Juuse Saros' second-straight dominating night in net and a goal explosion in the third period precipitated the Predators' 5-2 win over the Blue Jackets on Saturday.
The new guys once again stole the spotlight for the Preds. Luke Kunin scored his second goal in his second game with Nashville, Brad Richardson now has a goal and an assist through two games, and Nick Cousins recorded his first point in gold last night. Just two games into the regular season, the offseason acquisitions are setting the tone early for this 2021 Preds team.
On the heels of passing Shea Weber for second place on the Preds' all-time goals list, Filip Forsberg scored a nearly identical goal to the one he sniped on Thursday. Forsberg finished the game with Nashville's highest individual Corsi rating (71.79 percent), displaying his ability to command the forecheck while he's on the ice.
The Blue Jackets outshot the Preds the entire game, pressuring Saros and frequently making the defense give chase to them. They controlled the puck more often than not, creating 12 high-danger chances in front of the Preds' net. Comparatively, the Preds created only seven HDCF. This caused Saros to shoulder a heavy workload, making 42 saves on 44 Columbus shots.
Columbus' offensive barrage seemed be the drop of a hat away from breaking through and dramatically shifting the game in their favor, right up until the Preds scored three goals in five minutes and 22 seconds in the third period.
The Preds are now 0 for 6 on the power play through two games, but have also successfully killed each penalty against them.
Ryan Ellis lead the team with five shots on net, Roman Josi and Luke Kunin tied each other at four shots apiece. Mathieu Olivier had an impressive season debut, leading both teams with six individual hits. Columbus' Zach Werenski was the only skater on either team to finish the game with a -3 rating.
The Preds continue their home stand on Monday, when they'll play the front end of a back-to-back with Carolina. The Hurricanes are coming off a 4-2 loss in Detroit, putting their record at 1-1-0. The Canes have grown to be the Preds' biggest kryptonite; the Preds have only a single win in the teams' last eight matchups, dating back to 2016-17.