While the Predators took a break for the All-Star game, the week remained action-packed for Preds fans. Nashville entered the All-Star break with an impressive 28-11-7 record and currently sits in second place in the Central Division.
In case you missed it, here is what happened last week in the Predators realm.
Subban and Rinne took their talents to Tampa
Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne and defenseman P.K. Subban played for the Central Division All-Star team in Tampa Bay, and they didn’t disappoint. Subban made his second straight appearance as captain of the All-Star team, receiving more fan votes than any other Central Division player. Meanwhile, Rinne made his second All-Star appearance along with Preds head coach Peter Laviolette.
Subban had countless highlights over the All-Star weekend, but none were better than his shootout attempt against Henrik Lundqvist in the Save Streak competition in Saturday’s Skills Challenge. In an attempt to throw off the cold-blooded Lunqvist, Subban threw his glove at the Swedish goalie, but failed to get the puck into the net.
Of course, Rinne performed in the Save Streak competition alongside Subban, but came short of winning the event by one save. Las Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had the edge on Rinne with a remarkable 14 stops in the competition. The next best goalie under Rinne – who had 13 saves – was Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck who had just five saves.
Rinne continued his rock-solid goalie play in the All-Star Game, even though he only played in the first half of the Central Division’s loss to the Pacific Division in the first round. He tallied a perfect four saves on four shots in the 5-2 loss. Although Rinne logged just four stops, one came against arguably the best player in the world.
“I think everybody by now knows how good he is,” McDavid said about Rinne. “It’s unbelievable, fun to watch and for a goalie, too. It’s a great challenge and fun to go against a guy like him.”
The Central Division may have taken a beating at the hands of the Pacific, but not before Subban put a wrister past Calgary Flames goalie Mike Smith on a breakaway. Subban celebrated his All-Star goal with a Lambeau Leap into the bench while his goal song – “In Da Club,” by 50 Cent rang through the arena.
Forsberg to return as soon as Tuesday.
The Predators managed to go 7-1-2 while missing star forward Filip Forsberg, who has the second most points on the team with 34. Forsberg, who missed time due to an upper-body injury, was seen at practice on Monday morning and skated with the first line. Laviolette said the Swedish sniper had “a good day at practice” and even took his non-contact jersey off.
Nashville has 35 games remaining as it stands just one point behind first place in the division. The final push looms for the Preds, and Forsberg will play a big role in their ability to stay competitive for the top spot in the Central Division.
“There’s so much at stake, and I think you really start to feel it as the season winds on and it doesn’t matter where you are,” Laviolette said. “The games are really tight and they’re really tough, so they do ramp up in the second half.”
Nashville returns to action on Tuesday to face its Central Division rivals, the Chicago Blackhawks. The Predators take on the Blackhawks in Bridgestone Arena at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Edited by Ben McKee
Featured image courtesy of NHL.com