Despite getting 12 power-play opportunities in the first two games of the first round, the Nashville Predators haven been unable to score with the man advantage against the Detroit Red Wings. You might shrug that kind of information off as something that’s to be expected.
After all, the Predators don’t have a James Neal, Evgeni Malkin, Corey Perry, or Steven Stamkos on their team. In fact they only had two guys who finished the season with over 20 goals and neither of them reached the 30-goal mark. So how good could they really be with the man advantage? Very.
The Predators ranked first in the NHL with a 21.6% power-play success rate in the regular season. Over a fifth of their goals were scored with the man advantage. So when they can’t capitalize on their opportunities, it’s a big deal.
Nashville’s success partially comes from its depth, but it’s also thanks to the magic Shea Weber and Ryan Suter can work if either one of them touches the puck in a special team’s situations.
By contrast, Detroit struggled during the regular season in power-play opportunities and they haven’t been remarkable when it comes to killing penalties either.
One of the clear advantages that the Predators had going into this series was their ability to take advantage of another team’s mistakes. If you take that away from them, then it’s hard to see them getting past the first round.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.