Greetings everyone. Tonight's game will not be televised in the Atlanta (unless you have CenterIce). Therefore, I'll do a live blog of key plays from each period. As you may recall I did this for 2 of the 3 pre-season games back in September.
The Predators traveled to Detroit last night where they lost. Usually I'd prefer to catch a team coming off a win in back-to-back night situations where they might be cocky and over confident. Nashville is battling for post season position and may be an ornery mood.
Scouts: Usually there are only 2 or 3 scouts at a typical NHL game. Tonight we have 6! Part of that could be explained by the fact that we have East teams advance scouting the Thrashers and West teams scouting the Predators, but some of the teams watching have been rumored to be in trade talks.
Dallas, LA Kings, Vancouver, Rangers, Pittsburgh Washington
Kozlov scratched for 4 the consecutive game. I'm going to speculate that we will not see him resigned for another season over the summer.
I rode on one of the Atlanta Fan Club buses on the way up. They wisely took I-20 to Birmingham before turning north. Much of Tennessee was hit hard by snow and ice. We had clear driving until we were about 1 hour from Nashville and then we can see multiple cars, semis and buses in the ditch.
Teams are taking the ice, anthem coming up next. Kane-Slater-Armstrong line scheduled to start.
Enstrom with small small flubs early.
NSH 1-0 they carry puck up left side fire a shot from left circle. Rebound right off to the side, Hainsey doesn't eliminate his man and Hedberg fails to hold the left post and puck gets through. First "bad" goal I've seen Hedberg allow in a while.
Thrashers playing poorly, I have scoring chances 5-2 Nashville.
NSH 2-0, both Bogo and Hainsey get sucked into side leaving NSH player in the slot with one defender within 10 feet. Nashville gets him the puck and he has an enternity to roof it over Hedberg.
Nashville with a breakaway, save Hedberg. TV time out, Thrashers need to re group because they're very nearly fell behind 3-0 in first 10 minutes of the game.
Early in period visiting Thrasher fans started a loud "Let's go Thrashers" team not giving them much reason to get noisey so far.
Thorburn gets a hard shot away off the rush.
Thrashers waaaay too much standing around while Nashville out skates them.
Kovy-Army-Antro with nice rush but fail to register a shot on goal.
ATL almost scores, a Thrasher was down low below goal crease and nearly got puck in between post and Rinne.
2-1 ATL PP GOAL, tic tac toe. Little scores as Thrashers move puck from wall (Antropov), below goal line to White to Little in slot who buries it.
One more decent shot for the Thrashers as they have closed the scoring chance gap to 6-4 now.
Hainsey and Bogosian with ROUGH shift. Hainsey tries to move the puck and ends up putting it right on Hedberg--SAVE! and Bogosian tries a touch pass off the boards to his D partner only to have it picked off by a Predator.
Personally, I think that Hainsey has been struggling a lot lately, he really needs to get his mojo back considering how many minutes he plays for the Thashers.
End of 2-1 NSH, Shots tied 10-10.
Kubina breaks up Nashville 2 on1.
ATL has a little pressure, they send puck to the point where Valabik shoots it into defenders pad. Boris then takes an unnecessary interference penatly to compuound the error. And now a Thorburn penalty gives NSH 5 on 3--lack of discipline could be costly.
Reasoner HUGE on PK. Blocks a shot (that hurt) and then gets the clear. NSH now with a good point shot that goes wide. Predators get a good across the grain pass and a hard shot but Moose reads it nicely and is ready and waiting to make the save.
Kane goes down on 2 on1 and scores, but apparently a whistle had blown at the other end because Slater was sparring with another Predator. Goal disallowed.
Bogosian carries up to offensive blue and dishes off to a Thrasher forward (for a nice shot) I have chances 8-6 NSH so far.
3-1 NSH. Long point shot from 5 feet inside blue line. Erat I think. The Predators carreid the puck into the zone and worked it back to the blue line for a blistering slap shot. At the NHL level you really need your goalie to stop that one.
3-2 NSH, Thorburn puts home rebound off of Reasoner SH partial breakaway. The defender's momentum carried him with Reasoner and Throburn out hustled the 2nd NSH defender to score the goal.
OMG!!! Terrible D change gives Predators a 2 on 0, miracle save. Then a LONG NSH flurry of shots and then BOGO gets in net behind sprawled out Hedberg to make a SAVE! Holy Cow Coach Anderson is probably having a heart attack on the bench after that. NSH had 3 quality scoring chances there.
End of 2nd. 3-3 score, shots 20-16 NSH
3-3 TIE GAME!!! Kovy line has 3 on 2 but fails to shoot, then they get a 2nd opportunity and Kovalchuk fires a hard shot, Little is right in slot gets rebound on right side and pulls it to the left side to tuck it past prone Rinne who can't recover from intial save.
4-3 Jason Arnott gets a breakaway off the faceoff and gets past Hainsey and Bogo who continue to struggle tonight.
That's now a -3 each for Bogo and Hainsey.
Afinogenov's hard work forces NSH to take a penalty, PP ATL. Good puck movement but Kovy uses the sand wedge and fires it way over top of the net. HUGE chance of ATL, Kovy has puck at point and instead of shooting he dishes to wide open Thrashers (Peverley?) who tries a quick re-direct--tremendous read by Rinne who made the stop.
Another HUGE save as Enstrom makes a great pass to a Thrashers F who squeezes the puck in between two Predators to spring Kovy on a breakaway, save Rinne. ATL should have tied game on one of those games.
Nashville with tremendous pressur and 2 goal chances. 2nd chance happened because Thrashers Bogosian and Throburn couldn't team up to clear the zone.
Predators take a penalty, ATL PP coming up. Thrashers allow a SH 2 on1 which Kovalchuk breaks up. His D while playing the PP Point has always been pretty good. Killed off.
Good chance opportunity in the crease for Altanta, save leads to breakout for NSH but Bosogian cleans up mess with a nice body check to put player on the ice.
Arnott and Valabik both sent to the box, on replay looked to me like a slew feet by Valabik, fans booed call after replay. Both lay on the ice for quite a while.
Afinogenov carries behind NSH net and gets puck out to point for a mild chance, same shift he gets puck at center and carries in and takes a slapper.
Terrible defensive breakdown as one Predator carries puck behind net and centers to wide open man in slot. There were THREE Thrashers back but nobody thought to cover the only passing lane on the ice. Moose bailed them out there---and no not Haisey paring, it was Enstrom and Kubina this time.
Less than 3 minutes to go so I need to pack up the computer here.
NSH gets rush up ice but Ron Hainsey goes to his knees and breaks it up.
couple of chances late with goalie pulled.
Final Score 4-3 NSH, Shots 31-24 NSH.