Washington, D.C – The Nashville Predators got a much needed win tonight against the Washington Capitals, 5-4. It’s been four years since the Capitals beat the Predators, and tonight’s win extended that streak.
Tonight was the first of back to back games, with a date in New Jersey tomorrow night against the Devils.
Richard Panik put the Capitals on the scoreboard first, firing a shot “top shelf” against Juuse Saros for the early 1-0 lead at 9:28.
The Predators came right back at 10:15, when Jarred Tinordi hammered a slap shot past Braden Holtby from the top of the circle, scoring his first NHL goal, and tying the game 1-1.
Then the Predators went on a scoring blitz when Mikael Granlund netted a score at 12:52 for the 2-1 edge.
Rocco Grimaldi got into the action at 16:02, taking a pass skating towards the Washington net, then slipping a backhander past Holtby and suddenly the Predators took a two goal lead, 3-1.
Nashville goalie Saros mishandled the puck from behind his own net at 16:26, leaving it on the doorstep for Alex Ovechkin to slap home and the Capitals drew closer, 3-2.
The second period, which has been one of Nashville’s weak spots, saw the Capitals come roaring back as Panik gets credit for a misplayed puck by Nick Bonino, that slipped past Saros and surprisingly the game was tied, 3-3.
Those two back to back goals for the Capitals, on two sloppy plays by the Predators, made this game closer than it should have been.
At 11:06 of the second period, the Capitals took the lead when Tom Wilson grabbed a rebound and slipped it past Saros for the 4-3 Washington lead.
In the third period, Ryan Johansen came skating out of the penalty box to pounce on the puck and drove the net, firing a slap shot over the shoulder of Holtby and the game was tied, 4-4.
With time running down at 15:23, Yannick Weber took a pass and whipped a wrist shot that found it’s way through traffic and past Holtby and the Predators took the 5-4 lead, which would be the final score of the game.
Nashville is desperate for points as they find themselves in the cellar of the western conference and six point out of the wild-card race for a spot in the playoffs.
The Predators will hope to keep this momentum tomorrow night against the Devils. Puck drops at 6:30pm.