During his two years overseeing the Nashville Predators, Head Coach Peter Laviolette has consistently preached the importance of starting each contest with energy and execution. On a Saturday night in November at home against a Central Division rival, the Preds were clearly listening.
Goals from Calle Jarnkrok, Craig Smith, Seth Jones and Mike Ribeiro made the score 4-0 for Nashville during the first 15 minutes of the game, and the home club never slowed down. The Predators added three more tallies after an excellent opening 20, sending the Winnipeg Jets away with a 7-0 loss.
“Our team has been playing great, and I think every line is just chipping in, in some way,” Smith said. “On any given night, someone’s going to step up and make a play and get a goal… Not every game is going to be like this, but we have guys that have confidence to put one in.”
The third period featured more than just two Preds goals, however. With a wide margin on the scoreboard, the two clubs added some extracurriculars to the scheduled program, totalling a list of penalty minutes that couldn’t even fit on the League’s traditional game sheet. All told, seven misconduct penalties, two game misconducts, 13 unsportsmanlike minors and four fighting majors were doled out in the last two periods, adding to a whopping 156 total penalty minutes on the night. At one point in the third period, both teams found six of their skaters in the sin bin at once, with a dozen players crammed into the two boxes.
Entertainment on the ice. Entertainment in the penalty box. Entertainment on the scoreboard.
For one dominant Preds victory in November, this game had it all.
Check back next weekend for Game No. 5 in our countdown!
Already up 1-0 in the first period, the Preds completed a nifty zone entry for a goal. Filip Forsberg made a move around two Jets skaters before handing the puck back to Seth Jones at the point where he quickly dished to Craig Smith for a slam dunk at the side of the cage.
Top Six Switch Leads Preds to Blowout:
Looking for a spark after the Predators only scored once on Thursday in a shootout loss to Toronto, Laviolette tweaked his top two lines Saturday night, putting Filip Forsberg alongside Mike Ribeiro and Craig Smith on one unit, while Colin Wilson skated with Mike Fisher and James Neal. It worked pretty well.
The Forsberg-Ribeiro-Smith line was on the ice for three of the four first-period goals, with Smith scoring his first since Oct. 17 at Ottawa.
Ribeiro’s goal was his second of the season, his first since Oct. 22, and the veteran forward was pleased with the tweak in the trios up front.
“Usually when you make changes like that, it gives you some energy to play with different players,” Ribeiro said. “It was good to have a little change in the lines and when that happens, you get a little more jump into the game. [Smith] played great and it was just good to have a change.”
Gifs of the Game:
In the midst of the Predators and Jets scuffles during the third period, Mattias Ekholm stops to remind the Jets, “Hey, it’s 5-0…”
And then, things just got out of hand:
“A lot of forwards jumped in and pushed some offense, which was good,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “A few games in a row there have been lots of opportunities, lots of chances and sometime you’re just snake bit. Tonight, it seemed to come out for us.”