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GAME STORY: Predators 6, Devils 4

After a furious opening four minutes that saw the teams trade four goals, the Predators outlasted the Devils 5-3

by Marc Ciampa / NewJerseyDevils.com

NASHVILLE, TN - The Devils and Predators traded goals back and forth in an exciting affair that saw Nashville top the visiting side by a score of 6-4 on Saturday evening. 

Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist and Sami Vatanen had two helpers to lead the way for the Devils, who had four different goal scorers on the night. 

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The game started at a furious pace with the Predators scoring twice and the Devils roaring back to tie it all within the game's opening four minutes. 

Only 46 seconds into the game, Daniel Carr tipped in a goal to put the Predators on the board early.

Just over a minute later, the Predators struck again as Dante Fabbro netted his third of the season to make it a 2-0 game. 

Devils responded quick. Jeper Bratt rifled a shot from the slot past Preds netminder Pekka Rinne to draw the Devils within one only 32 seconds later. Then 74 seconds after that, Travis Zajac picked up the puck in front of the net, spun and delivered it five-hole on Rinne to tie the game at 2-2. 

"They had two quick goals, but our response was the best it's been all year. We tied it right back. Lots of back-and-forth, lots of chances," said Blake Coleman.

"Our push back was the best it's been all year tonight. "

Interim head coach Alain Nasreddine was also happy with the response, but not the execution. 

"The response was good. That was the biggest positive out of this game. 2-0 like this and we managed to come back," he said. 

"They went up again two goals and we battled back to make it a one-goal game. There was no quit. Shot ourselves in the foot. Mental mistakes and some guys didn't come ready to play tonight. That was the difference."

The teams traded power plays early in the second period before Yakov Trenin scored at even strength at the 5:52 mark. Rocco Grimaldi's blast from the right circle went off the skate of Trenin in front and trickled through the five-hole of Domingue to put the home side back in the lead. 

Nashville regained its two-goal edge just over a minute later as Filip Forsberg picked up a loose puck in the pads of Domingue and put it home to double the Preds' lead but again the Devils found a way to fight back.

"On the back-to-back I thought the effort was good, compete was good. Never gave up. There was a lot of good but a lot of things we need to fix," Nasreddine remarked. 

Blake Coleman used his speed to break in alone but was upended by Filip Forsberg after getting denied on his deke attempt. Fifty-two seconds into that power play, Taylor Hall spotted Kyle Palmieri at the hashmarks and Palmieri one-timed a shot past Rinne to make it a one-goal game.

Nick Bonino rifled a shot over the shoulder of Domingue and under the crossbar with 14:13 to go in the third period to put the home team up 5-3 but Devils made a game of it with over eight minutes to play as Hall banged home a Jack Hughes rebound at the side of the net 5-4 but that was as close as the visitors would get as Rocco Grimaldi added one more to for the Predators.

"Execution sometimes kills us. Puck management at times. At the end of the day, we have to try and build confidence. You see the effort's there, the speed's there and the response is there," said Zajac. "Those are things we have and we'll improve on other things."

"The energy, style of play is there but a lot of the same mental mistakes. We have to find a way to get better. There's a lot of things we aren't doing in order to be winning more games," stated Nasreddine. 

"A lot of guys showed up. A lot of good responses, That's what we'll take out of it. We'll work on some things, get better. We'll find a way."
 

 

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