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Preds Practice Ponderings: January 11

Josi Discusses Overtime Winner; Bitetto Celebrates Weber's Milestone

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

Roman Josi was sure of one thing.

After playing an integral role in killing off a 4-on-3 Vancouver Canucks power play in overtime for more than 90 seconds, Josi corralled the loose puck - after he'd just blocked a shot in front of his own net - and steamed up ice with everything he had, Calle Jarnkrok joining him on the right side.

Once he knew he had Jarnkrok along for the ride, Josi only had one objective.

"I knew I was going to pass it," Josi said following Wednesday's practice at Bridgestone Arena, reliving the moment that gave his club a dramatic, 2-1 overtime win the night before. "I saw it was a 2-on-0, and I knew as soon as we got a little closer to the goalie, I'm going to try to pass it."

What he didn't know exactly is he was about to run out of time to do so. Jarnkrok took the feed and deposited it past Ryan Miller with less than two ticks remaining on the clock, a fact the goal scorer was aware of, but the disher, not quite.

Video: VAN@NSH: Jarnkrok nets shorthanded game-winner in OT

"I didn't even know," Josi laughed. "I thought there was more time left. I didn't know it was only one or two seconds, but I'm glad Jarny shot it and put it in."

Count Josi among a cast of thousands in attendance, and a few more on the ice with him who felt the same.

"It was a big win, the win itself, but it's two points in the column for a team that needs to win some hockey games," Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "But I think winning does build confidence, and the wins have been harder to come by this year than they have in the past. We have to continue to work to string things together and try to build off of what we did."

Josi thought he had ended the game earlier in the extra session, when he scored a goal of his own, only to see it waved off due to incidental contact with the goaltender. The disappointing ruling didn't get to the Predators, however, as they simply found another way to collect the two points.

"We're hoping that they would count the first goal, and you get frustrated for one or two seconds, but you just try to put it behind you," Josi said. "You can't get too frustrated; the game is still going on and you still have a chance to win it."

Win they did, and now Nashville will look to do something they haven't done since November - emerge victorious in consecutive games on the same home stand.

"I think you can take a little bit of confidence from that game and the way we played and bring it into the game tomorrow [against the Boston Bruins]," Laviolette said. "But ultimately, we're going to have to go out and play well. We're playing a terrific team in Boston, and we'll have to be ready to play."

2,000 and Counting:

Video: VAN@NSH: Predators honor Pete Weber's 2,000th game

Anthony Bitetto is usually on the receiving end of being asked to snap a photo, but the tides turned for the Preds defenseman after Tuesday's win.

During a television timeout in the first period, Bitetto noticed a presentation inside Bridgestone Arena, honoring Predators broadcaster Pete Weber, who was calling his 2,000th NHL game that night. Nashville Mayor Megan Berry was on hand as well and declared Jan. 10, 2017, "Pete Weber Day" in Music City. That was all Bitetto needed to hear.

"I told myself when they were doing the presentation, I was like, 'I have to find him and tell him congrats,'" Bitetto said.

So that's exactly what he did. Conveniently, Bitetto was a guest on the Predators Postgame Radio Show, broadcasted from Jack Daniel's Barrel House in the Arena, when the man of the hour walked in.

Tweet from @ABitetto7: Huge Congrats to @PeteWeberSports for your 2000 game! pic.twitter.com/lbZOdvVBg9

"He came in, so it was a cool moment; there was a fan, a lady who wanted a picture, but I was like, "I have to get a picture with him first,'" Bitetto laughed. "So once I got the picture, it was a pretty cool moment.

"He's good at what he does, otherwise you don't get there. It was a cool little moment that I was here for his 2,000th game. That's something you kind of put into your memory bank and something that you always remember."

News & Notes:

Forward Viktor Arvidsson, who returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing two games with an upper-body injury, did not practice on Wednesday and was given a maintenance day. Forward James Neal (Injured Reserve, upper body), who took part in Nashville's morning skate on Tuesday, was also absent from practice, as were injured players Colin Wilson, P.K. Subban and Miikka Salomaki.

Prior to Wednesday's practice, Nashville assigned forward Frederick Gaudreau to Milwaukee, and then claimed forward Derek Grant on waivers from the Buffalo Sabres. Through 35 games this season in Buffalo, Grant has posted three assists.

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