Just when you thought the Predators were going to leave Tampa Bay having only scored one goal, a late third period rally and overtime goal gave the Preds the 3-2 win. This is the fourth consecutive game in which the Preds have beat the Lightning, dating back to the 2017-2018 season.
All eyes were on goalie Juuse Saros tonight, as he's been statistically one of the worst netminders so far this season, maintaining a devastating .853 save percentage. He stopped an assuring 28 out of 30 shots he faced tonight for a .933 save percentage. Saros' performance tonight should boost not only his stats, but the confidence of him and everyone around him.
With Filip Forsberg still out with a lower-body injury, Calle Jarnkrok has stepped up big time on the first line. On the power play, Jarnkrok tallied the first goal of the game towards the end of the first period, one-timing a pass from Roman Josi that skipped off of Tampa's Erik Cernak's stick and over the pad of Curtis McElhinney. Ryan Johansen was credited with the secondary assist.The score was 1-0 at the end of 20.
The Preds slipped in the second period. Three of their four penalties were taken during the frame, and the Lightning took advantage. 30 seconds into the period with Johansen in the box, Steven Stamkos, in traffic above the crease, fired a quick wrister past Saros to tie the game at one. Several minutes later, Tyler Johnson gave Tampa the lead. Johnson picked up the loose puck as Matt Irwin was tied up with Brayden Point in front of the net and fired it top-shelf over Saros' shoulder.
It didn't look like much was bound to change as the third period began and wore on. The Preds were putting a lot of shots on net, but not a lot were high-quality scoring chances. Josi finally broke the ice (ha) with about five minutes remaining in regulation. On the power play, Jarnkrok passed to Josi at the blue line and Josi blasted a one-timer through traffic, beating McElhinney's block attempt. The score remained tied at two at the end of the period, forcing overtime.
Both of the Preds' regulation goals came on the power play, going 2 for 5 tonight. That's still almost exhilarating to think about. Roman Josi had a night with one goal and two assists, involving himself in all three Predators goals. Calle Jarnkrok had a goal and an assist each, and Ryan Johansen notched two assists. Mattias Ekholm had three takeaways, and Mikael Granlund had four blocks.
The Preds will look to continue their three-game win streak when they host the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.