driving force offensively.
3. Patrick Kane, CHI… Kane had a goal and an assist and was a dangerous player all night long for the Blackhawks. His wrist shot is quite a weapon.