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Panthers Wrap-Up: Predators 3, Panthers 1

Wolski only Panther to solve Rinne as Nashville backstop turns aside 39 shots for Preds victory.

Saturday, 03.3.2012 / 11:10 PM ET / Wrap Up
By Glenn Odebralski  -
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Panthers Wrap-Up: Predators 3, Panthers 1
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 1 0 0 1
Predators 1 1 1 0 3
FLA - W. Wolski (2)
NSH - A. Kostitsyn (13), M. Fisher (19), D. Legwand (15)
SUNRISE, Fla (AP) - Mike Fisher scored early in the second period and Pekka Rinne made 39 saves in the Nashville Predators' 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

David Legwand and Andrei Kostitsyn also scored, and Kostitsyn added an assist as the Predators won for the fifth time in seven games.

"Goaltending was the difference tonight and it had nothing to do with what went on at our end. The goals that were scored on us, there was a couple of breakdowns but certainly Pekka Rinne earns his keep every time he goes out. He had a heck of a game."

- Head coach Kevin Dineen.
1. Trailing Despite Putting Up Shots: The Panthers found themselves trailing after the opening period but it wasn't for a lack of shots. Florida outshot the Predators 15-6 in the first 20 minutes and had a Tomas Fleischmann shot hit the post that didn't count toward that total. Despite putting on the pressure on Pekka Rinne, the Preds netminder stood tall and Andrei Kostistyn gave the Preds the lead on their third shot of the game. Taking the pass from Paul Gaustad on the rush, Kostistyn fired a wrist shot far side that went in off the pipe 11:35 into the period. Scott Clemmensen got a piece of it but it wasn't enough. It was a strong (shot wise) in rebounding from Thursday night's loss to the Jets.

2. Answering An Early Tally: The Senators got a huge two-goal lead just 28 seconds into the second period as Mike Fisher was set up by Martin Erat while stationed in the slot. It was an all-important two-goal lead, one that the Panthers have fallen victim to in four of their last five games. But the way that the Panthers were playing in the game, you knew they would get one by Rinne. That happened on a pretty passing play on the rush as Fleischmann found Marcel Goc who in turn found Wojtek Wolski for the wide open goal in which no netminder would have stopped. Wolski got the Panthers to within one with his second of the season (third point in five games since coming over in a trade with the Rangers) 7:49 into the second. That livened the Panthers as they put seven more shots on the Predators backstop the rest of the period.

3. The Rinne Wall: One of the NHL's best goaltenders would not let the Panthers beat him again as he finished the game strong with 16 more saves in the final period. Even though David Legwand made it a two-goal game once again 7:02 into the period, Florida came at the Predators with everything once again. They had a lot of energy. They just ran into a great netminder on his game as Rinne turned aside 39 shots on the night. The netminder tops the league in wins (33) and boasts a fantastic 2.33 goals against average and .926 save percentage following the victory.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@Habs_93: Those are the hardest games to watch #FlaPanthers out play the other team and still lose

@tylerdecker: I blame the #FlaPanthers loss on the fact that my Jersey didn't arrive in time.

@parrothead34: The #FlaPanthers have been outscored 10-1 in the past two games. However, I still believe.

@meadowsm: #FlaPanthers we look terrible...injury absences showing a lot. Looking to pickup tomorrow vs #Sens

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Kelly Diaz: Still a pretty good game could have used a bit more. Rinne is a bad a*$ goalie.

Jeff Main: Well, Rinne & Co. came for the win and got it. Congrats Preds. Florida will hopefully start to capitalize on their efforts hopefully sooner then later.

David Stepp: Would be very nice if the Cats had more scorers than shooters. More snipers than grinders. They did face Rinne, but still...

Kevin Moulton: Hard to blame Clem when his team got 1 goal tonight. Nashville is a tough team though.

1. The Panthers almost made it through an entire game without taking a penalty. It would have been the first time they did that this season but it was all for naught as Jason Garrison went to the box with 16.3 seconds left on the clock for hooking.

The Panthers finally got on the board off a nice play with Wojtek Wolski finishing off the rush 7:49 into the second period. It was the forward's second of the season (and with the Panthers) and the Cats second shot of the period.

28. It didn't take long for the Predators to stake themselves to a two-goal advantage as Martin erat set up Mike Fisher in the slot for his 19th of the season just 28 seconds into the second stanza.

40. The Panthers posted 40 shots on net for the 11th time this season but couldn't beat Pekka Rinne except for the Wolski shot. More shots has not meant more points in the standings however as Florida dropped to 2-4-5 when recording at least 40 shots on net.

100. Acquired on Monday in a trade deadline deal with Montreal, Andrei Kostitsyn got the Predators on the goal with their third shot of the game 11:35 into the first period. It was his first goal as a Predator but the 100th of his NHL career.

Pekka Rinne
Gave the Preds a chance in the first to take the lead (15 saves) and then stopped all but one Panthers shot the rest of the night in stopping 39 shots for his 33rd victory.

40 Shots, 39 Saves .975 SV%
Not a lot of time for the Panthers to think about this game as they're right back at it on Sunday with a 6pm start against the Ottawa Senators. Ottawa had Saturday off after falling at home to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday by a 2-1 final. It will be the fourth meeting between the two teams and Florida will be looking for their first victory of the season against their opponents (0-2-1). The Senators are led offensively by forward Jason Spezza (72 points in 66 games) and defenseman Erik Karlsson (66 points in 65 games). For Karlsson, the third year man leads all NHL blueliners by a wide margin in points (23 more than the Panthers Brian Campbell). In goal, former Panther Craig Anderson has seen the majority of the starts this season (54 games, 29-19-6 record) but is out with a hand injury. Robin Lehner has been leaned on in his absence and has faired extremely well, posting a 3-1 record with a .952 save percentage and a 1.51 goals against average.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


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J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
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