It just takes one for Predators to get another victory

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 11:54pm

So the Nashville Predators won with one?

They’ll focus on the ‘won’ rather than the ‘one,’ thank you.

“Don’t victimize us for being good and stingy,” coach Barry Trotz said. “Let’s embrace this. This group is becoming very good at that. That’s something I think we should praise. I’m not embarrassed by that. We’re winning hockey games.

“… We are comfortable. We’ve played how many games of overtime now? And shootouts? That’s just the way it is.”

For the record it is seven overtime games, five of which went to a shootout following Tuesday’s 1-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks before an announced sellout at Bridgestone Arena.

Colin Wilson’s goal 2:08 into the extra period ended this one earlier than any of the previous six that went past regulation but couldn’t keep this bunch out of the record books. It ended the longest scoreless streak in franchise history – a stretch that covered 176 minutes and 18 seconds and included eight full regulation periods.

The previous mark was 166:40 set in early December 2000, the franchise’s third season, when it finished 28th in goals scored among the NHL’s 30 teams.

Even in that era of clutching and grabbing and with a roster still in the expansion stage the team averaged better than two goals per contest. With its latest performance the current group remained last in the league as its average dipped to 1.77 goals per game.

“To win the game is definitely the most important thing,” defenseman Kevin Klein said. “… It’s one of those things where right now we’re playing really solid five-on-five in our own end. We’re keeping the shots for the most part to the outside. We’re doing a great job killing off some of the penalties too that we’re taking.

“Offensive chances will come. Obviously, right now we have to do some things to open that up.”

Wilson redirected a shot from defenseman Ryan Ellis enough that it squeezed between the legs of Sharks goalie Antti Niemi. For good measure, Wilson managed to knock the puck across the goal line as he skated by the net.

“I saw Ellis had it so I drove the middle, and he took a shot and I got a tip on it,” Wilson said. “… It was just getting that puck and a body to the net.”

It was Wilson’s fourth goal of the season, which in Nashville’s case now consists of 13 contests. On most teams, four goals is a pedestrian number. On Nashville it makes him the outright team leader, as does his eight points.

It also was the fourth time in their last seven games the Predators scored a single goal. Almost unthinkably, they won three of those four and earned one point in the other – an overtime defeat at Minnesota last Saturday.

Goalie Pekka Rinne improved to 5-3-3 on the season with his second shutout and held the opposition to one goal or fewer for the fifth time in his last six outings.

That stretch includes a 2-1 shootout victory at San Jose 10 days earlier, the first of four in their last six in which the Sharks managed only one or no goals. They earned a point in three of those four but did not win any of them.

“With the numbers we are pitching and the ways our goalies are playing, we can win with those numbers,” San Jose forward Joe Pavelski said.

In their case, it’s a belief. For the Predators, it’s not merely a fact it’s a way of life right now.

“Do we want to score more goals?” Trotz said. “Absolutely. And we’ll find ways. … But if we have to win 1-0 that’s OK. The other team is not scoring. Let’s not victimize the fact that we can shut teams out. That’s a strength of our team.”

Briefly: Martin Erat tied his career-high with eight penalty minutes in a single game. He got them all within a span of 9:17 of the second period with a double-minor for high-sticking, a minor for hooking and a minor for holding the stick. … Defenseman Hal Gill was scratched in favor of Jonathon Blum. Gill had played in each of the first 12 games but his ice time dipped in recent games to a season-low 8:06 Sunday against Chicago.

10 Comments on this post:

By: TITAN1 on 2/13/13 at 6:05

WTG, Preds!

By: same story on 2/13/13 at 7:17

The Preds are like The Titans highly paid but just good enough to get you to show up and hope while you pay 6.00 for a hot dog and 5.00 coke they screw up and win it's not the players fault it's owners
get them in the house with what you can take the m

By: ssssunny43 on 2/13/13 at 8:12

This is excruciating, Coach. You changed your tune a little after that second period intermission interview last night. BUT, the Preds are playing Preds hockey, to be sure. It's just difficult to watch an entire game. This being a short season due to the contract issues, it favors teams with playmakers who can take a game over and score goals. The Preds weren't built that way and their team concept wins LOTS of games over the long haul, but this year it's a Short Haul-type of season. Gill probably needs to sit more often. Too slow and really not physical for his size. Preds probably need at least one more defenseman, and some offensive spark. The Preds definitely miss Patric. There are other guys capable of stepping up their play just like Colin Wilson has. The Preds may have some "bad" games, but they're growing through it all. They'll be there at the end of the season, I THINK. Short season hurts, though.

By: foxman on 2/13/13 at 10:21

The Preds are NOT like the Titans.The Preds actually make the playoffs.

By: jwk6179 on 2/13/13 at 11:18

I thought the Predators fans weren't going to show up for the games this season to send a message to the players, management and the NHL that they can't be pushed around by the owners and the players union. Yet, the Preds have had FOUR HOME GAMES this season and FOUR HOME SELL-OUTS this season. So next season, when the Predators Management raise ticket prices, I don't want to hear ONE SINGLE PREDS FAN complain about it, because you had your chance and you blew it by attending games this season when you ALL STATED THAT YOU WOULDN'T!!!!

By: threedoginn on 2/13/13 at 12:46

i cancelled my season ticket package in protest of nhl bargaining tactics but went to my first game of the season last night...it was not a sellout...but it was an AWESOME game (how many titans fans say that after a game)...i didn't buy alcohol and won't buy season tix again until the 2014-15 season...so shut up jwk, get your facts right (as opposed to the exagerations above) and b***h about something like your family because lord knows they must be embarrassed by you...go preds!

By: Pelvis on 2/13/13 at 12:47

@Jwk6179

WRONG. You read a small handful of fans say they weren’t going to games anymore, and they probably aren’t. Good for them! Show the NHL that the lockout that effected you in no way what so ever angered you!!! Seriously, the ONLY way the lockout effected fans was they didn’t get to watch hockey when they’re normally used to watching it. I saved money during the lockout. Should I be pissed about that? I’m not.

The majority of season ticket holders kept their money with the team with full intent on going to games once they resumed. Oh and any season ticket holder that complains about the rise of ticket prices is either brand new to being a season ticket holder, has amnesia, or is just plain stupid. They raise prices every year. See our tickets are cheaper than most teams because we’re still relatively new and we’re still trying to build a solid season ticket holder base. We’re doing great in that regard, but their goal is to be on average with the rest of the league eventually in ticket prices. So they go up a little every year, and they will for next season too.

By: Pelvis on 2/13/13 at 12:49

@threedoginn

Actually it was a sellout, not everyone that bought a ticket attended, but they were all sold.

By: same story on 2/13/13 at 5:19

The Preds are like The Titans highly paid but just good enough to get you to show up and hope while you pay 6.00 for a hot dog and 5.00 coke they screw up and win it's not the players fault it's owners
get them in the house with what you can take the m

By: same story on 2/13/13 at 5:26

I saw the game on tv and i saw a lot of blue seats that means empty seats
any body can say they have a sell out they sold out ok to the scalpers on the corners
thats why the empty seats and the scalpers are getting frustrated eating those premium
seats they buy off the people that decide to sell and go to the bars across the the street and
watch on tv and drink cheaper beer.