After Friday night, the Nashville Predators are now winless in their last five (0-4-1), being outscored 21-9. The Dallas Stars were the latest to make the Predators the prey with a 4-1 in at American Airlines Center.
Nashvile head coach Barry Trotz said going into this match that his team needed to have more jump in the first period and wanted Carter Hutton to make big saves to bail his team out a few times. That did not happen this game.
Forty-two seconds after the opening faceoff, Jamie Benn caught Hutton not going back to the far post and snuck in a wrap-around goal to give Dallas the early one goal lead. Nashville has been outscored 11-1 in the first period during this losing streak.
The Predators were fortunate they didn't head to the first intermission down two goals after Antoine Roussel failed to capitalize on a penalty shot after being tripped by Victor Bartley on a breakaway.
Kevin Klein would score Nashville's only goal of the game at 7:14 in the second period on a bang-bang play with Colin Wilson from the corner. Kari Lehtonen played well, stopping thirty-three of thirty-four Nashville shots on goal.
Erik Cole answered back twenty-four seconds after Klein's first of the season with the game-winner and an insurance goal at 14:04. Cole's first was a snipe past a a screened Hutton from the top of the right circle. His second came on a breakaway, as he slid the puck past Hutton's skate and the post for the 3-1 lead.
Both of Cole's tallies are hard to put Hutton at fault. Hutton made thirty saves in the loss.
At 4:09 into the third period, Ryan Garbutt sealed the victory off a re-direction and into the net.
With the loss, Nashville now finds themselves in deep trouble in the hunt for the postseason. They are now ten points out of the wildcard spot behind the Phoenix Coyotes, who also have game in hand.
– Victor Bartley was just awful Friday night. He was on the ice for all four Dallas goals, finishing the night with a -3 rating. This had to be the worst game he's ever had in a Predators' uniform because he was just really slow in transition. It is likely Bartley sits out the next game, while Ekholm gets the call into the lineup. Unfortunately, that will likely not be the answer to get off the losing streak
– Patric Hornqvist was the Stars' target after he collided with Kari Lehtonen earlier in the game. After every whistle, Dallas was on top of him, giving him the business. With being such a hardworker, wouldn't you think his teammates would stand up for him? The big guys like Nystrom, Hendricks and Gaustad should have stood up for Hornqvist. It isn't fair for someone so passionate to not have things go right for him.
– Erik Cole apparently loves to play against the Predators, as of late. In the past two games, Cole has scored three goals. Maybe the next time Dallas is the opponent, Trotz will pay extra close attention to him and assign Weber, Klein or Josi on him to limit his offensive production.
DAL 0-1: Jamie Benn – Goligoski and Dillon at 0:42 in the 1st
NSH 1-1: Kevin Klein – Wilson and Ellis at 7:14 in the 2nd
DAL 1-2: Erik Cole – Peverley and Sceviour at 7:38 in the 2nd
DAL 1-3: Erike Cole (2) – Goligoski (2) at 14:04 in the 2nd
DAL 1-4: Ryan Garbutt – Eakin and Jo. Benn at 4:09 in the 3rd
NSH: Carter Hutton (L) – 30 saves on 34 shots; played 59:58
DAL: Kari Lehtonen (W) – 33 saves on 34 shots; played 60:00
My Three Stars
1. Erik Cole: 2 Goals
2. Alex Goligoski: 2 Assists
3. Kari Lehtonen: 33 saves
Line Up Report
Predators scratches: Clune and Ekholm
Predators starters: Nystrom, Fisher, Hornqvist, Weber, Josi and Hutton
Stars scratches: Jeffrey and Chiasson
Stars starters: Roussel, Garbutt, Eakin, Dillon, Goligoski and Lehtonen