Juuse Saros made 37 saves, Mikael Granlund continued his offensive production, and Roman Josi reached his 400th career point in last night's 3-2 Predators win over the Flames.
Corralling Calgary's Matthew Tkachuk to just a single assist all night was easily one of the biggest factors in the Preds' win. It helped that Flames' captain Mark Giordano- and one of the NHL's best defensemen- was out with a hamstring injury, but Calgary still outshot the Preds 39-35.
Saros has now put together two consecutive new-leaf-turning starts, saving 33 of 34 Winnipeg shots on Tuesday, then saving 37 of 39 Calgary shots last night. He's won four of his last five starts and has improved his season save percentage to .901. Saving the Preds' 2019-2020 season almost directly hinges on Saros' improvement; not to be dramatic, but goaltending has been a source of major hemorrhaging in this team's success this season. If just one goalie can make a change in their game, the Preds may have a shot at lasting through April.
Converting the Preds' lone power play into a goal last night, Granlund is now up to six goals in 12 games in the nascent Hynes Era. With the league's impending trade deadline on Feb. 24, a struggling Granlund has been a name widely tossed around in trade conversations. Prior to Hynes' takeover, it was assumed that Granlund just didn't fit into the Preds' system. However, the forward seems to be thriving under a new coach, so moving him- at least before the season's end- may be a premature action.
With two assists last night, Josi officially surpassed 400 points in his NHL career (his drop pass to Dante Fabbro was a work of art). Though Josi's slipped a little bit in point rankings, it's still effectively him and Washington's John Carlson in a tango for the Norris Trophy.
The Preds haven't won more than two games in a row since October. They've been stalwart on the road this year, and fortunately, they'll remain in Western Canada for their next two games. Tomorrow, the Preds will get a chance to redeem themselves in Edmonton after the Jan. 14 game they dropped due to a lack of discipline.
We can hope to maybe see a reprisal of Filip Forsberg's Michigan-style goal, but we will absolutely see a still-unflagging Oilers PP. They remain at the top of the league in this category, boasting a 28.8 percent conversion rate. The Preds are just a smidge better on the penalty kill than they were three weeks ago, but they're ultimately going to have to stay as far away from the box as possible if they want to beat Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.