The Predators absolutely scored goals tonight! With a dominant 8-3 win in Nassau Coliseum, the Preds slammed the door hard on the Islanders' eight-game home win streak.
Seven unanswered goals should do it, really. Tonight marked the most Preds goals scored in a single game so far this season. It really looked like things were going to plummet when the Islanders scored three straight goals in the second period, including a shorthanded one. 27 seconds later, Filip Forsberg scored on the power play- which, in and of itself, was amazing. And that was all she wrote for the Isles.
The Preds wound up finishing the game going 2 for 5 on the power play and 1 for 2 on the penalty kill. For the second night in a row, the Preds were outshot (24-30) by their opponent but won the game anyways.
Hello again, Craig Smith, nice to see you! Before tonight's game, Smith had scored only two goals all season and amassed just eight total points. He scored not once, but twice and nabbed an assist all while sitting for 12 penalty minutes in Long Island. Smith, along with Roman Josi, were the lone Preds to record +3 ratings tonight.
11 other Preds managed to snag points tonight, including- and you're not going to believe me when I say this- Matt Irwin. Seven of those 11 Nashville skaters also recorded multi-point evenings: Filip Forsberg, Nick Bonino, Calle Jarnkrok, Ryan Johansen, Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, and Josi.
Pekka Rinne made 27 saves on 30 total Islanders shots for a .900 save percentage. Those aren't necessarily mind-boggling numbers, but they're infinitely better than what Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov put up for New York. Greiss made just 10 saves on 15 shots faced for a .667 save percentage, and Varlamov made six saves on nine shots for an identical .667.
The Preds scored five of their eight goals from very close range of the Islanders' net, as seen in the heat map above from Natural Stat Trick. Given the success shooting within that range yielded, that's where the Preds concentrated a large portion of their shot volume. Though the Isles outspread the Preds in Corsi ratings (given their quantitative shot advantage), the Preds were able to create 11 high danger chances for themselves and scored on eight of them- compared to the six HDCF the Isles produced.
The Preds are now 2-0 on this East Coast road trip. It's great, no question, but hopefully David Poile in particular isn't swayed to stall coaching changes because of the sudden surge of success. Two relatively dominating wins in a row does not spell a turnaround unless they can maintain this level of play.
The Preds will be in Ottawa to face the Senators on Thursday. The Preds now have 37 points and are tied with the Wild for the fifth spot in the Central. The Senators (14-18-3) lost in overtime to the Lightning tonight.