There simply are no words for how tonight's 4-3 Predators win happened.
In a game against Calgary with serious playoff implications, the Preds came up with what might be the most clutch win in franchise history.
After Andrew Mangiapane scored a deflating goal with 42 seconds remaining in the third period, Mikael Granlund, with 0.1 second left in the game, tied the game at three to force overtime. Three minutes, 40 seconds, and nine-tenths of a second later, Granlund won it for the home team.
Granlund's two goals capped off the Preds' first home win against the Flames since Mar. 23, 2017.
For the first time in recent memory, the Preds chose not to be bogged down by a deficit tonight. After Colton Sissons scored the first goal of the game, the Preds opened the second period by giving up two Calgary goals within the matter of four minutes. Plenty of prime scoring chances and over an entire period later, Roman Josi scored his first goal since Dec. 23 to knot the game at two. Then Mangiapane happened. Then Granlund happened... twice.
Milwaukee won't be seeing Colin Blackwell again any time soon; the rookie forward now has a four-game point streak with his two assists tonight. His linemate, Sissons, now has a pair of goals over the last three games.
Ryan Ellis came up with three big assists tonight, having a hand in each goal after Sissons' opening one. The D-man is firing on all cylinders at just the right time for the Preds; he has racked up six points in the last three games and had the second-highest Corsi-For tally tonight with 33 (Josi had 34).
The Preds ended Johnny Gaudreau's five-game point streak tonight, keeping the speedy forward to just three shots on goal and a -2 rating all night. Gaudreau came away with the Flames' second-lowest Corsi count on the night; his 11 CF was just two over Mark Jankowski's nine.
Juuse Saros is continuing to boost his stats with each game he starts. With 36 saves on 39 Calgary shots tonight and a .923 save percentage, he is now running with an 8-2-0 record in his last 10 starts. As for his record so far in 2020, Saros is one of the hottest goaltenders in the NHL at 9-3-1.
Though Calgary's 17 high-danger scoring chances outpaced the Preds' 12 HDCF tonight, the home team accounted for 68 total CF- just tipping the scale over the Flames' 61.
The Preds' overtime win nonetheless gave the Flames a point in the standings, so they remain one point behind them in the Wild Card race. While Calgary (73 points) is tangled in a tight Pacific Division race with Edmonton (74) and Vancouver (74), the Preds are going to have to continue trying to ward off Winnipeg down the stretch. The Jets won tonight as well, so the two teams are tied back up at 72 points with the Preds having three games in hand. If the playoffs started tomorrow, the Preds would make the second Wild Card berth in the Western Conference.
Now nursing another three-game win streak, the Preds are going to need to carry over tonight's major self-esteem boost into Saturday's game against Colorado- their 81 points rank second in the Central Division. The Avalanche are currently packing a four-game win streak and the league's third-best 20-9-2 road record, but will be on the tail end of a road back-to-back when they arrive in Nashville after playing in Carolina tomorrow. An extra day of preparation should come in very handy for the Preds; the last time the two teams met, the Preds were utterly dismantled by a sickening 9-4 score. After Saturday's game, the Preds and Avalanche will meet three more times before the end of the season.