Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Never count the Nashville Predators out of a game until the clock hits zero. The Minnesota Wild learned that lesson the hard way on Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center. Nashville came back from a 4-1 deficit to defeat the Wild by a 5-4 score in regulation.
Dany Heatley scored two goals in the first period to give the Wild a 2-0 lead. He was left all alone in front of Pekka Rinne on both of his goals, and gave the Wild an early lead.
Cal Clutterbuck added to the Minnesota lead just 1:29 into the second period when he drove around Kevin Klein and put one past Rinne for the third goal of the game. Rinne made the initial save, but the puck went off of Clutterbuck's skate on the rebound and into the net.
Matt Halischuk finally got the Predators on the board when he was able to deflect a shot from the point by Kevin Klein past Josh Harding. Brandon Yip got the secondary assist on that goal for his first point as a Predator.
Kyle Brodziak gave the Wild the 4-1 lead just 16 seconds into the third period on a total defensive lapse by the Predators. It seemed as if they Wild would be able to coast to victory. But, as they have proven so many times so far this season, the Predators weren't going away without a fight.
Yip got the comeback started when he was able to sneak one past Harding after Halischuk drove to the net. The play had to be reviewed, but it was determined that the puck crossed the line in the end for a good goal.
Patric Hornqvist pulled the Predators within one goal with 3:21 remaining in the third period. Hornqvist made a wrap-around attempt that was stopped by Harding, but he was able to jam away at the puck to eventually get it to cross the line for the goal.
Mike Fisher tied the game for the Predators just 21 seconds later on a great tic-tac-toe play from Colin Wilson and Martin Erat. Fisher was able to score the game-winning goal for the Predators at 19:39 of the third period on a simple wrist shot from the boards. It was really a soft goal allowed by Harding, but the Predators were able to escape with a 5-4 victory.
With the win, Nashville sits in fourth place in the Western Conference and second in the Central Division with 66 points. They will travel to Philadelphia on Thursday to take on the Flyers for the second time this year.
Hockey Night in Nashville's 3 Stars of the game:
1. Mike Fisher(NSH)
2. Dany Heatley(MIN)
3. Brandon Yip(NSH)
Official 3 Stars:
1. Dany Heatley(MIN)
2. Mike Fisher(NSH)
3. Cal Clutterbuck(MIN)
(Photo Credit: Leanne Charles)