Nashville Predators free-agent invite Brandon Buck scored the shootout-deciding tally as the Predators rookies topped the Atlanta Thrashers rookies, 3-2, in a matinee contest at the Sommet Center on Tuesday. Both rookie games between the two squads needed a shootout to decide the outcome, with Atlanta’s youngsters prevailing by an identical score Monday night.
Three of the four regulation goals came while skating with the man advantage. Nashville finished 1-6 on the power play behind the first goal of the game by Nick Spaling
, at 5:05 of the opening 15-minute session Grant Lewis in the box for hooking.
The Thrashers would answer with a man-advantage marker of their own at the 12:50 mark of the first after Riley Hozapfel slammed home a centering pass from Tomas Pospisil.
The standout line of Mike Santorelli paired with Andreas Thuresson and Ryan Jones would combine for the lone five-on-five goal of the game with 2:50 expired in the middle frame. Santorelli’s second goal is as many days came on a rebound attempt – he slammed an initial stuff attempt home by Jones.
Atlanta would even the score at two apiece just 22 seconds into the third period with 2005 Predators draft pick Ryan Maki in the box. Chad Painchaud lifted a quick wrist shot over the outstretched blocker of Mark Dekanich for his second goal of the series, with Angelo Esposito and Lewis being credited with assists.
Buck’s goal on the first attempt of the shootout was all Nashville would need, but defenseman Robert Dietrich would also solve netminder Chris Carrozzi in the penalty-shot competition to ice it for Nashville. Painchaud and Esposito were both stymied by Predators goalie Dekanich on their attempts, while Carrozzi made one save on Mark Santorelli.
Atlanta outshot Nashville 34-21 for the 45-minute game.
5:05 NSH Spaling PPG (Matheson, Blum), 12:50 ATL Holzapfel PPG (Pospisil)
2:50 Mike Santorelli (Jones, Thuresson)
:21 Painchaud PPG (Esposito, Lewis)
NSH Pickard 15 min., 12 svs., 1 ga
NSH Smith 15 min., 9 svs., 0 ga
(W) NSH Dekanich 20 min., 11 svs., 1 ga
ATL Carrozzi 50 min., 19 svs., 2 ga