Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne continued his outstanding play, stopping all 23 shots he faced in a 1-0 win over the New York Islanders last night. Rinne, technically considered a rookie, improved his record to 7-1 to go along with a 2.31 GAA and .912 save percentage. Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz will be forced to go back to Rinne in the net when Nashville travels to Florida on Tuesday night.
December 21, 2008
Preds keep up defensive effort
Rinne completes his third shutout in last five games
By Jessica Bliss
A game against the defensively defective New York Islanders wasn’t enough to turn the Predators’ offensive struggles around, but getting a win Saturday helped to forget the scoring woes for a moment.
Nashville winger Vern Fiddler scored the game’s only goal in the first period and gave the Predators a 1-0 win over the Islanders in front of 16,457 fans at Sommet Center.
It was the second consecutive game in which Fiddler collected the team’s only goal and marked the fifth time in the last seven games that the Predators had been held to a single score.
“As long as we’re winning there is less frustration,” Predators Coach Barry Trotz said.
Backup goaltender Pekka Rinne kept Nashville on top, turning away all 23 shots and collecting his third shutout in his last five appearances.
It was a much-needed goaltending performance for a team that has scored just 84 goals (2.6 per game) this season. That total ties the Predators with Minnesota for the fewest goals in the Western Conference.
The Islanders have let in a league-high 120 goals this season (3.6 per game), and have lost nine consecutive games.
“Peks (Rinne) kept us in there every second of the way,” said Predators Captain Jason Arnott, who skated in his 1,000th career game Saturday. “We are struggling on the goal department right now, but we are finding ways to win and that’s what we have to do right now.”