The Nashville Predators pulled out an overtime win over the New Jersey Devils despite trailing for much of the game. Kyle Turris’ overtime winner decided the game and the Preds now move to 8-2-0 on the season.
It wasn’t the prettiest win in the world, but the Preds will take it. Especially considering how the game ended on Tuesday against the Sharks.
No matter how you look at it, this was an important win. And it told us a lot about how this team’s character going forward.
Preds Battle Back Despite Early Deficit
The Preds were down 1-0 early in the game when Damon Severson walked the blueline and ricocheted the puck by Juuse Saros for an early lead. Shortly after, Yannick Weber fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of New Jersey goalie Keith Kinkaid to tie it for Nashville.
The Devils would go back ahead late in the 1st on a power play goal by Nico Hischier. Special teams continue to be a problem for the Preds early in this season, though they would eventually make their mark on the game.
The Preds tied the game when Viktor Arvidsson blasted his 7th goal of the season from the high slot. Arvidsson has been one of the best stories of this early season. He continues to prove his worth to this team.
But again, the Devils answered. Another deflection in front by Hischier gave them the lead 3-2 just 40 seconds later.
For much of the 3rd period, it looked like the Devils were going to hold on to the one goal lead. Their defense wasn’t spectacular, but Kinkaid was frustrating the Preds with impressive stops.
However, late in the 3rd, Filip Forsberg connected on a Ryan Johansen pass with the Preds on the power play. It was a beautiful play to tie the game, but just more of the same from the Preds top two forwards so far.
In overtime, each team had chances, but the game was over when Kyle Turris entered the New Jersey zone with the puck on his stick.
Kyle Turris with a clutch OT goal to win it for the #Preds.
— AtoZSports Nashville (@AtoZSports) October 26, 2018
It was the 28th game winning goal in Kyle Turris’ career. A clutch goal from a clutch player.
Important Moments For Important Players
Though it seems odd to call this a must-win for a team with seven wins in their first nine games, with the way Tuesday ended, it was important for the Preds to find something positive tonight. We can complain about having to come from behind, but in the end a win is a win.
More importantly, big players stepped up when it mattered. Viktor Arvidsson tied the game in the 2nd. Filip Forsberg tied it late. Juuse Saros locked down the goal when it mattered. And of course, Kyle Turris won it in overtime.
The Nashville Predators are not a perfect team by any means. They have some significant holes in their structure, especially on special teams. But they are a team that knows how to win when it matters. Over the course of 82 regular season games, that makes a difference.
— Image via USA Today Sports —