The Nashville Predators entered into the third and final frame of last night’s season opener against the Ottawa Senators trailing by just one, but also with nothing to show on the scoreboard. Twenty minutes of clock time later, and the Preds were skating off the ice with three goals to their name, good for a 3-2 victory and a solid start to the 2014-15 campaign.
Goals from Craig Smith, Shea Weber and Eric Nystrom secured the win, but according to Colin Wilson, there was some added inspiration headed into the last stanza.
“You don't always talk about what coaches say in between periods, but I actually really enjoyed what [Head Coach Peter Laviolette] reinforced in us [during the second intermission],” Wilson said. “[Laviolette instilled] that belief. What we’re going to try to do all year is keep that belief in the system, and that’s what we did. We went into the third believing that we could come back. We were getting all the shots, one went in and we rolled from there.”
The Preds faceoff Saturday night in a Central Division showdown with the Dallas Stars at 7 p.m. in Nashville.
Forward Viktor Stalberg had his recovery progress upgraded by the team to day-to-day status. Stalberg has been dealing with a lower-body injury and participated in the entire practice on Friday.
The line combinations during the session looked like this:
Nystrom—Gaustad—Clune (Beck rotated with this line)
Ekholm–Ellis (Bartley rotated)
Eric Nystrom on the change in the third period against Ottawa:
“I think we did a good job at generating offense and putting pucks at the net [in the first two periods] but we couldn’t get that one to pop. We were a little frustrated but the power play got a goal and that gets the momentum going and livens up the building. It’s funny how momentum works and we got it going early in the third. That was huge.”
Filip Forsberg on playing with Derek Roy and Craig Smith:
“They’re two really skilled players. I just try to keep up with them as good as I can and try to be available all the time the help them out. They’re two really good hockey players so it’s pretty easy to play with them.”
Peter Laviolette on correcting mistakes against Ottawa:
"There were some of those chances that we gave up, we had to chase down a couple odd man rushes… We could’ve made a better decision with our high forward but we’re working on that. There weren’t that many times it happened, but when it did, those are quality chances that we can’t give up… Overall though, I’m positive about the night.”
Shot of the Day:
Photo Credit: John Russell