Preds Win 4-3 in OT to Force Another Game 7

Posted on May 10 2016 - 5:51am by Mike Strasinger
The Predators celebrate after Viktor Arvidsson scored in OT to win Game 6 over the Sharks, Photos by Mike Strasinger

The Predators celebrate after Viktor Arvidsson scored in OT to win Game 6 over the Sharks, Photos by Mike Strasinger

Nashville, Tn

Viktor Arvidsson scored just 2:03 into overtime to lift the Nashville Predators past the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals at Bridgestone Arena before a delirious SRO crowd at Bridgestone Arena on Monday night. It was Arvidsson’s first ever Stanley Cup playoff goal. The Predators will now play in their 2nd consecutive Game 7 in the playoffs after never playing in a Game 7 before this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.  There will be a much-needed extra day of rest for the teams as they don’t play until Thursday night in San Jose. The Predators have played every other day since the playoffs began. Predators coach Peter Laviolette said that he’d rather have the extra day than any momentum the OT victory may have given his team.

Miikka Salomaki was called for high sticking against Sharks goalie Martin Jones resulting in a power-play goal for the Sharks

Miikka Salomaki was called for high sticking against Sharks goalie Martin Jones resulting in a power-play goal for the Sharks

The San Jose Sharks maintained their momentum from their decisive Game 5 win over the Predators, coming out strong in the 1st period scoring twice to build a 2-0 lead 11;51 into the opening frame. The Predators answered back quickly getting an unassisted goal from Roman Josi with 4:33 remaining in the 1st period bring the home crowd of Bridgestone Arena back into the game. From there on out the Predators were the stronger team, skating faster, hitting harder, using the crowd’s enthusiasm as a tonic.

Ryan Johansen tied the game at 2-2 on a beautiful move beating Sharks goalie Martin Jones just 1:25 into the 2nd period. The Predators continued their dominance the rest of the period, but they couldn’t get anything past the stubborn Sharks netminder sending the teams to the locker rooms tied 2-2 after 2.

An unfortunate high-sticking penalty against Miikka Salomaki put the Preds down a man, and the Sharks quickly cashed in getting a power play goal from Logan

Colin Wilson celebrates after tying the game 3-3 in the 3rd.

Colin Wilson celebrates after tying the game 3-3 in the 3rd.

Couture 10:04 into the 3rd. Now facing elimination, the Predators continued to force the action and their hard work paid off as Colin Wilson scored his 5th goal of the playoffs off a sweet pass from James Neal to tie the game at 3-3 with 7:22 remaining. The teams would skate to a tie at the end of regulation.

The overtime period was all Predators when Arvidsson got loose down the left side in front of the San Jose defense, and he flipped a wicked back-hand over the left shoulder of Martin Jones for the game-winner setting off another epic celebration.

The Predators were outshot 8 to 5 in the 1st period but then held San Jose to just 10 shots the rest of the game. The Predators finished with 32 shots on goal.

Box Score

Highlites

Coach Laviolette’s Post-Game Remarks

On the team’s resiliency…
We’ve got really good leadership in the room – I’ve said that all along. Ultimately, those are the guys that pull the rope. When you’re down like that, it can be frustrating. We were a little slow getting off the mark, they had that redirect, then a rebound goal, and then were able to jump up two to nothing. You never know what’s going to happen at that point. I think [Josi’s] goal, with five minutes or so left to go in the first period, was really important. It injected some life into us. I’ve got to tell you, the fans tonight were just incredible. The building was unbelievable, and when you come down from elimination games, last round and this round, and you have a building like we do…the energy that we draw from that, that we pull from that, I can’t even tell you how important that is for our group. It was a great environment. After that [goal], we came out in the second period and really put our foot on the gas pedal.

On moving Arvidsson to the top line…
Things have gone well for that [top] line, our defense has thrown in some goals, and things have gone well for the Fisher line, but ultimately, you’re trying to get production from different pieces and different parts of the lineup. Where everybody didn’t play the game that I think we’re capable of in game five, and you address things and you meet with the players, there is usually a good response. We just had a feeling that [Arvidsson] was going to be a non-stop worker out there, and use his speed to try and get in on the fore-check, and make things happen. It was great for him. He’s such a fun player to watch. You’ve got some speed behind him in the neutral zone, he was able to turn [the puck] over, and get an angle to get a shot off. It was a great shot. I thought, more than anything it was just trying to get more people involved.

