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Can Nashville Predators end their goalless run against Buffalo?

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On Monday night the Nashville Predators were shutout by the New York Rangers, making it three games without scoring for the Predators.

Goal troubles

Their last goal came six minutes and 13 seconds into the second period against the Anaheim Ducks, when Mattias Ekholm’s shot from the point was tipped in by Miikka Salomaki. The Preds failed to score in the final 33:27 minutes of that game.

Adding that to their current three game losing streak, in which they’ve been shut out three times, Nashville have gone 213 minutes 47 seconds without putting one past an opposition keeper.

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Top Goaltending at One End of the Ice

After going 3-1 down in the second period, Anaheim pulled Andersen for Khudobin, who went on to save each of the eleven shots he faced.

Then the Predators started their road trip in Columbus. Sergei Bobrovsky put in a fantastic game, making 39 saves. Rinne started in net for the yellows and conceded two early goals, putting the Predators on the back foot very early on. The Blue Jackets continued to push and won the game 4-0.

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24-and-a-half hours later, the Tennessee side were at the Xcel Energy Center to face the Wild. Devin Dubnyk shut them out with his meagre 23 saves.

The Preds were overhauled during a 15 minute period, spanning through the first and second period. Rinne conceded four shots on 27 attempts during the game.

In the latest of Nashville’s goal scoring woes, “the King” made 31 saves to stop the Predators from scoring. The games showed another poor showing from Pekka, as he only made 16 saves on 19 shots.

Since their last goal, Nashville have had 104 of their shots stopped by three of the best keepers in the league, and a backup.

Are the Scorers Just out of Form?

Nashville’s current top goal scorers are James Neal, with nine, Shea Weber, with six and Roman Josi with four. Then Mike Ribeiro, Josi and Filip Forsberg share the assist leader spot with nine.

As you can see, Nashville’s scoring is quite defensemen heavy, with Weber and Josi being high on their scorers list. Their lack of scoring may be down to their requirement to defend a lot more in their recent match ups.

Against the Blue Jackets, Pekka conceded two quick goals, igniting a ferocious Columbus attack which was relentless all game. Star scorers Weber and Josi spent a lot of their time in their defensive zone.

They endured a similar problem against Minnesota, but in this match up the whole team struggled to get a shot away, only 23 were put on goal. This was possibly as a result of being tired and suffering a shutout the night before.

And of course the mighty Henrik Lundqvist was once again on top form, he especially frustrated Filip Forsberg who managed five shots.

The Rangers were only 1-0 up at the end of the second but then the Predators didn’t spend much time at full strength in the third.

Naughty Nashville

Since their last goal, 213:47 minutes of game time ago, Nashville have been penalised for 43 minutes.

Third top point scorer for the team, Ribeiro, has been given two ten-minute game misconduct penalties in the last two games and top goal scorer, Neal, has been given 13 minutes since the Preds last scored.

In their latest goalless 60’ the Predators were only a goal down coming into the third period. Then they were given a total of 18 penalty minutes, ten of which were given to Ribeiro for his game misconduct.

Although New York didn’t score either of their two last period goals on the powerplay, being a man down greatly restricted Nashville’s chances of scoring.

Can Buffalo force them to 0-4 on this Road Trip?

Nashville continue their road trip to Buffalo on Wednesday night, where they face a struggling Sabres team. They’re still without first choice keeper Robin Lehner but Linus Ullmark has played well, and Chad Johnson has had his moments.

The Sabres have been playing far better then they did last season, but are 4-7-1 at home and their keepers aren’t in the same class as those that have been keeping Nashville from scoring.

Buffalo haven’t won in five games and Nashville are expected to take two points from the game. Having a goal difference of -13 puts Buffalo as one of the more favourable teams to face when a team’s in a scoring-slump.

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Topics:
NHL
Nashville Predators

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