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Predators Stumble in Final Tournament Game

by Thomas Willis / Nashville Predators

The Nashville Predators prospects concluded the Rookie Tournament at Ford Ice Center with a 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins.

The Bruins claimed their first win of the three-game tournament on Tuesday and moved Nashville’s record to 1-2-0.

“You come here wanting to play well,” Boston goaltender Malcom Subban said. “The teams’ top prospects are around your age so you want to show well. I thought I did that today. You’re playing against men [in training camp] so this is a good tournament to get ready for that.”

Late in the first period, the host Predators rallied from an early one-goal deficit after Bruins forward Seth Griffith slipped a quick wrister through the five hole of Marek Mazanec earlier in the frame.

Preds forward Filip Forsberg tied the contest at one on the power play with a blistering slap shot from the point at the 19:02 mark. The tally was Forsberg’s second of the tournament; the Swede registered a point in every game for Nashville.

“I think I’ve been able to play better each game. The first game was little rusty, but I’ve just been trying to improve out there,” Forsberg said. “I was on the blue line a lot more today than I normally am. I got a lot of opportunities up there and some good chances, so I’m glad I got [a goal].”

After the contest, the 20-year-old Forsberg was voted the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament. The forward will now turn his attention to qualifying for the Predators NHL roster in training camp that starts later this week.

“Playing three tough games like this really helps to get the tempo going for your body, and I think that will help going into camp. At least for the first couple of days,” Forsberg said.

Despite the Swede’s offensive assistance in an early comeback, however, the Predators gave up three of the next four goals across the rest of regulation. Boston’s Alex Fallstrom registered the game-winning tally just 23 ticks into the final period.  

Netminder Mazanec started in his first game of the Rookie Tournament for Nashville on Tuesday. The 23-year-old made 14 stops on 18 shots.

“I felt pretty good out there, but I was pretty nervous with it being my first game,” Mazanec explained. “I felt pretty fast [in the crease]. But I missed a few important saves, so I’ll have to stop some more pucks in the future.”

(September 16, 2014, 10:00 a.m.), Florida 6, Tampa Bay 3.

The Florida Panthers rookies cruised past the Tampa Bay Lightning with a 6-3 win on Tuesday.

Florida leaves the Rookie Tournament with a perfect 3-0 record, each win coming by two or more goals. This morning, the Panthers capitalized on several Lightning turnovers to control the time of play in the offensive zone and pound 42 shots on the Tampa Bay net.

“It was different. Today was the third game of the tournament, but it was super early in the morning so we were going through the same thing they were,” Florida goaltender Sam Brittain said. “We had a quick jump in the beginning and were able to hold that momentum throughout the whole game.”

It took under four minutes into the contest for the Panthers to find the back of the net, thanks to a Mackenzie Weegar centering pass that deflected off of a body in front and behind Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy for a 1-0 lead.

Tampa answered midway through the period, as Michael Aviani got just enough of a loose puck at the side of the net to slide one under Brittain and tie the contest at one apiece.

With less than three minutes to go in the opening frame, Florida’s Logan Shaw capitalized on a Lightning turnover in the right circle and snapped a shot over the glove of Vasilevskiy for a 2-1 lead headed into the locker room.

Midway through the second, the Panthers added to their advantage. Forward Jayce Hawryluk finished off a cross-crease feed from Vince Trochek on the rush and roofed a shot to put his mates up by two.

“It was a great dish by Trocheck to me back door. I just had to put it in upstairs. It was a great pass,” Hawryluk said.

In their final period at the Rookie Tournament, the Panthers pulled away, scoring a shorthanded goal to stretch their lead to three and then another tally off the rush a few minutes later.

“I think everyone has been so good here in this tournament. In this league, it’s tough to come in and be a scorer right away. You have to start low and go from there,” Aviani said. “I’m really blessed to be here and have this opportunity, I’m very thankful Tampa Bay has given it to me. I’m super happy to be here.”

Tampa Bay concludes their time at the Rookie Tournament with a 1-1-1 record.

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