Pekka Rinne made 27 saves and Colton Sissons had his first career hat trick as the Nashville Predators beat up on the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-1 in Tampa last night. Tyler Johnson scored for the Lightning, who went 2-2-1 on a five-game homestand. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 13 shots.
The Lightning got off to a tough start again as Mike Fisher scored his 11th goal at 2:25. The power play goal was assisted by Mattias Ekholm (13) and Ryan Johansen (21). Fisher was left all alone on the back post and one-timed a shot into the open net past Andrei Vasilevskiy. That was the 26th time in 40 games the Bolts have allowed the first goal.
The period ended 1-0 in favor of Nashville. Shots were 5-4 in favor of the Lightning.
The second period saw the Preds go up 2-0 on Filip Forsberg‘s ninth of the season, assisted by Kevin Fiala (3) and Ryan Johansen (22) at 3:56. Vasilevskiy would sure liked to have that one back as he just missed it with his glove.
Nashville’s Colton Sissons scored his third of the season at 12:21 assisted by Mike Fisher (11). Sissons beat Vasilevskiy from the edge of the right circle. Another on Vasilevskiy should have had. At this point the Predators had three goals on seven shots.
Nashville challenged the call on the ice of goalie interference that negated a Ryan Ellis goal. The call was overturned and the refs deemed it a good goal by Ellis. Coach Cooper then challenged the play claiming offsides. The challenge was ruled inconclusive and the Preds went up 4-1 on Ellis’ fifth at 14:04. Tampa Bay lost their timeout. Assists went to Colin Wilson (11) and Roman Josi (16).
The second period ended 4-1 Nashville. Shots were 15-11 Lightning.
The third period saw the Lightning apply intense pressure but without reward.
The Bolts pulled Vasilevskiy with seven minutes remaining and down 4-1.
Colton Sissons scored an empty netter to make it 5-1 Preds. It was Sissons second of the night and fourth of the season.
Sissons scored again to give him the hat trick and make it 6-1 Nashville at 17:00.
Shots ended up 28-19 in favor of Tampa Bay.
Jon Cooper: “They had 24 blocked shots. That’s a lot. That’s more than shots they had.”
Victor Hedman: “You’re not going to see this team fold. You’re going to see this team rise to the occasion. We’ve seen it so many times before.”
Tyler Johnson: “I know we’ve been saying this for a while. Talk is cheap. We really do have to (start playing better).”
The Bolts finished 4-2-1 on the seven game home-stand. They are now 19-17-4 on the season.
Tampa Bay will travel to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers at 1:00 PM Saturday.