The third preseason game for the Nashville Predators did not go as well as the first two, to say the least. After a doubleheader win over the Panthers on Mondaythe Preds fell 5-1 to a fairly weak lineup from the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Bridgestone Arena.

Yes, it’s preseason, but just like any sport, you hope this kind of warmup performance isn’t a sign of things to come.

We begin in the first period, where things did not start well for the Preds. Adam Erne found himself unmarked in front of Pekka Rinne and slotted home the first goal at 7:18. Then Erne scored another goal on a broken play in front of the Nashville net a couple minutes later. Then, only 18 seconds after that, Boris Katchouk scored.

Before fans could even get their bearings, the Preds were down 3-0.

Then in the 2nd period, both teams took several penalties, slowing the game down to a crawl. The Preds finally got on the board on a goal by Roman Josi at 8:34. It was, to that point, the best moment of the game for Nashville, coming on a 5-on-3 power play.

But the Lightning bounced back almost immediately, getting a goal from newcomer Andy Andreoff to make it 4-1, reclaiming the three goal lead. They would eventually tally an empty netter from Dominik Masin to finish it off at 5-1.

Again, it’s just preseason, but a few things were concerning in this one.

First, the defense left Pekka Rinne out to dry far too often. The early three goal deficit was mostly due to terrible marking and bad defensive awareness by the forwards. And the 4th goal was a matter of the team not getting reset after a short change. Chalk it up to preseason sloppiness, maybe, but it didn’t look great. 

Another concern is that the Preds offense looked to be hampered somewhat against a Tampa lineup that wasn’t exactly elite. The Lightning sat most of their starters and Louis Domingue, a career backup, looked very comfortable. The only goal for the Preds came on a two man advantage. 

Finally, the Preds outshot the Lightning 39-27, but the goal deficit and late game tactics by the Lightning largely dictated that outcome. None of the Preds forwards were able to muster much of a dangerous attack at even strength.

To be honest, the only “attack” for the Preds came in the form of Craig Smith’s fists:

We feel you, Craig.

The Predators will continue their preseason slate on the road tomorrow night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

— Featured image via Andrew Nelles / the Tennessean —

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