The Predators traveled to Tampa to face the Tampa Bay Lightning for what was technically their third preseason game. The Lightning came out on top 5-1 although being outshot 32-21. Matt Cullen tallied what was their only goal of the night in the third period to avoid the shutout. Even though the Lightning won decicesively, the Predators were able to come away with positives.
First, half of this team will be in Milwaukee to start the season next year. Preds fans will not have to worry about having Mark Van Guilder play opposite of Steven Stamkos when they meet in the regular season. So, there is no reason to freak out. Yet.
Second, Filip Forsberg showed us tonight that he has the ability to be the elite forward the Predators desperately need. He was easily their best forward on the ice tonight. Keep in mind, he is only 19 years old. At this point, his potential is limitless. He created a couple of great scoring chances offensively while playing a solid game defensively.
Now for my negatives.
First, Carter Hutton needs to improve tremendously if he is going to play at the NHL Level. He made some great saves and showed flashes of potential but, he let in a couple of bad goals. You can't do that in the NHL. Period.
Second, Goals Goals Goals. The Predators had 32 shots on goal yet scored only once. This seems to be like a recurring nightmare. They have to find a way to put those pucks in the net.
1-0 TBL B. Connolly Assist V. Hedman 5:41 1st
2-0 TBL O. Palat (unassisted) 6:51 ist
3-0 TBL S. Stamkos Assist R. Malone L. Witowski 6:44 2nd
4-0 TBL B. Connoly Assist V. Hedman A Sustr 18:41 2nd
4-1 NSH M. Cullen (shorthanded, unassisted) 00:46 3rd
5-1 TBL R. Panik PP goal Assist N. Kucherov 2:03 3rd