The Predators dropped their third straight in another shocking team effort that almost lasted long enough to break the franchise goaless record. Luckily a late goal by Patric Hornqvist not only prevented a new entry to the record books but also spouted a good bout of enthusiasm from the Predators, the likes of which hasn't been seen in three games.
Making his debut in nets was Marek Mazanec who played pretty decently. He didn't make too many really amazing saves but he did make a couple good ones and the shots that beat him were :
1) A complete defensive mental lapse on a power play that left Tavares at the left hash marks with roughly two hours to let go a wrister. The penalty was on Legwand by the way – his second elbowing call in four minutes.
2) An absolute fluker from the side of the net
3) Some nifty hand work by Tavares before throwing it to the top circle for a one time far side by Okposo. A slick looking goal that Mazanec over played a little. But it came off at Okposo's stick at such speed that it was a hard save to make.
All in all he ended with an above .900 sv % and looked quite calm for a tender in his first game.
Six angry Thoughts/Notes
The Keeper is not to blame! If it were like 6-5 and 7-4 losses then yeah, throw the book at Hutton/Mazanec/Hellberg/Whomever. But it's not. We're getting shut out. We should not pursue Miller. We should not be angry we didn't sign Bryz. The team is doing TERRIBLY up front. Well … everywhere. That's a different point. The fact is that way too many people are saying "can't wait for Rinne to be back" "should have gotten Bryz" "Hutton Sucks". No. No no and no. Right now, it's the team that's letting down the goalie and that's evident by the 1 goal in the last three games.
Mazanec's first game: With that said – Mazanec had a decent first NHL start. He had good reaction times and good position and most importantly he wasn't freaking out. The rookie was calm and collected. It is hard to tell if he played better than Hutton though. I think Trotz was looking for some spectacular magic out of Mazanec in order to flip off of Hutton and we definitely didn't get that. He probably did do enough to earn a start in one of the double header games this weekend (Friday vs Pittsburgh, Saturday vs Chicago)
Tap your red heels twice and say … There's no place like home! One more game on this seven game road trip and then the Preds return (immediately) for their first home game since October 26th! The Predators will leave Pensylvannia on Friday night and play the next day in Nashville against Chicago. Not much of a break and an unbelievably difficult double header, but at least the Preds get to finally return to the Bridgestone (although they hit the road again right after for two games).
Bartley In Ekholm out: Not sure about this decision, but can't say it hurt. Ekholm was doing fine, casually getting assists. But some form of change was needed to the D-Unit and this made sense. Along with this switch, Barry also had Josi up with Weber for most othe game. Jones spent time with Klein and Bartley played with Ellis.
Our PK looked decent although the first goal came on a complete penalty kill breakdown, their other performances were much better. They frustrated the Islanders (who have the league's worst powerplay) by getting hard in the shooting lanes and getting the puck out firmly around the glass from behind the net. They were 4/5 on the penalty kill.
Congratulations Gabriel Bourque on your new child!! Bourque missed tonight's game as he was home in Tennessee for the birth of his daughter. Congratulations to him and best wishes to the family!
1-0 NYI goal: John Tavares on the powerplay from Frans Nielsen at 15:30 in the first period
2-0 NYI goal: Pierre-Marc Bouchard from Frans Neilsen at 17:23 in the first period
3-0 NYI goal: Kyle Okposo from John Taveres and Brock Nelson
3-1 NSH goal: Patric Hornqvist from David Legwand and Shea Weber at 14:30 in the third period
NSH: Marek Mazanec (L) – 30 saves on 33 shots; 57:40 of ice time
NYI: Kevin Poulin (W) – 32 saves on 33 shots; 60:00 of ice time
My Three Stars
1. John Tavares – 1PPG 1A
2. Frans Nielsen – 2A
3. Hornqvist – 1 G, thank you for breaking the streak!
Line Up Report
Predators scratches: Fisher (injured), Bourrque (had a baby) and Ekholm
Predators starters: Clune, Gaustad, Hendricks, Weber, Jones and Hutton
Islanders scratches: Martinek, Vanek, Boulton
Islanders starters: Grabner, Regin, McDonald, Hickey, Donovan, Poulin: