Vegas Flu, huh?
The Nashville Predators had been in Las Vegas since Saturday night, and visiting teams are supposed to succumb to the temptations of the Strip. Or so goes the local mythology.
The Predators must have gotten their partying out of their collective system by the time they dropped the puck at T-Mobile Arena. They got an early 1-0 lead, fell behind 2-1, then scored three unanswered goals in the second period to lead 4-2 in what would ultimately be a 5-2 win over the Golden Knights.
With NHL commissioner Gary Bettman among the 18,188 looking on (He’s in town for the Global Gaming Expo at the Sands), the Knights didn’t put up much of a fight as they saw their two-game win streak come to a grinding halt. Save for Mark Stone, who either has been taking boxing lessons from teammate Ryan Reaves or has been hanging out at Floyd Mayweather’s gym in Chinatown. Stone, who scored the first of the Knights’ two goals, needed just one punch to drop Roman Josi in front of the Nashville net late in the first period.
Yet it was the Preds who responded the right way. Goals from Colton Sissons, Calle Jarnkrok, and Filip Forsberg against Marc-Andre Fleury put Nashville back in front 4-2.
The Predators (4-2), who have been in high-scoring affairs in each of their six games to date, made it 5-2 in the third period on Nick Bonino’s power-play goal. There have been at least seven goals scored in every Nashville game this year and every game has gone over the total (it was 6.5 Tuesday night).
“I think they won the tough areas — the blue paint, the boards — that’s where they won the game,” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. “That second period was tough. We give them three goals and it’s tough to come back when you’re behind the 8-ball like that.”