Even after mounting an impressive three-goal comeback, the Predators lost 5-4 to the Senators in overtime.
Tonight proves that it's going to take a lot more than just two road wins to recover the losses and disappointments this team has incurred thus far this season. The power play is still incredibly volatile; the Preds scored on one of their two PPs tonight, but they also allowed Vladislav Namestnikov to score a shorthanded goal. The Preds scored four goals, but ultimately awarded yet another goalie- Marcus Hogberg- his first NHL win on their watch. When these Preds take two steps forward, they always have to take one step back.
Matt Duchene and Ryan Ellis were the only two Preds to have multi-point nights with two assists apiece. Craig Smith carried over the tremendous game he had in New York on Tuesday by putting a team-leading seven shots on goal, one of which went in. Roman Josi, who was responsible for the coast-to-coast, game-tying goal, had six shots.
The Preds' positively-trending penalty kill took a blow tonight. The Senators' last place (11.4 percent conversion rate) power play unit managed to score on two of their four regulation power plays, as well as the game-winning goal in overtime courtesy of a holding penalty against Calle Jarnkrok. Ottawa's Jean-Gabriel Pageau had our defense's number tonight- he notched three assists, one of which came in Anthony Duclair's OT goal.
To their credit, the Predators' shot map was excellently spread in tonight's game. They made attempts from ostensibly every corner, and weren't shy in center-ice. Outshooting Ottawa 37-24, the Preds came out ahead in aggregate Corsi statistics for this very reason.
No one ever said climbing out of the 19th spot in the league would be easy. If that was the illusion the Preds fell under after the pair of New York games, they are sorely mistaken. The work should not stop or slow down regardless of the outcome of the last game. The Preds are four points outside of a wild card position after tonight.
The Preds will be in Boston on Saturday to take on the Atlantic-leading Bruins. David Pastrnak leads the entire NHL with 28 goals and ranks fifth in total points (50). The Bruins lost to the Islanders in a shootout tonight.