Anticipation was fast approaching the boiling point when the Nashville Predators skated out from beneath the infamous Pred Head on Oct. 9, 2014 for Opening Night and the first game of the Peter Laviolette era. Trailing 1-0 entering the final frame only helped the suspense continue to build until three goals for the home team in a nine-minute span - including a wraparound stuff from Captain Shea Weber - helped the Smashville faithful cheers finally spike the decibel meter.
“Honestly, I’m happy for the guys, for the city and for the fans,” Laviolette said following Nashville’s 3-2 comeback victory. “You want to come to your home opener and be successful for everybody’s sake. It’s a special night because it’s in our building and there are a lot new players that were added. You talk to the fans and they’ve been waiting for a long time for this game to happen and wanting it to happen...I’m really happy for our fans and the players.”
Check back next weekend for Game No. 4 in our countdown!
Eight minutes after Craig Smith’s slam-dunk on the power play tied the contest, Weber’s strong push in the offensive zone helped give Nashville their first lead of the 2014-15 campaign. The Preds captain scooped the biscuit up above the left circle before plunging in and around the Senators’ net and putting a backhander over Craig Anderson’s pad.
"That was just the puck [coming over near me], and I just went down there and got it," Weber told NHL.com following the game. "I didn't see anyone there. My winger was kind of up so I thought I would try and take advantage of it. [My] initial thought was just to make a play to one of the forwards but, like I said, [Filip Forsberg] kind of backed off that [defenseman], and there was a little bit more room than I expected."
“And right now, Carter Hutton is a +1!”
“Voice of the Predators” Pete Weber awarded Nashville goaltender Carter Hutton an honorary +1 rating thanks to the netminder being in the midst of a live TV interview when Eric Nystrom notched the eventual game winner off of a 2-on-1 with Paul Gaustad. Forsberg’s one-handed chip of the puck ahead to Gaustad set up the in-tight, odd-man rush while Hutton’s on-air proclamation of, “There it is, baby!” said it all.
Gif of the Game:
After more than 15 years in the Predators organization, former Senators forward David Legwand (now with the Buffalo Sabres) got a little mixed up playing in his first game at Bridgestone Arena as a member of the opposition.
Nystrom’s short-side shot in the third put Nashville ahead for good, and after the contest, he put into words the significance of the new-look Preds claiming two points in front of sell-out crowd at Bridgestone Arena on an evening of firsts.
“That was a huge come-from-behind win in our own building in the home opener,” Nystrom said. “That was a lot of fun. Our line had a little bit of a tough go earlier on, and it’s good that we stuck with it and made a difference. It was great to get the building to erupt and it’s a great start at home.”