The Nashville Predators were supposed to be awestruck at presence of Mario Lemieux in the Sommet Center, but they were too busy scoring goals to get caught up at the sight of “Le Magnifique.”
In is lone appearance in the city as a player, the Predators scored early and often, and received a 22-save effort from goaltender Tomas Vokoun en route to a 6-0 smashing of the Pittsburgh Penguins for their second consecutive white-washing.
“This was another step for us,” head coach Barry Trotz said. “Wayne Gretzky came to our building and we were in total awe of him – he had five points and they beat us. Mario continues to amaze me, but we did an outstanding job of keeping him in check.”
Captain Greg Johnson paced the squad offensively with two goals and an assist, while Vokoun tied a franchise record for goalie victories in a season with 23 – a mark he would shatter in 2005-06 with 36 wins. With the win Nashville improved to 7-1-0 in their previous eight games, and tied the franchise record with their sixth straight home victory.
“We've been playing well for a long period,” Trotz said. “I just think we have stayed focused. The biggest thing we have to do right now is not get too full of ourselves.”