On Rinne’s resiliency after the Sharks third goal…
Nobody would want that [third goal] back more than him. He’s a competitive guy. He got tripped up there for a second, and they were able to score a big goal. I thought our response was really good shortly after that with Wilson putting in the goal to tie it up. But, let’s not kid each other. [Rinne] has been outstanding in this series, and when we win, he’s a big part of it.

On having two days off until the next game…
We kept saying, let’s get through this game and we’ve got two days. We have not had anything. It’s been nonstop with the travel and the fact that we’re [playing] every other day since the playoffs started. It’s really good for our group. We need that break, and we feel like it will give us that push when we go out there for game seven.

We’re gladly going to take these two days off. I’m not making excuses. If we didn’t like going out to the West Coast, then we should have done better in the regular season. Our guys went in to game five, and we know what we look like when we’re on top of our game and we have the energy. We didn’t have it for whatever reason. I’m not going to make excuses, but, it wasn’t our night. For us to get an extra day off, it’ll be important.

On Mike Ribeiro’s game tonight…
I thought [Ribeiro] played a good game in Game Five. We were not good, and didn’t show up, but I saw him taking hard strides everywhere, strong finishes in his checks. When we talked again today, he came back with another hard-working effort, like he’s trying. [Ribeiro] is capable of making play that can tie a game when your season is on the line, and he’s done it for us all year. He’s been one of our top scorers all year, and top scorers last year. I’m happy for him.

On the team’s resiliency…
We’ve got really good leadership in the room – I’ve said that all along. Ultimately, those are the guys that pull the rope. When you’re down like that, it can be frustrating. We were a little slow getting off the mark, they had that redirect, then a rebound goal, and then were able to jump up two to nothing. You never know what’s going to happen at that point. I think [Josi’s] goal, with five minutes or so left to go in the first period, was really important. It injected some life into us. I’ve got to tell you, the fans tonight were just incredible. The building was unbelievable, and when you come down from elimination games, last round and this round, and you have a building like we do…the energy that we draw from that, that we pull from that, I can’t even tell you how important that is for our group. It was a great environment. After that [goal], we came out in the second period and really put our foot on the gas pedal.

On moving Arvidsson to the top line…
Things have gone well for that [top] line, our defense has thrown in some goals, and things have gone well for the Fisher line, but ultimately, you’re trying to get production from different pieces and different parts of the lineup. Where everybody didn’t play the game that I think we’re capable of in game five, and you address things and you meet with the players, there is usually a good response. We just had a feeling that [Arvidsson] was going to be a non-stop worker out there, and use his speed to try and get in on the fore-check, and make things happen. It was great for him. He’s such a fun player to watch. You’ve got some speed behind him in the neutral zone, he was able to turn [the puck] over, and get an angle to get a shot off. It was a great shot. I thought, more than anything it was just trying to get more people involved.

On Rinne’s resiliency after the Sharks third goal…
Nobody would want that [third goal] back more than him. He’s a competitive guy. He got tripped up there for a second, and they were able to score a big goal. I thought our response was really good shortly after that with Wilson putting in the goal to tie it up. But, let’s not kid each other. [Rinne] has been outstanding in this series, and when we win, he’s a big part of it.

On having two days off until the next game…
We kept saying, let’s get through this game and we’ve got two days. We have not had anything. It’s been nonstop with the travel and the fact that we’re [playing] every other day since the playoffs started. It’s really good for our group. We need that break, and we feel like it will give us that push when we go out there for game seven.

We’re gladly going to take these two days off. I’m not making excuses. If we didn’t like going out to the West Coast, then we should have done better in the regular season. Our guys went in to game five, and we know what we look like when we’re on top of our game and we have the energy. We didn’t have it for whatever reason. I’m not going to make excuses, but, it wasn’t our night. For us to get an extra day off, it’ll be important.

On Mike Ribeiro’s game tonight…
I thought [Ribeiro] played a good game in Game Five. We were not good, and didn’t show up, but I saw him taking hard strides everywhere, strong finishes in his checks. When we talked again today, he came back with another hard-working effort, like he’s trying. [Ribeiro] is capable of making play that can tie a game when your season is on the line, and he’s done it for us all year. He’s been one of our top scorers all year, and top scorers last year. I’m happy for him.

 

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