Paul McCann: Weekend Sweep!

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In the immortal words of Yogi Berra, it was dejavu all over again. The Nashville Predators took a 3-2 shootout victory over the Florida Panthers on the strength of Filip Forsberg’s goal in the 4th round. If that sounds familiar, it is the second time in a row the Predators have beaten the Panthers in that same way, with the same player… the first one being back in December at Bridgestone Arena.

The Predators arrived in Florida on Saturday night after a tough, speed game against the Rangers and frankly, didn’t play their best game of the season, but good teams find a way and that is what Nashville did after spotting the Cats a two goal lead in the second period.

Nashville hit the gas immediately in the third period, you could see the difference in their play, which led to a hooking call on Defrek MacKenzie as he tried to slow Matt Cullen and Seth Jones made Florida pay with a slapper that cleanly beat Roberto Luongo and cut the lead in half. The Predators kept the pressure on and 11 minutes later, Filip Forsberg picked up a rebound a snapped it past Luongo to tie the game and send it to overtime.

In one of the more wide open overtime periods I have seen in quite awhile, the two teams traded chances and solved no9thing which led to the shootout.

Gotta give a lot of credit to Carter Hutton, who was named third star of the game, he did a solid job in getting the win, making 34 saves on 36 shots.

Here are your highlights courtesy of nhl.com…

In case you missed it… On Saturday nights at Bridgestone Arena, SlapShot Radio’s photographer captures the color and the action from Smashville, so here is your Sunday Shots… Courtesy SlapShot Radio / DLM – full album atSlapShotRadio.com

So, the Predators are back in town today for another Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday run at home with two of the three games against more of the Eastern Conference. Tomorrow, the East leading Tampa Bay Lightning come to town, fresh off their 5-3 beatdown of Anaheim. This will be a stern test for the Predators. Thursday, it’s a Central Division battle with the Winnipeg Jets who are looking to solidify their hold on a Wild Card slot and try and get the ship righted after the whole Evander Kane debacle of the previous week. The Saturday, it’s a visit from the heating up New Jersey Devils who will be coming into Nashville after a Friday night tilt in Chicago.

Tickets are becoming pretty scarce in Smashville, so get them early for this trio.

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I’d like you to know about the Peterson for Parkinson’s fundraiser happening on February 16th at the Franklin Theatre. It’s called “Songwriters and Storytellers” and will feature performances from some of Nashville’s premier songwriters. Writers of hits for artists like Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean… just to name a few. For more information, including how to purchase tickets Click here. Doors open at 7pm, show starts at 8pm… it should be an awesome show for a great cause.

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Random Notes

– Standings update after play on 2/8 – The Predators win and Anaheim’s loss puts the Predators back on top in the race for the President’s Trophy, they lead the Ducks by one point and Tampa Bay by three. The Preds now have a four point lead in the division over St. Louis and an eight point bulge over the Blackhawks.

– The Western Wild Card remains steady with Winnipeg (Games played – 55) in the first Wild Card and Calgary (53) in the second. Minnesota (51), Los Angeles (52) and Dallas (53) all trail the final playoff spot by five points, Colorado (54) trails by six.

– Pekka Rinne is not only leading the NHL in wins, he now leads in GAA at 2.02 and is second to Montreal’s Carey Price in Save % at .929

– Filip Forsberg continues to lead all NHL rookies in goals (18) assists (30) and total points (48).

– No update on Mattias Ekholm who crashed hard into the boards in the second period last night and did not return. Keep an eye out on the call-ups, that will give an indicator…

– Don’t look now, but the Flyers have won five of their last six and looking to try and get back into the Eastern Conference Wild Card race. They trail Florida by three points and are nine points out of the last wild card slot… hmmm… so you are saying there’s a chance…

– Welllll… maybe not, Flyers goaltender Steve Mason went down in the second period of yesterday’s win over Washington.

– Bid win for Winnipeg last night, snapping their six game losing streak and sending the Avalanche further down the rabbit hole.

– The long nightmare is over… the Toronto Maple Leafs actually won a game. Of course it was over the Oilers…

– Five games in the NHL today – Oilers @ Devils, Kings @ Blue Jackets, Canucks @ Wild, Coyotes @ Blackhawks, Flames @ Sharks.

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You are invited to follow me on Twitter. Search for @PredPAPaul… Not only will I be updating when I get news or updates, but we are having a bit of fun by getting your input on Gnash introductions, weigh in on Twitter and who knows, we may use your introduction for the best mascot in the NHL at the next Preds game! You can also keep up with all the goings on with SlapShot Radio by following the show on Twitter @SlapShotRadio1

Also… make sure to “like” SlapShot Radio on Facebook… here’s the link.

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SlapShot Radio will be back on Wednesday, February 18th at 7pm on 102.5 the Game and the SlapShot Radio Network… Our premier, day one sponsor is Dr. Jane Bacon at Hermitage Family and Cosmetic Dentistry … make your appointment at 615-872-7762. Also The Wine Shoppe at Green Hills and Burger Republic!

We’ve got room for your business to be part of the SlapShot Radio family with effective and affordable advertising packages for every budget. Be part of the excitement of Nashville hockey… Advertisers… reach out to me to access our activated listener base via email at paul(@)slapshotradio(dot)com

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Our podcasts are posted… Click here to download or listen to any of this season’s podcasts.

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