Shea Weber scored his second goal in as many games, but the Nashville Predators fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs by a 2-1 final in a shootout on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena. The Preds move to 9-3-3 on the season with 21 points.
After the Preds and Ottawa Senators exchanged 12 goals in a Nashville win on Tuesday, the Predators and Maple Leafs were scoreless through two periods; a completely different change in style from 48 hours earlier. There was no extra notch in the win column at the end of the night for the Preds, but an important point was still earned.
“I thought both teams played well; it was a chip-and-chase game and [Toronto] earned that win,” defenseman Ryan Ellis said. “We worked hard. We wanted to come in here with a workman-like attitude, and I thought we did that, but it was a little too late.”
After scoring his 150th career goal and his 400th career point on Tuesday, Weber tallied again in career game No. 700. Weber’s goal came on the power play at 2:40 of the third period, courtesy of a James Neal feed from right to left across the slot. Weber deposited the puck past a sprawling James Reimer for a 1-0 Nashville lead.
Just minutes later, however, Tyler Bozak finished off a 2-on-1 for Toronto and put the puck past Pekka Rinne to get the Leafs on the board for a 1-1 score, a mark that remained as the two clubs went to overtime.
Nashville was unable to capitalize on a power-play opportunity to begin the extra frame, and a five-round shootout was finally decided when Peter Holland beat Rinne to seal the victory for the Leafs.
“I didn’t think it was our best effort,” forward Mike Fisher said. “I think we can play better in a lot of different areas. It wasn’t like we were bad; we get that goal in the third and we got to try to shut them down, but it was one of those games.”
The Predators say they knew coming in there wasn’t going to be much room to be had with the way Toronto plays, and the first period shot summary - six for the Leafs, four for the Preds – strengthened that point.
“I don’t think we played poorly tonight, it just doesn’t come off the same way with the amount of attacks at the net and pucks that can get to the net,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “We’ve played in these games before… there was not a lot of room out there.”
“We expected that kind of game and we just tried to be patient,” Fisher said. “We didn’t expect the same thing as the other night for sure, and we tried not to get frustrated. I’m sure they’re kind of in the same boat, and we just couldn’t find a way to win.”
Gif of the Game:
Filip Forsberg lines up James van Riemsdyk as he’s exiting the Leafs zone and obliterates him.
Ryan Ellis on the style of tonight’s game:
“This is definitely the style we needed to play. If we have to play wide open because we are down, we can do that, but we work hard and are strong defensively. I think that was the case in tonight’s game. Both teams played hard defense. There weren’t a lot of chances in front of the goal, and when there were, both goalies played really well.”
Shea Weber is now on a three-game point streak against the Maple Leafs (2g-3a). Weber skated in his 700th career contest tonight while Calle Jarnkrok appeared in career game No. 100.
Nashville is now 2-1 in the shootout this season and 5-1-1 against the Eastern Conference.
The Predators host the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday at Bridgestone Arena before facing the Anaheim Ducks for the third and final time this season next Tuesday.
Preds Captain Shea Weber comes to the forefront for the second-straight infographic after tallying another power-play goal.
Infographic: Preds Fall in a Shootout