Everything was looking good for the Nashville Predators with about one minute to go in regulation against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night. The Predators had taken a 2-1 lead just minutes before on a brilliant play by Mike Fisher and looked poised for victory.
Fisher had caught the Kings on a line change while the Predators were on the power play and was able to fire a shot past Los Angeles goaltender Ben Scrivens to make them pay for it.
“I had lots of room and tried to pick up speed to take it to the net and was able to get a shot off and find a hole. I just kind of turned the puck with some speed. I was expecting to have to push it wide, but they all changed and [David] Legwand and [Patric] Hornqvist did a really good job of getting back and getting onside so I could take the shot,” Fisher said.
The Predators had a 2-1 lead with less than a minute remaining until Jeff Carter fired a one-time shot past Marek Mazanec to tie the game for the Kings with 36.7 seconds remaining in regulation. However, the Predators didn’t let that rattle them. Fisher struck again to score the game-winning goal for the Predators just 10 seconds after Carter had tied it for Los Angeles. It was a huge way to win a game for a Predators team that had gone winless in the previous five games.
“We’ve just got to lock it down and we don’t and still can get a win. It’s pretty huge just for the group to get that energy again. Tough stretch for us with those five games, and now we’re just back on track again,” said Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm.
Nashville has fallen victim to a lot of goals this year that seemed to have taken the wind out of their sails. However, the Predators battled through that on Saturday night.
“We’re just thinking like ‘Oh boy, not again,’ Ekholm said. “But a positive response, getting that late goal was huge for us. Fisher made a hell of a play there.”
“It was a great response because we had a game where we should have locked that down and we didn’t,” said Predators head coach Barry Trotz. “We’ve had a lot of responses to go through in the last five games. I thought we deserved to win the game today, and I’m glad we got it done in regulation.”
Nashville’s win over the Kings was the type of win that can create a lot of confidence and positive momentum moving forward. They showed a lot of resiliency being able to come back and win the game, which is huge for a team that’s been on the wrong side of those momentum swings a lot recently.
“The energy hasn’t been where it should be probably the last couple days, and now we just get this on a Saturday night at home,” Ekholm said. “The crowd was awesome, and just to get the energy back was huge for us.”