On the heels of their own three-game losing streak, the Predators handed the Stars their eighth loss in 10 games, leaving Dallas with a 4-3 shootout win.
After blowing a three-goal lead, getting badly outshot the entire game, and taking one too many undisciplined penalties, the Predators managed to claw their way to a win by way of a cardiac-arrest inducing shootout.
The Preds can direct all thanks to Pekka Rinne for last night's win; 18 of Dallas' 38 total shots were classified as high-danger, with most of them originating near his crease. Joe Pavelski, who recorded three goals and four assists in the Stars' first two games against the Preds this year, singlehandedly accounted for 10 of Dallas' shots and eventually put one past Rinne en route to the Stars' comeback. Rinne seized his revenge, however, when Pavelski's surefire backhand attempt in the shootout was spectacularly batted away on Rinne's stick shaft.
With his fourth power play goal of the year last night, Eeli Tolvanen now leads all NHL rookies in PPG. Tolvanen has become one of the Preds' few rays of light this season, his goal and assist last night gave him the First Star of the Game title, and his work on the power play has helped boost the Preds' PP ranking up to 18th in the league (20.24%).
Suffice it to say, Dallas' PP tore Nashville's penalty kill apart in their opening series, scoring a whopping eight PPG in just 12 total opportunities. The Preds went 2 for 5 on the PP and 2 for 3 on the PK last night- not great, per se, but a marketed improvement from the Jan. 22 game against the Stars wherein they allowed five Dallas PPGs and scored none of their own.
Roman Josi picked up an assist on Tolvanen's PPG after getting his own goal on the same power play reversed, took a sketchy hit from Jason Dickinson that left him bloodied, and wound up being the one to slam the door closed on the game with his goal in the shootout, blood-stained jersey and all. Let's just say the captain was busy.
Notching two assists last night, Filip Forsberg is now at just over a point-per-game pace on the season (26 points in 25 games).
The Preds handed the Stars their eighth loss in 10 games last night and will bookend this current road trip with another matchup in Dallas on Mar. 21. They'll travel to Raleigh for a two-game series with the Hurricanes beginning tomorrow.