The Nashville Predators faced a very good Boston Bruins team (27-12-2) Thursday night and instead of getting quite decisively steamrolled they stuck to their guns and took the Bruins to overtime where they lost 3-2 and only picked up a single yet impressive road point. After a rather dull 35 minutes with both teams playing a possessional stalemate, Stalberg finally broke the deadlock after putting the rebound of a Fisher shot into a nearly empty cage. The play started with a visionary two line pass from Weber to catch the Bruins on a bad change. The Preds weren't facing Tukka Rask – the likely Finnish Olympic starting goalie, depending on Rinne's injury – they were instead matching up against the Swede Niklas Svedberg, who was playing his first NHL game.
You're also going to want to check out Jones' end to end attempt at the 4:30 mark of the 2nd. It's in the highlights and although not a goal was quite nice.
Eric Nystrom took a late 2nd period penalty which allowed the Bruins to start the third on the powerplay and while they did not score with the man advantaged they were able to carry the momentum well into the period. Boychuk scored a goal just shy of five minutes in to tie it up – it was a fast breaking 3 on 2 that turned into a 4 on 3 and Boychuk found himself square in front of the net with plenty of time to place a slapshot past Mazanek.
Still dominating the play, the Bruins went ahead on a goal by Iginla just 8 minutes later. The former Flame got on the other side of Josi and put a pass from Lucic easily into the net. It was a poor marking display by Josi. I think most thought that would be the end of it. The Predators had finally awoken the beast and there was no going back! But wrong we were, as Fisher picked up his second assist when his shot bounced off Chara's skate perfectly to Weber who one timed it past a disinterested Chara and a recovering Svedberg.
Overtime proved short and bitter for Preds fans, with Marchand picking up the puck a minute in, easily slipping past Fisher and putting a weak wrister from a distance past Mazanec. But hey, we got a point!
You have to think that Rask saves one or both of our goals. The Stalberg goal especially … I don't see Rask leaving that big of a rebound in the first place, but even so Stalberg's finish was low and barely got pas Svedberg's stick, Rask would have likely recovered better.
– Weber is one point away from team lead. He would surpass Legwand (25) who has slowed down since his fiery hot month of November. Smith is also hot on both of their heels, going nearly toe to toe with Weber but still a point back.
– Bourque's play is lacking and with Forsberg's surreal performance at the World Juniors, you wonder if he gets a chance with the Predators at the tournament's end. Forsberg next to Cullen could work out quite well both in terms of point production and player development.
– Preds are really bad in OT. Nashville has won only one of six games that have gone to extra innings. Three of the games have gone to a shootout, where they have taken a total of 11 penalty shots and haven't scored a single one. The Bruins are now 5-2 when going the distance.
– Is the season unsalvageable? It's getting pretty close. A loss against Florida in our next game will just about seal it.
– Inginla was huge tonight, he only got the one point but was a constant thorn in the Preds' side for the duration of the game. He was credited with two shots … felt like 10.
– Predators outshot the Bruins by 10.
NSH 1-0: Viktor Stalberg (5) – Fisher and Weber at 18:04 in the 2nd
BOS 1-1: Johnny Boychuk (2) – Spooner and Soderberg at 4:55 in the 3rd
BOS 2-1: Jarome Iginla (13) – Lucic and Krejci at 12:29 in the 3rd
NSH 2-2: Shea Weber (10) – Fisher and Hornqvist at 14:35 in the 3rd
BOS 3-2: Brad Marchand (10) – Bergeron and Hamilton at 0:54 in OT
NSH: Marek Mazanec (L) – 22 saves on 25 shots; played 60:54
BOS: Niklas Svedberg (W) – 33 saves on 35 shots; played 60:54
My Three Stars
1. Mike Fisher – 2 Assists
2. Shea Weber : Goal, 1 Assists
3. Jarome Iginla: 1 Goal
Line Up Report
Predators scratches: Clune and Bartley
Predators starters: Spaling, Legwand, Smith, Weber, Josi, Mazanec
Bruins scratches: Miller, Thorton, Johnson
Bruins starters: Lucic, Krejci, Iginla, Bartkowski, Boychuk, Svedberg