Predators win: Weber hero in OT

It was cold, inside and outside, until 12-year veteran star defenseman Shea Weber scored his second goal of the game 17 seconds into overtime to lift the Nashville Predators over the Dallas Stars last Thursday night. All of a sudden, it warmed up, as fans hugged and high-fived one another in celebratory fashion. Final score: 3-2. Weber is on a super hot streak right now. He’s recorded 13 points in his past 13 games—four goals, nine assists. With that win, Nashville tied the Ducks for most points in the NHL. They are also 16-2-1 at home so far this season and first in the Central division.

An overturn of a Filip Forsberg ‘wrister’ late in the third period was the reason for the overtime. With a little over three minutes left, officials huddled while the video goal judge referred to the monitor. It was determined ‘no goal’

because Predators forward Craig Smith basically held down Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen, so that his compadre Forsberg could shoot into an empty net. The play was somewhat humorous, but Stars coach Lindy Ruff wasn’t laughing. Although Smith was pushed into Lehtonen by Stars defenseman Jason Demers, Smith pinned Lehtonen down and didn’t let go until the score horn sounded. Predator fans were upset, but it was clearly the right call.

The Stars had their chances, but Pekka Rinne wasn’t having it, stopping seven shots in the final period and smothering a slap shot, on his back, from Dallas’ Tyler Seguin really late in the contest. Dallas couldn’t get anything else past the goalie. They would not beat Rinne again after tying the score 2-2 with 1.6 seconds left in the 2nd period. You couldn’t get any closer than that. Rinne ended the game with 18 saves. Lehtonen ended the game for the Stars with 21 saves, but couldn’t stop Weber’s 10th goal of the season when it hit him right in the shoulder, bouncing over into the net.

In his NHL debut, Miikka Salomaki scored the first goal of his career for the Predators off of his own rebound. Midway through the second period, Salomaki got the puck, nearly scoring on a breakaway that Lehtonen stopped, but Lehtonen was unable to stop that quick second attempt, that gave Nashville a 2-1 lead. The rookie, Salomaki was just called up from Milwaukee.

Roman Josi had two assists on this night; one of which came on Weber’s winner. That marked Josi’s 100th point of his career.

Dallas had been 4-1-1 in its previous six games. After starting out a bit sluggish, Stars center Jason Spezza and Trevor Daley scored the two goals for the Stars. The Stars missed a chance to score with the man advantage late in the second period while Craig Smith had to sit in the box for interference. However, just after the power play ended, Spezza would score a ‘wrister’ to end the period.

“We’re giving up points in overtime. That’s obviously hurting us in the standings,” Spezza said.