Viktor Arvidsson recorded his first career hat trick, but it wasn't enough for the Nashville Predators as they fell, 7-4, to the Florida Panthers at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday afternoon.
After the first period ended 1-1, Nashville allowed four goals in the second period, including three in less than three minutes, an effort that Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette called "gross."
"We didn't play with any purpose," Laviolette said. "No passion. No effort. You're never going to win a hockey game [like that]. The actions that we gave are going to give us the results that we got. It's that simple."
"That was a huge game for us, and we just didn't come out," Captain Mike Fisher said. "We have to be a lot better."
Jaromir Jagr tipped in a puck to give Florida a 1-0 lead early in the first, but that was followed by a floating shot from Roman Josi on the power play to even the score before the intermission.
The teams traded tallies in the second, first from the Panthers, before Viktor Arvidsson deflected a puck past Roberto Luongo to tie the game once more. But two more quick goals from the Panthers led to the end of Pekka Rinne's afternoon, and the visitors notched their fifth tally minutes later after Juuse Saros took over in net.
Before the stanza was out, Arvidsson tallied his second of the game and 17th of the season, this time shorthanded, to give the Preds their third goal and a boost of life.
Video: FLA@NSH: Arvidsson nets one-timer top-shelf for SHG
In the third, Jonathan Huberdeau gave the Panthers the three-goal lead once more before Arvidsson tallied on the power play for his third of the afternoon.
Video: FLA@NSH: Arvidsson secures his first career hat trick
Arvidsson's efforts were the lone bright spot on an afternoon that didn't play out the way Nashville wanted it to, and Laviolette made that clear.
"Big time [inconsistency]," Laviolette said. "Performance inconsistency, period inconsistency, game inconsistency; the first half of the game, we weren't ready to play. The second half we played [the game] the wrong way. All we did was retaliate to their aggressiveness. That's not going to get you the results either. Our mindset has to be right from the start, and it wasn't tonight. They won a hockey game. We didn't show up. And we need to show up tomorrow."
That game tomorrow comes against the Dallas Stars, a team that also finds themselves playing desperate hockey trying to stay in the playoff picture, helped with a 5-2 win over Carolina on Saturday afternoon.
"The only good thing right now is that we play tomorrow," Laviolette said. "[We] get a chance to move forward and take something that was ugly and try to learn from it and be better prepared. A lot of times, they say you should put [a game like that] in the trashcan and forget about it. I think we should take it home and wrestle with it all night."
Video: NSH Recap: Arvidsson registers hat trick in 7-4 loss
With a power-play goal on Saturday, Roman Josi has scored with the man advantage in consecutive games for the first time in his career.
Viktor Arvidsson is tied for the League lead in shorthanded goals with three.
The Predators are right back at Bridgestone Arena tomorrow evening for a 5 p.m. CT start against the Dallas Stars, Nashville's final game before their mandatory five-day break begins on Monday.