The Nashville Predators pre-season festivities started last night with a road game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. In Peter Laviolette’s first outing behind Nashville’s bench he saw his team cough up a 2-1 lead by conceding three third period goals. Who was the man in net for the third period you ask? Marek Mazanec.
Filip Forsberg scored the game’s opening goal in the second period. He’s coming off of a rookie tournament in which he scored two goals and a point in each game in the tournament. It’s worth adding he had a whopping nine shots on goal. Nine. After a goal by the Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov – Craig Smith tallied for the Predators to restore their advantage ahead of the third period.
Tampa Bay took the pre-season opener during a seven minute stretch midway through the third period. Jonathan Marchessault, Mark Barberio, and Marchessault (all over again) put pucks behind Mazanec to make it a 4-2 final. Mazanec stopped 12/15 shots on goal while the man who started the night, Carter Hutton, went 19/20 in saves.
Notes-worthy Notes: Austin Watson was slotted on the wing and played a forward low for time on ice with 8:17. Jonathan-Ismael Diaby registered the least amount of ice time with 6:35 -but- he did drop the gloves with Luke Witkowski. Taylor Beck, who remains unsigned, played the most ice time of any forward, 21:28, and played more time on the power-play than anyone on the Predators… he also contributed four shots on goal and was a +1 on the night.
The next pre-season game for the Predators is on Thursday night in Nashville against these very same Lightning. After that, they get three more home pre-season games before a stop in Columbus and the season opener on Thursday October 9th.
Thoughts from Nashville’s pre-season opener? Will Taylor Beck get a new contract worked out prior to either the NHL or AHL season? Does Beck deserve a one-way contract or should he end up back here in Milwaukee as the Predators go-to call-up?