In an almost eerily similar fashion as Saturday's game, the Predators dropped their second straight game to the Lightning tonight, 5-2.
Exactly like Saturday, the Preds allowed the Bolts to score four goals before getting one of their own. And, like Saturday, a third period comeback attempt just wasn't enough to redeem the Preds from their defensive collapses earlier in the game.
The Preds held in high-danger chances, recording 13 for themselves and facing just eight from the Lightning. However, Tampa Bay was ultimately able to force themselves closer to Juuse Saros; three of their five goals came from within stick-length of the Preds' net.
Simply put, it's hard to expect to come back in a game after giving up four straight goals to the defending Stanley Cup Champions. Yanni Gourde scored twice, Steven Stamkos notched a goal and an assist, and the Preds dropped to second-worst in the reformed Central Division.
Though he finished the game without a point, Viktor Arvidsson quietly pulled some serious offensive weight with eight shots on goal. Eeli Tolvanen, back in the lineup for the first time since Dec. 11, 2018, scored his second NHL goal tonight- the first Preds' goal of the game. With his goal tonight, Mikael Granlund now has recorded a point in four of six games he's appeared in so far this season.
Tampa is an unequivocally formidable opponent, but their in-state rival, Florida, is 5-0-1 and boasting the third-best power play unit in the league. They've played three fewer games than the Preds, yet the Panthers feature four players- Patric Hornqvist, Carter Verhaeghe, Alexander Barkov, and Jonathan Huberdeau- with more points than anyone on the Preds. Nashville will have to reckon with their backsliding defense and critically low-scoring offense on Thursday when they roll into South Florida to test their new division rival.