The Predators didn’t start the new season on the note they wanted to.

The Nashville Predators found themselves down 4-1 to the Boston Bruins with less than three minutes left in regulation, but managed to make things interesting before ultimately falling 4-3 to start the season.

Viktor Arvidsson scored the Predators’ first goal of the 2017-18 campaign in what was a penalty filled contest.

The defending Western Conference Champions got off to a rather slow start on Thursday night. The Preds were gifted an early power play just over three minutes into the contest, but it was the Bruins who were the first to capitalize on the man-advantage. After Boston killed off Nashville’s power play, the Bruins drew coincidental minor penalties from Roman Josi and Matt Irwin and David Pastrnak made them pay.

Penalties proved to be a common theme throughout the contest as both teams combined for 34 penalty minutes. The Predators didn’t put their first shot on net until after the midway point of the opening period, but they were able to knot things up at 1-1 courtesy of Arvidsson attacking a bouncing puck and zipping it past Tuukka Rask. Ryan Johansen had the lone assist on the tally that happened with just 11 seconds left in the first frame.

Boston put 12 shots on goal compared to just the eight Nashville managed. Each team had 10 total shot attempts during 5-on-5 play in the first frame.

The same penalty theme carried over into the second with the Preds committing three minors and the Bruins being called for two of their own, but neither team was able to light the lamp on the man advantage.

One team was able to strike however, twice actually, as two Bruins managed two different firsts. Jake DeBrusk scored his first career NHL goal with 14:12 left in the frame and then Charlie McAvoy scored his first career goal just over 10 minutes later.

Through 40 minutes of play Boston had 40 total shot attempts compared to Nashville’s 27 while also holding a 24-16 edge in shots on target.

The final period wasn’t full of much action until the final two minutes. Boston continued to control much of the momentum with its two goal advantage and the Preds simply weren’t able to breakthrough until it was a bit too late.

The Preds were handed a 5-on-3 power play with 3:05 left in the contest. Peter Laviolette elected to pull Pekka Rinne and immediately off of the face off the Bruins made it a 4-1 game, but the Preds weren’t finished.

Still with the two-man advantage, Scott Hartnell was able to score with 1:48 left on the clock which was followed up by a Filip Forsberg goal with 35 seconds left, but Nashville wasn’t able to pull off the entire comeback story.

At the end of the night, Nashville was able to tighten the gap in shots on goal falling in that category 29-32. The Bruins ended the night with 54 total shot attempts while the Preds had 46.

Looking at individual numbers, Roman Josi had a strong night with a 5-on-5 individual Corsi For of five with Viktor Arvidsson posting a four of his own. Rinne closed out the contest with 28 saves on 31 shots faced.

Next up for the Preds is a rematch of the Stanley Cup Final as they take on the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Saturday night.

Stats via Corsica

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