Clarksville, TN – The Nashville Predators welcomed the return of Vezina Trophy winner Pekka Rinne back to the ice tonight with a strong 4-1 road win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Rinne had missed the last five games due to injury, but tonight’s performance, where he blocked 42 shots on net, proves the rest did him some good. Pekka never missed a beat.
Nashville owned the first period scoring at 6:02 of the first period when Kyle Turris got the tip in on net for the early 1-0 lead. Mattias Ekholm and Carrie Jarnkrok assisted on the score.Then THE captain, Roman Josi scored at 19:53 of the first frame to give the Predators a 2-0 lead. Josi took a smooth pass from Ryan Johansen for the easy empty net score.
Tampa Bay would come out in the second period with a little more purpose. Putting offensive pressure on Nashville, but Rinne stood tall in net and denied shot after shot.
It wasn’t until Slater KoekKoek scored for the Lightning midway through the second period and the score was 2-1.
In the third, Tampa Bay continued to turn up the pressure on Nashville but Pekka Rinne was not to be denied. Then Calle Jarnkrok put the Predators up 3-1 on a wrist shot at 16:42 of the final frame and Nashville looked like they were headed for the win.
An empty netter by Salomaki gave us our final score, 4-1.
Nashville returns home on Saturday night to host the visiting Boston Bruins. Puck drops at 7pm.
Other game notes: Viktor Arvidsson missed tonight’s game for a lower body injury and is listed as day to day. Colton Sissons filled his spot on the first line with Forsberg and Johansen.