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Nashville Pre-Season Game Live Blog

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fI'll be up in NashVegas tonight live blogging about key plays just like I did on Monday and Tuesday. The Blueland Blog reports that Predators radio will be covering it--my guess though is that if you listen it will be rare that Thrashers players are mentioned by name. The Preds radio are going to be more interested in talking about their own players.

Check back in this space in a few hours.

I'm live up high at the Sommet Center. 13 minutes until the opening faceoff of the first Thrasher pre-season game.

Based on warm ups it looks like T. White and S. Machacek will not be dressed for this game tonight and presumably will play in St. Louis tomorrow.

Impressions from warm ups Ron Haisey looks bigger than I expected. Wow, Mike Hoffman is HUGE.

Pretty much the entire Thrashers management is here watching in the press box.

scratches: announcer says it is too long to read :)

ATL Starters:

Video Preview going on.
Thrashers scratches are seated in the row in front of me.
Thrashers brass right behind me.

Former Thrasher Greg De Vries is starting for NAS tonight.

Pekka Rinne is in goal for Predators. It will be interesting to see how he does. He only had one NHL game last year but is expected to carry the load as the back up.

Decent pre-season crowd for a weeknight. I'd estimate 5,000 people here by the national anthem.
And we're underway.

Reasoner with SOG from top L circle. Thrasher vets get 1st scoring chance of the game.

Pavelec with SV kicks it right out near a Predator on opposite side but luckily he can't get a shot away with Pavs out of position.

Lessard to Esposito in front of the net but the D checks Espo off the puck--no shot.

Slater with long distance shot from Blueline, home crowd gives Rinne a huge applause.

ATL GOAL Exelby unobstructed shot from the blue line. Brutal goal to give up for NAS in my opinion.

Little with a takeaway via a skate deflection.

Rivers misses on a body check along the boards.

I've noticed Reasoner every shift he has taken.

I'm trying to type up every quality scoring chance or save in the game as they come along.

Stevenson draws a penalty, borderline call.
Espos, Lewis, Hainsey, Lessard, Stevenson out on PP
Hainsey pinches way in passes back to the point where ANOTHER LONG BLUELINE SOG BEATS RINNE!!!! Grant Lewis

2-0 ATL natives are getting restless here.

Slater to the box, ATL PK
Solid SV for Pavelec. SOG from Right hash marks.
Better SV, shot on goal, rebound in tight SOG--Save!

Lewis sagged too much on the PK allowing his man to get a clean shot from R faceoff dot. Save.

Sterling fails to clear on PK. Sterling wins puck behind the net and tries to dish to Thrasher winger but they hold it in again. Finally cleared. PK over.

NAS penalty, ATL PP coming up next.
PP unit Rivers, Oystrick, Stevenson, Espo, Lessard
Oystrick unable to hold puck in while under pressure.Oystrikc chance top circle misses net.
Rivers misses net.
Boulton with good chance close in, save.
Hoffman shot from the wall.
NAS clears to man coming out the box, quality save Pavelec.

Reasoner with decent chance on pass from Thorburn.

Rivers late covering his man but he fails to covert great pass. Lucky for ATL on D breakdown.

ATL PP Dumont in the box for 2nd time tonight
C. Stuart attempt to jam puck into the side of the net. NAS clears.
Lot of passing trying to get a SOG, Lewis finally winds up and takes a slapper which is easily blocked and out of the zone by the NAS PK forward.

Looks like ATL PP was trying to work puck along one side and then move it across for a SOG.

Sterling checks his man off the puck in the O zone, Valabik gets puck dishes right back to Sterling for SOG near L face off dot.

4 minutes left in 1st.

Valabik with excellent read to pick off dangerous pass. Haisey takes outlet and skates all the way into NAS zone.

Valabik to the box cross check in battle around the net. ATL PK
NAS GOAL point shot. Two men at ATL net. Perhaps a screen.
2-1 ATL now

ATL penalty again. Slater this time.
Wow some bad PK going on right now but NAS is eitehr hitting Pavs or missing the net.
Hainsey and Valabik took the same man in the crease leaving the back door wide open--shades of watching Andy Sutton coverage there.

End of 1st 2-1 ATL shog 13-12 ATL

2nd period.
Quaity SH Save for Pavelec on cross ice feed, he put the pad down.

Rivers-Oystrick combo had a TERRIBLE coverage error that left NAS player wide open for back door chance. Save by Pavs. Not sure which guy got out of his defensive lane.

Little 1 on 1 chance, fired a fairly tame SOG from outside.

Sterling almost sprung loose into the slot, but not quite.

Too many men NAS, ATL PP
NAS guy lost his stick now.
Oystrick to Little wide open in the slot. Little chooses to hand on instead of shooting and then his return pass misses the target. ATL players gives funky rebound off boards but can't stop and takes out the net causing a whistle.

ATL GOAL Lessard of L side of net attemps a bpass that hist NAS defenseman and goes into the net. Really not Rinne's night so far. 3-0 ATL.

