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Mully's Musings: at San Jose

by Bryan Mullen / Nashville Predators
It didn’t look good for Nashville early on. The way it ended? It couldn’t have been any prettier for the Predators.

After falling behind 3-1 early in the third period, the Preds stormed back and pulled out a 4-3 overtime victory at San Jose on Saturday night.

Nashville never flinched. Patric Hornqvist and Ryan Suter scored in the third to force overtime, Nashville killed a San Jose power play that spanned the third period and overtime, and goaltender Pekka Rinne made a game-saving stop with 28 seconds to go in regulation when he blocked a shot with his right pad in front of a wide-open net. David Legwand scored the game-winner on beautiful pass from defenseman Francis Bouillon.

It was a confidence-building win for the Preds, who were playing without defenseman Kevin Klein and forward Sergei Kostitsyn. Nashville has now won four of its last five. The Preds are on a five-game road trip and have earned five points in the first three games of the run.

On to the musings…

Nice streak: Hornqvist’s goal at 2:57 of the third cut San Jose’s lead to 3-2, and it came in typical Hornqvist form. Captain Shea Weber wristed a long shot, and Hornqvist was there to clean it up as the puck sat in the crease. Hornqvist now has a five-game goal streak and is one shy of tying the franchise record. It is held by Alex Radulov and J.P Dumont, who both set the mark in 2008. Four other Preds players have reached the five-game mark. The last was Kostitsyn last season. Hornqvist also has six goals in his last five games.

Working together:
The line of Colin Wilson-Legwand-Hornqvist was stellar for the second consecutive game. They combined for 13 of the team’s 34 shots on net against the Sharks. The performances of Hornqvist and Legwand will be well documented, but Wilson was equally effective. He led Nashville with six shots on goal, notched an assist and finished with a +3 rating. He is playing at a high level and is being rewarded.

Cube is key: It cannot be overstated how much Bouillon means to the team this season. Saturday’s performance was symbolic. Not only did he and Legwand work flawlessly together on the game-winning goal, but Bouillon was outstanding in almost every other instance. He finished with two assists, a +1 rating and played 22:33. The veteran plays under control and calms those around him. Experience is huge for the NHL’s youngest team, and Nashville’s youngsters can’t help but watch and learn.

David Legwand: “Obviously, San Jose is a big team, a strong team and a fast team. The more we held the puck, the more it worked for us.”

Francis Bouillon on assisting on the game-winner: “On that play, I saw that Legwand had the puck. We did a great criss-cross and he kept going to the net. I gave it up to him and he made a great play.”

F David Legwand, Nashville: 2 goals, game-winner, +3 rating
F Patric Hornqvist, Nashville: 1 goal, 1 assist, +2 rating.
F Logan Couture, San Jose: 1 goal, 2 assists, +1 rating

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