Goals have been hard to come by over the past several weeks for James Neal.
While he had been chipping in offensively with assists here and there, Neil entered Saturday afternoon’s tilt against the San Jose Sharks having scored just once in his last 19 games.
However, when presented a sudden opportunity in front of the Sharks net in the second period, he made no mistake.
Colin Wilson picked up the puck on a turnover and dropped it back to Neal in the slot. He buried the shot, giving Nashville the lead, which they would hold on to in a 3-1 victory.
“In the offensive zone, I’ve got to get to the tougher areas,” Neal told the Tennessean last month during his slump. “When you’re not scoring, you’ve got to go to those places to get your confidence and get momentum.”
Though it’s also worth mentioning that Neal wasn’t at all pleased with the officiating late in regulation, when he was called for slashing in the offensive zone, forcing him to sit for a nervous two minutes. His teammates not only managed to escape unscathed, but the Predators got the empty net goal that ultimately secured the win.
This result caps off a three-game swing through California for the Predators.
Looking to maintain their hold on third spot in the Central Division, and with the St. Louis Blues having started up another winning streak, Nashville took four of a possible six points, snapping a four-game losing skid that included back-to-back defeats in overtime or the shootout.