3 on 1 for ATL and Slater elects to shoot, save.

Lewis pinches up and gets taken down puck squirts loose to NAS player and leads to a slow developing 4 on 1 (Hainsey is back) and Predators player fails to make a good pass and they get NOTHING out of a 4 on 1--unfreaking believable!

ATL SH Lewis delay of game puck over glass

Strerling on the PK nearly picks off NAS pass. Pavs makes a funny looking save by squating on the puck with his back to the post.

Exelby has a man slip in behind him but stays close and harasses the guy and Pavelec makes the save.

Rivers weak coverage leads to a turnover and point blank chance in front. Great concentration by Pavelec to stop that one headed toward his 5 hole. Now I see why Rivers never stuck in the NHL, great offensive skill with poor defensive coverage.

ATL going on PP delayed call.
From way up here, it looks like Pavelec may have just made a save with his face. Appears to be OK.

ATL PP slash.
Oystrick nearly falls down handling the puck in his own zone on the PP.
Thorburn with small chance right out from but good D by NAS to snuff it out.
Lewis steals puck high in O zone and tries to dipsy do to the net but loses his balance the puck slids away--actually B. Jones hooked Lewis now a 5 on 3 PP briefly.
Lewis gets puck into the slot where Sterling nearly gets a SOG away but is stick checked.

Thrashers showing some of the stuff Coach Anderson talked about, they are working the puck hard in the corners of the offensive zone trying to open up space for cross ice passes or using the D men.

NAS Goal off a great looking tip right in front of Pavelec. Looks to me to be Oystrick only man back and he was on the opposite side of the net. 3-2 ATL now.

Thorburn called in the O zone for high sticking, ATL PK
XLB nails guy carrying the puck.
Pavelec with a nice sv on a point shot, rebound went into the corner.
PK over

Sterling witn nice dish to Thorburn for SOG.
Antoher Thorburn shot goes high and wide of the net.
Pinne makes save with Sterling driving hard into the crease, but NAS covers puck.

End of 2nd. 3-2 ATL, shots 24-19 NAS.

Always interesting to see which teams have scouts here: Boston, Ottawa, Detroit, Colorado, Washington--no sign of Anaheim FWIW.

3rd period about to start.
Predators replace their goalie.

Fight!!! Hoffman lands a couple of punches. That was over quick. Refs step in.

Stevenson tips puck back into his own end and Esposito ends up taking a hit to bail out his team.
PP never really got organized. Valabik with some PP time tonight.

Penalty ATL, now Boris wrestling with a Predator, no fight. I'm assuming Boris is headed to the box. Boris actually getting escorted around the ice by the ref and now headed off to the dressing room. I'm not sure if got cut or if he got a bunch of minutes--there is 13 left in the period. One Predator is in the box already. Off setting 5 on 5. Boris gets 12 minutes.

ATL SH for 2 minutes with 13 left to go.
Reasoner, Exelby, Hainsey and Crabb to start the kill.
Reasoner tip and ATL clears. Crabb checked and goes head over heels but pops right back up off the ice--home crowd LOVES THAT HIT.
Quality SV for Pavelec and no rebound either.
Two more saves for Pavelec on the PK.
Hainsey clear, PK over.

Hainsey good defensive stop 1 on 1. Ron is having a solid game, no too flashy on offense but no defensive breakdowns that I have noticed.

ATL on PP kneeing call.
Espo is tripped on PP, now it will be 5 on 3 PP for a minute and a half..
Too much passing Hainsey had a chance to dish to RW but didn't and then they just passed it around until someone finally took a so-so shot.
Fantastic chance, Little on L side to Sterling in the crease for two quick shots, Sterling deserved to score a goal right there.
NAS clears.
Hit by Thorburn creates loose puck and shot from the side of the net.
PP over.

G. Lewis puts his man into the net--NAS PP now.
Very nice save for Pavelec, Predators did a good job moving the puck around and he tracked it well.

Thorburn to the box. a little less than 5 left in the game. We always have to rush off at the end so I will not have much time at the conclusion of the game.

PK great save by Pavelec in tight. If it were me I'd have used both Pavelec and Lehtonen this season and split the starts 50-32 and not re-signed Hedbeg, but nobody asked me.

HOLY COW SAVE BY PAVELEC the entire press box was commenting. Desperation move-threw out his stick to save a certain goal fired at empty half of the net, he was down from making the initial save on the R side and NAS moved the puck to the L side for what looked like a certain goal to tie up the game.

ATL Goal, bit fluky perhaps, shot and rebound came right to ATL player hwho put it away. Slater with SOG--on the replay it looks to me like the rebound hit a NAS defensemen and went in. 4-2 ATL and fans are heading for the exits with minute and half.

OK folks hope you enjoyed it, time to put away the laptop and go down stairs. I hope to do a quick interview to post on the blog this weekend. (I talked to Kulda earlier this week and will have that as well).