Subban does it all in Predators' win vs. Blackhawks
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[October 15, 2016]
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- P.K. Subban
did it all Friday night.
He scored a goal. He moved the puck up ice with speed and skill. He
was a physical presence, adding a new element to a potentially
burgeoning rivalry between the Nashville Predators and Chicago
And after Nashville finished off a 3-2 win at sold-out Bridgestone
Arena, Subban even took charge of the postgame media scrum,
instructing teammates Ryan Johansen and Roman Josi to take their
turns before he did.
"He's a passionate person," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said of
Subban. "He's passionate in life and he's passionate on the ice. He
had a great game."
Acquired from the Montreal Canadiens on June 29 in a blockbuster
one-for-one trade that sent former Nashville captain Shea Weber to
La Belle Province, Subban wasted little time putting his stamp on
his new team.
His first shot as a Predator beat Corey Crawford at 7:46 of the
first period, after which Subban did his trademark fist pump low to
the ice while the crowd of 17,256 roared at a level which would have
suggested a playoff game rather than a mid-October matchup.
"I wasn't even thinking about anything like that," Subban said. "I
just wanted to play hard and fast, and do what the coaching staff
asked me to do. It'd been almost six months since I played a real
game that meant something."
Subban's marker established the game's leading trend -- Chicago
(0-2-0) taking penalties and Nashville taking advantage of them in
its season opener. All of its goals happened with the man advantage,
and all occurred off the same sequence, a point blast which found
the net's backside either on its own or with help.
Roman Josi aped Subban's point blast at 16:33 of the first period as
the Blackhawks ceded entirely too much room for Josi to beat a
screened Crawford and tie the game at 2.
Thirty-six seconds after Artem Anisimov took a minor for delay of
game, Josi ripped a slapper that newly-minted captain Mike Fisher
deflected past a helpless Crawford at 16:36 of the second period,
breaking the game's last tie.
"They looked great all week in practice," Laviolette said of the
power play unit.
It obviously carried over to the game. Center Ryan Johansen drew
assists on all three goals, drawing defenders toward him before
distributing the puck to the point for Subban and Josi to bomb away.
While the guys who the Predators expect to score mostly did so, the
guy they need to stop shots did so when it mattered most. After
allowing two goals on Chicago's first three shots, Pekka Rinne
stopped the last 21 he faced, including four in the final 1:46 when
the Blackhawks had a 6-on-4 advantage with an empty net after Subban
was called for interference.
[to top of second column]
players celebrate after a win against the Chicago Blackhawks at
Bridgestone Arena. The Predators won 3-2. Mandatory Credit:
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
"I thought we had some dangerous looks that didn't develop," Chicago
coach Joel Quenneville said of the last power play.
Marcus Kruger and Niklas Hjalmarsson, who returned to the lineup
after sitting out Wednesday night's season-opening 5-2 loss to St.
Louis because of a suspension, potted goals for the Blackhawks.
Crawford (0-2-0) came up with 24 saves.
While Johansen was the first star and Josi the second, it was
Subban's debut in Nashville that colored the entire evening. He made
a grand entrance at the arena, walking through a line of fans about
two hours prior to faceoff clad in a royal blue suit and gold pants.
And after the game, when Subban followed Johansen and Josi into a
huge media scrum that featured multiple members from Montreal, he
wore a chain around his neck, given to the player the team felt
worked the hardest during the match.
"My job is not to make it easy on them," Subban said. "Being an
offensive player who likes time and space, I know how hard it is
when someone is in your face."
NOTES: Chicago scratched D Michal Roszival, D Trevor van Riemsdyk
and C Dennis Rasmussen. Van Riemsdyk was minus one in the opener
against St. Louis and took two minors, with the Blues scoring on
both. ... Nashville scratched D Yannick Weber and C Cody Bass. ...
Blackhawks RW Marian Hossa needs just one goal to reach 500 in his
career and nine assists to notch 600 for his career, which would
make him the 32nd player in NHL history to accomplish that feat. ...
With Weber, D Roman Josi and LW Kevin Fiala on the roster, the
Predators are only the second team in league history with three
Swiss-born players on their roster.
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