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Preds Practice Ponderings: February 3

Matt Irwin Skated in His 200th NHL Game on Thursday and Had a Perfect View of the Night's Best Goal

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

Everyone saw it.

Filip Forsberg made the improbable move to elude multiple defenders. Viktor Arvidsson dished it off. Ryan Johansen didn't miss.

Nashville's second and final goal against Edmonton on Tuesday night was one of the prettier efforts seen this season on a Predators tally, and perhaps the best view of all belonged to Matt Irwin. The defenseman looked skyward in the moments that followed, almost in disbelief of what he had just witnessed.

Video: EDM@NSH: Johansen one-times Arvidsson's perfect feed

"I didn't have a whole lot to do with the play, so I got a really good view of it all," Irwin said after Friday's practice at Centennial Sportsplex. "Fil kind of meandered his way through just inside the blue line, and then I saw the whole play develop over to Arvi and Arvi locking eyes with Joey. Then when the puck was on its way to Joey, I saw the open net."

That was that, a moment that will make a milestone night for Irwin a bit easier to recall. Never drafted, Irwin skated in his 200th NHL contest during Thursday's win, a mark he made sure to appreciate.

"I think I took my first 100 for granted; I hit the 100 games it was just like, 'oh, I'll see 200 pretty soon,' and it didn't happen like that," he said. "So last night, it was a bit more special to get to 200. Just like I've said in the past, I'm taking my business one day at a time, and 200 is a lot of games. You never thought as a kid growing up you'd ever play one game, but it was always a dream, so 200 is good, and hopefully there's more after this."

No. 201 looks to come on Saturday when Nashville hosts Detroit in search of points in seven straight games at Bridgestone Arena, and for Irwin, there isn't much that needs to change from one night to the next.

"I think it's sticking with the game plan," Irwin said. "We'll look at what was successful last night, take the positives from that and we're playing another skilled team, another fast team, so a lot of the same things will lead us to some success."

The game plan doesn't necessarily guarantee another highlight-reel goal, but Irwin wouldn't mind it - even if he does nothing but watch.

"When it actually went in, I was like, 'wow, that was a pretty good goal that I had nothing to do with,'" Irwin laughed. "So that was pretty much that."


The Predators placed forward Mike Ribeiro on Waivers on Friday. Head Coach Peter Laviolette addressed the move following Friday's practice.

"Mike has been such an important part of the team and a good part of the team," Laviolette said. "I think the lineup decisions that we've been making as of late have found Mike on the outside and he didn't want to finish that way being in the stands. He had a request for a trade and we tried to help him with that and so he's on waivers today to see if somebody is going to pick him up."

Defenseman Roman Josi (IR) and Miikka Salomaki (IR) once again joined their teammates on the ice for Friday's practice. Forward line rushes remained unchanged from Thursday night's game; Josi skated with Yannick Weber on defense and Anthony Bitetto was paired with Brad Hunt.

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