Saturday, January 14, 2012

Nashville bests Philadelphia in wide open contest



The Nashville Predators defeated the Philadelphia Flyers by a 4-2 score in front of a sold-out crowd at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday night. It was a wide open game that saw plenty of offensive chances for both teams.

"It was a pretty fast game with a lot of pace. I think both teams tried to score on the rush. It was a good game with a lot of chances. They have a great team," said Predators forward Gabriel Bourque.

The pace in the first period was incredibly high. Nashville had several scoring chances in the period. It looked like the Predators had taken a 1-0 lead early in the first period, but the goal was disallowed because it was kicked in by Bourque.

"I didn't try to put it in with my skate. I would've liked for it to be a goal, but it's alright. We had to put it past us and work for another one," Bourque said.

Nashville was able to cash in on the power play at 19:02 of the first period when Martin Erat threw a puck toward the net that found its way past Ilya Bryzgalov. Patric Hornqvist was screening Bryzgalov in front, and the puck bounced off of the ice and over his pad.

The Predators took a 2-0 lead at 10:36 of the second period when Sergei Kostitsyn snapped a shot from the slot, and beat Bryzgalov top shelf on the glove side. Philadelphia responded less than two minutes later when Sean Couturier beat Pekka Rinne with a great snap shot on the far side.

In the third period, the Predators would pull ahead to a 3-1 lead when Nick Spaling scored a very odd goal on the rush. Jordin Tootoo fired a pass across the middle of the ice and it hit Spaling. The puck found its way through traffic and past Bryzgalov for the goal.

Wayne Simmonds added another goal for the Flyers to make it a one goal game once again, but the Predators were able to hold on. Mike Fisher added an empty-net goal, and the Predators won their fourth game in a row. Nashville has really seemed to be on top of their game in the last few weeks.

"Yeah I think we're playing well. It's the game plan to be on top of our game before the All-Star break so I think we're doing a pretty good job," Bourque said.

The Predators will take on the New York Islanders on Monday afternoon for a rare noon start time.

Hockey Night in Nashville's 3 Stars of the game:
1. Nick Spaling(NSH)
2. Sergei Kostitsyn(NSH)
3. Pekka Rinne(NSH)

Official 3 Stars:
1. Nick Spaling(NSH)
2. Sean Couturier(PHI)
3. Pekka Rinne(NSH)

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