Predators’ comeback falls short against Maple Leafs.
The Nashville Predators took on the Toronto Maple Leafs up North for the first game of a back-to-back on Wednesday night. The Predators managed to erase a two-goal deficit, but ultimately fell 3-2 in the shootout.
Frederik Andersen was the first star of the game as the Leafs netminder was exceptional between the pipes with 44 saves on 46 shots faced. Despite the shootout loss, the Preds have picked up at least one point in 12 of their last 13 games played.
After a first period that saw a combined five goals during Monday night’s game, the story was much different on Wednesday evening.
The Maple Leafs were the lone team to light the lamp through the first 20 minutes of play as they were a bit more aggressive than the Predators. James van Riemsdyk scored his 21st goal of the year with just under four minutes remaining after his shot from up top deflected off of Alexei Emelin’s stick fooling Pekka Rinne. Toronto out shot Nashville by a count of 11-8 in the opening frame.
The Predators were able to get on the board during the second period, but not until after the Leafs made it a 2-0 hockey game. Connor Brown was called for a hook 8:21 into the frame giving the Preds their first power play chance of the night, but the Leafs were the one to capitalize as Kasperi Kapanen lit the lamp for a shorthanded goal.
Following the shorthanded tally the period settled down quite a bit, but Colton Sissons raised the levels late as he scored his sixth goal of the year with 1:50 left in the period. The Preds out shot the Leafs 19-11 in the second period of play.
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Nashville carried the momentum of the Sissons goal into the third period. It took only 25 seconds to knot the game up at 2-2 with Viktor Arvidsson chasing down a puck, following up a pass towards the slot and burying the free puck.
Regulation would end with the score at 2-2, but there was no question as to which team dominated the final 20 minutes of play. The Predators managed 25 total shot attempts compared to just 17 from the Maple Leafs. The Preds also managed 17 total scoring chances in the final frame while Toronto had just eight to its name.
Neither team was able to end things in overtime and it took seven rounds in the shootout for things to end. Ryan Ellis kept the Preds alive scoring in a must-score situation in the third round, but van Riemsdyk ultimately grabbed the winner as Arvidsson was denied to end things.
When it was all said and done, the Preds out shot the Leafs 46-32.