Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nashville defeats Washington; Moves to 5-1 on pre-season

The Nashville Predators defeated the Washington Capitals for the second time this pre-season on Wednesday night at Bridgestone Arena, winning the game 4-1.

Washington took the early lead in the first period when Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm fell down at center ice, which allowed Mathieu Perreault to convert on the odd man rush.

Nashville would respond nearly six minutes later in the period with a goal by Colin Wilson. He beat Tomas Vokoun high to the glove side and tied the game at one.

In the second period, the Preds would take the lead when Matt Halischuk redirected a puck past Vokoun. He got his stick on the pass from Jordin Tootoo, and was able to get enough of it to slide it under Vokoun.

The Preds would strike again when Shea Weber scored on a beautiful play from Martin Erat and Craig Smith. Erat fed the puck to the slot and Weber was there for the one-timer. The puck was in the net before Vokoun realized what had happened. It was a good, quick read by Erat and a great conversion by Weber. Nashville would lead 3-1 after the second period.

Both Nashville and Washington had several scoring chances in the third period, but both goalies came up with several key saves. However, Cal O'Reilly was able to get one past Vokoun at 16:33 of the third period. O'Reilly drove to the net and was able to redirect a hard pass from Weber for the score.

With the win, the Predators improve to 5-1-0 on the pre-season. While none of these games may truly count at the end of the season, it's always good to build a winning mindset.

"Winning breeds winning. If you're used to winning, you want it all the time," said Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz.

Hockey Night in Nashville's 3 Stars of the game:
1. Matt Halischuk
2. Shea Weber
3. Colin Wilson

3 Stars as announced:
1. Colin Wilson
2. Pekka Rinne
3. Matt Halischuk

Nashville travels to Winnipeg to take on the Jets on Friday night. The Preds will then play the Carolina Hurricanes at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.