The Nashville Predators held a rare Sunday practice at Centennial Sportsplex after their 3-2 shootout win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday, a game that saw the Preds squander a 2-0 lead in the final minute of the game. But the Sunday session called by Head Coach Peter Laviolette had nothing to do with the team’s effort against the Panthers in which they managed a season-high 50 shots on goal.
“I like the way we played [Saturday],” Laviolette said. “I think the guys really competed hard for 60 minutes. It was a difficult ending for us, but we stuck to it in overtime and the shootout and ended up getting the win. It was a good night for us.”
Instead, Sunday’s practice was held to allow for family activities after the fact, with players bringing their wives, girlfriends and kids to the rink for some quality time on the ice.
Combos & Pairings:
There were no changes in the line rushes during Sunday’s practice. The combinations were as follows.
Forsberg – Ribeiro – Neal
Wilson – Jarnkrok – Smith
Cullen – Jokinen – Roy
Nystrom – Gaustad – Beck
Bourque – Fisher
Josi – Weber
Ekholm – Ellis
Volchenkov – Jones
When a 2-0 lead evaporated in 12 seconds on Saturday in the final 43 seconds of the contest against Florida, it would’ve been easy for the Preds to be rattled. Instead, they never lost their composure, eventually finishing the job in a shootout. Laviolette stated he didn’t have to say much of anything to the group at the end of regulation.
“Our guys were focused last night,” Laviolette said. “I like the way we played in overtime and the guys kept playing. They played a full 65 minutes, plus the shootout, so [the players] didn’t need much from me [Saturday].”
“It was kind of shocking, but at the same time, we played a great game for 59 minutes and 40 seconds,” forward Eric Nystrom said. “The 20-second stretch when things just went kind of fluky, you don’t want that to happen, but that’s not going to happen very often. We just regrouped, and I thought we had a really good overtime period where we carried the play. It was one of those games where you just know you’re going to win.”
Peter Laviolette on what he expected against Florida:
“I was a little bit nervous about [Saturday’s] game to be honest with you, coming off of a lot of games on the road and not much time with family. But like I said [after the game], it might’ve been our most consistent game of the year so far. Every guy went over the boards and worked and worked until the final buzzer blew and the shootout was over.”
Pekka Rinne on playing the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday:
“You use those teams as a little bit of a measuring stick. It’s a good challenge for us. They’re one of the top teams obviously as far as Western Conference teams… They’re big, strong and they just play well as a team. Nothing changes for us, but at the same time, I think those are the teams that bring the best out in you.”
Shot of the Day: