Last night's game was..... oof. The Preds opened their season series with the rival Stars- playing their very first game of the season- by getting utterly pummeled 7-0.
Juuse Saros shut out Dallas in the Preds' final two games against them in 2019-20, making 70 total saves along the way. In two starts this season, Saros recorded an impressive .959 save percentage and a 1.50 GAA. Last night, however, he had the tables dramatically turned on him. Pulled after the second period, Saros made just 15 saves on 20 shots.
In stark contrast, the guy directly across the ice from Saros, Anton Khudobin, finished the game with a 34-save shutout. Khudobin is not a welcome sight for the Preds; in two games last season, Khudobin made 67 saves on 70 shots with a ..957 save percentage and 1.54 GAA.
It's not like the Stars were taking especially lethal shots to score those seven goals; in all situations, Dallas tallied 11 high-danger chances, while Nashville tallied 12. Worse yet, six of the Stars' goals came from within 3-4 feet of the net. Goalies are rarely ever to blame for their team's defensive lapses, but Saros had a flat-out bad night.
The Stars' second forward line particularly terrorized the Preds last night. Joe Pavelski recorded two goals and two assists, Alexander Radulov had two goals and one assist, and Joel Kiviranta finished with a goal and an assist apiece. The line had a devastating 81.82 Corsi For percentage, dictating the puck's movement far more than any other forward line on either team.
Filip Forsberg's three-game goal streak ended with the shutout, finishing the game with a -2 rating to boot. Roman Josi, Ryan Johansen, and Viktor Arvidsson joined Forsberg with -2 ratings.
The Preds were a complete special teams liability last night; they failed to convert any of their five of their power play opportunities- giving up a shorthanded goal in the process- and killed only three of eight penalties against them. Only one of Dallas' goals came at even strength. Through four games, the Preds have the third-worst PK% in the league, killing 10 of 16 penalties they've accrued thus far.
The Preds will face the Stars again on Sunday and look to avenge their bombed performance last night.