After getting waxed in Vegas on Saturday night, the Predators bounced back with a big win in the Big D. Okay, I won’t call it that anymore. I swear. Nashville turned in a great performance and came away with a much-needed two points in the standings.


-The Predators have struggled to string together 60 straight minutes of competent hockey recently, and they came fairly close on Tuesday. Nashville didn’t take a period off, so that’s a good start to playing more consistent hockey. At 5-on-5, the Preds owned 58.18 percent of the shot attempts, 57.97 percent of the scoring chances, and 59.38 percent of the high-danger scoring chances.

-Perhaps the most impressive part is how well the Predators played on offense against a team that is third in the NHL when it comes to fewest goals against with 2.61 goals against per game. Nashville was able to get to the slot against Dallas with regularity to the point that their Heatmap looks like a trailer for The Smurfs.

Credit: Natural Stat Trick

-The first Preds’ goal is an example of them getting to the front of the net and looking for offense. Brian Boyle put Tyler Seguin through the boards on one end of the ice then hustled to the other end and tapped home a rebound created by Roman Josi. It was a 200-foot play for the newest Predator.

-The Predators also generated a net-front presence on their third goal of the game. Shortly after a miniature collapse, Nashville needed an answer and got one from Filip Forsberg. Ryan Ellis put a shot on goal through traffic, Fil kicked the rebound to his stick and tucked it around Anton Khudobin to tie the game.

-The second Predators goal was scored right in the grille of Khdobin as well, but it was anything but a garbage goal. Ryan Hartman fired an excellent stretch pass up to Rocco Grimaldi, who turned on the afterburners and blew by Miro Heiskanen. Grimaldi made a nice move to slide the puck into its home in the back of the net.

-It’s almost like NHL hockey is a game of speed and Grimaldi should be in the lineup every night because he has speed to burn.

-Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis were on fire against the Stars. Each player had three point, and Josi especially put the team on his back and willed it to a win. Ellis had three assists while Josi had a goal and two assists. That goal was fairly important because it was the game-winning goal. Captain Handsome circled the net and fired a shot on goal. The puck hit a Dallas defender and fluttered over the shoulder of Khudobin and into the cage.

-Josi’s goal was important for more reasons than one. Kyle Turris picked up the primary assist on that goal, which marked his first point since returning from injury. Hopefully that gets him going because the Predators need him playing well as the playoffs approach.

-Also, Fil did this. At this point, I’m fairly certain he and Arvidssson have some type of bet to see which player can pull this move off first. They’ve both come incredibly close to scoring the goal of the year on this move.


-This was a pretty high-event game. That’s good and bad. It means the Predators generated a bevy of high-danger chances, but it also means they gave up a number of great chances. According to Natural Stat Trick, the Predators surrendered 13 high-danger chances at 5-on-5.

Credit: Natural Stat Tick

-Things got especially hairy in the second period when Dallas scored two goals in less than 30 seconds. Esa Lindell wired a shot by Pekka Rinne from a decent way out on the power play. It was a laser beam that rang off the post and in, but it’s probably still one that Rinne should stop.

-Then the Stars had the Predators scrambling and took a 3-2 lead. P.K. Subban got caught pinching up in the neutral zone, and four Predators got caught defending one green jersey in front of Rinne. That left Tyler Seguin wide open, which ended exactly how you’d expect it would as Rinne sprawled in an attempt to make a save.

-Rinne made some big saves, but he also looked like he was fighting things at times. Jason Spezza’s goal is a good example of that. Spezza fired a wrist shot from above the circles that beat Rinne over the blocker. Josi’s stick was in the way, but the puck never hit the stick and sailed straight into the net. There’s no reason to worry about Rinne, but it is something to keep an eye on going forward.

-Kevin Fiala had the least ice-time of any Predator on Tuesday night, was on the ice for a goal against, and had the worst 5-on-5 possession numbers of any Predator. He also generated just one shot on net. I still think Fiala is a good player and that he’ll be okay, but he didn’t do himself too many favors on Tuesday. He clearly didn’t endear himself to Peter Laviolette in any way.

The Ugly

-The great Don Cherry would be disgusted with this embarrassing postgame celebration by Johansen and Subban. Ol’ Raisins would agree that they look like a bunch of jerks. It’s a horrifying stain on the no-nonsense game that we all love.