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P.K. Subban makes 'good impression' on Nashville

Predators noticed defenseman played 'with a chip on his shoulder' in debut

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban made an instant impact with his new team in a 3-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena on Friday.

Subban was traded from the Montreal Canadiens to the Predators for Shea Weber on June 29. Subban scored a power-play goal in the first period to tie the game 1-1 and finished with 23:04 of ice time, two penalties, two hits and six shot attempts.

Subban was on Nashville's top defense pair with Roman Josi, who also scored a power-play goal. Josi said there was chemistry despite having played one preseason game together before Thursday.

"It was good," Josi said. "It was a lot of fun being out there with him. We haven't played much together, but I think it was pretty good and we're just going to keep working on it."

Josi and Subban are similar players in that they like to join the rush and add to the attack with their skating ability and creativity. Subban's play is unlike Weber's, Josi's partner for most of the past four seasons.

Video: CHI@NSH: Subban's power-play blast ties game at 1

"I think they kind of play a different style of hockey," Josi said. "Me and [Subban] are kind of similar players, so we've just got to read off of each other and just communicate a lot. If one guy is going, the other guy stays back, so it's worked out pretty well so far."

Subban got involved in scrums around the net and some plays after the whistle in his first taste of the rivalry between the Blackhawks and Predators.

"He played a physical game," Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne said. "I think obviously he played with a chip on his shoulder. He wants to make a good impression, and I think he made a really good impression to our fans. Us players, we already know him pretty good, the way he plays and the way he is. Really strong game by [Subban]. I was happy to see that."

After Subban scored in the first period, he performed his familiar goal celebration of pretending to twirl a lasso and shoot an imaginary bow.

Video: CHI@NSH: Josi guides one-timer in for PPG

"We've said it all along, right?" Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "He's a passionate person. He's passionate in life, he's passionate in the game, and he had a terrific game."

Subban's defensive play was strong. He finished with three blocked shots and broke up a 2-on-1 by Blackhawks forwards Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane late in the second period to preserve the 3-2 lead.

"I thought he was good in both ends of the ice," Laviolette said. "Defensively, he was good. He blocked big shots, and he defended the front of the net well. On the power play, he was effective. Five-on-5, he skated the puck, moved the puck. I thought he was good."

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