for this game

Suter, Predators rally to top Penguins, snap skid

Jan 9, 2009 - 5:45 AM
By Jim Diamond PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- The Nashville Predators took an unorthodox route to end their five-game losing streak.

Defenseman Ryan Suter scored a power-play goal midway through the third period to snap a tie and punctuate a comeback in which the Predators erased a three-goal deficit en route to a 5-3 triumph over the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.

Martin Erat, David Legwand and defenseman Greg Zanon each recorded a goal and an assist and Jerred Smithson also scored for the Predators, who netted just seven goals during their slide and had not recorded more than three since November 28.

Captain Jason Arnott notched a pair of assists for Nashville.

"It's a huge win for us," Arnott said. "We have a long way to go, and this isn't the end of it, but it is something to build on and get our confidence going."

Petr Sykora, Jordan Staal and Maxime Talbot scored and All-Star Sidney Crosby registered two assists for the Penguins, who have lost six of seven games and 12 of 17.

"You can't cut corners, and for us, we didn't play well enough throughout the whole game," Crosby said. "We didn't deserve to win the hockey game."

Nashville claimed the lead for good at 9:04 of the third, when Suter's slap shot deflected off Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton in the low slot before sailing past goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for his fourth goal of the season.

"When we got down early, we were on the bench wondering if anything else could go wrong," Suter said. "At the end of the game, I couldn't believe it - we were finally celebrating again."

Zanon sealed the win with an empty-netter in the final minute.

Sykora opened the scoring with 5:42 left the opening period. In the high slot, Crosby found Sykora in the right faceoff circle, where he quickly corralled the puck and fired a wrist shot that beat netminder Dan Ellis high to the stick side.

Staal and Talbot scored 21 seconds apart early in the second to give Pittsburgh a seemingly commanding 3-0 lead.

However, Erat's 10th goal of the season at 7:57 of the middle session began a run of five unanswered tallies for the Predators. Erat skated to the front of the net and lifted a backhander over the glove of a diving Fleury to get Nashville on the board.

"I think that is what can change the season for us," Erat said. "We were down and out in a five-game losing streak, and to come back to win says something about this team."

Less than six minutes later, Erat carried the puck down the left wing and sent a pass to Legwand, who one-timed it by Fleury from the low slot for his seventh goal.

"We were down 3-0, Marty got one, then we got another one on the shorthanded goal. It was obviously a big lift," Legwand said. "It was a great pass by Marty, and it was nice to get a goal and get back on the sheet."

Smithson forged a tie with 55 seconds remaining in the period.

"If we would have been smart, we would have made better decisions," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "Right now, we find ways to always let the (other) team in the game. I am disappointed."

Ellis allowed two goals on seven shots before being replaced by Pekka Rinne, who made 17 saves.

"The only reason I did that was to try to change our luck and slow things down for a second," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said of making the goalie change. "It wasn't anything about how Danny Ellis played."

"It feels great to battle back and get the win," Rinne said. "We've been playing well the last few games, and now it seems to be paying off."

The Predators outshot the Penguins, 30-10, over the first two periods.








  • ** CONFIRMED **
    NHL
    PITTSBURGH 3
    NASHVILLE 5

    Jan 8 10:43 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 3
    NASHVILLE 5
    3RD PRD: NAS - (EN) GREG ZANON 3 (UNASSISTED) 19:37

    Penguins 3, Predators 5  3rd - 0:23Jan 8 10:40 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 3
    NASHVILLE 4
    3RD PRD: NAS - (PP) RYAN SUTER 4 (RYAN JONES, SHEA WEBER) 9:04

    Penguins 3, Predators 4  3rd - 10:56Jan 8 10:21 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 1 2 3
    NASHVILLE 0 3 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - PETR SYKORA 16 (SIDNEY CROSBY) 14:18
    2ND PRD: PIT - JORDAN STAAL 12 (TYLER KENNEDY, SIDNEY CROSBY) 3:29
    PIT - MAXIME TALBOT 5 (MATT COOKE) 3:50
    NAS - MARTIN ERAT 10 (DAVID LEGWAND, JASON ARNOTT) 7:5

    Jan 8 9:46 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 3
    NASHVILLE 3
    2ND PRD: NAS - JERRED SMITHSON 3 (JOEL WARD) 19:05

    Penguins 3, Predators 3  2nd - 0:55Jan 8 9:45 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 3
    NASHVILLE 2
    2ND PRD: NAS - (SH) DAVID LEGWAND 7 (MARTIN ERAT) 13:32

    Penguins 3, Predators 2  2nd - 6:28Jan 8 9:36 PM
  • 20
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Penguins 3, Predators 1  2nd - 10:10Jan 8 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 3
    NASHVILLE 1
    2ND PRD: NAS - MARTIN ERAT 10 (DAVID LEGWAND, JASON ARNOTT) 7:57

    Penguins 3, Predators 1  2nd - 12:03Jan 8 9:23 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 3
    NASHVILLE 0
    2ND PRD: PIT - MAXIME TALBOT 5 (MATT COOKE) 3:50

    Penguins 3, Predators 0  2nd - 16:10Jan 8 9:22 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    NASHVILLE 0
    2ND PRD: PIT - JORDAN STAAL 12 (TYLER KENNEDY, SIDNEY CROSBY) 3:29

    Penguins 2, Predators 0  2nd - 16:31Jan 8 9:17 PM
  • 10
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Penguins 1, Predators 0  2nd - 19:55Jan 8 9:12 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 1 1
    NASHVILLE 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - PETR SYKORA 16 (SIDNEY CROSBY) 14:18
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PIT 5 5
    NAS 13 13
    GOALIES: PIT - MARC-ANDRE FLEURY
    NAS - DAN EL

    Jan 8 8:51 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    NASHVILLE 0
    1ST PRD: PIT - PETR SYKORA 16 (SIDNEY CROSBY) 14:18

    Penguins 1, Predators 0  1st - 5:42Jan 8 8:40 PM
  • 5
    roots
    davipilo Added 5 roots

    Penguins vs. PredatorsJan 8 8:27 AM