Alex Stalock and the Minnesota Wild were close to gutting out a sixth consecutive win on Sunday, but the Nashville Predators ended up slipping by them 3-2 in the shootout.
From the second period on, Nashville generated a 35-17 shots on goal advantage, yet they found themselves down 2-1 in the final frame. It seemed like Stalock was going to steal a victory for the Wild despite the often-lopsided play, but Filip Forsberg sent the game into OT with a 2-2 goal with just 4:19 left.
As you can see, it was quite the individual effort from Forsberg:
Neither team could find the net during overtime, even with nifty moves from the likes of Kyle Turris, so the game eventually required a shootout. While Ryan Johansen‘s eventual shootout game-winner ultimately stood, it would need a review, playing into the night’s theme of little coming easily between these two teams.
With the win, the Predators move to 38-25-5, giving them 81 points in 68 games played. They’re only one point behind Winnipeg (39-22-4, 82 points in 65 GP) after the Jets put a big dent in the Blue Jackets’ playoff hopes, but the Jets’ three games in hand argues that Winnipeg remains the favorite to win the Central Division crown.
Seeing a five-game winning streak end, particularly in what was close to a win, has to hurt for Minnesota. Still, this was an important point. They’re now at 32-27-7 for 71 points in 66 GP, remaining in the West’s second wild-card spot, two ahead of Arizona (though the Coyotes have a game in hand that could boil this down to tiebreakers). The Avalanche are pretty close behind, as well, so this could be a very close race in the West.
Again, falling short in this one isn’t ideal for Minnesota, yet making the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs might come down to squeeze out points – if not wins – in tough situations, like facing the formidable Predators with limited rest.