Tomas Fleischmann got the first good chance of the game, stealing the puck in the neutral zone and skating around two defenders before rocketing the shot off the post at the three minute mark.
At the seven minute mark, Florida was awarded the first power play of the night when Mike Fisher was called for holding Tomas Fleischmann in the Florida zone. The Cats managed to get one shot on goal, but the Preds easily killed off the chance, clearing the puck out three times.
Nashville would get on the board first at the 11 minute mark when Andrei Kostitsyn (13) beat Scott Clemmensen on the Predator’s third shot of the game. This despite the Panthers outshooting Nashville 10-3 up to that point. Clemmensen has allowed four goals on the last 11 shots he has seen. Paul Gaustad received credit for an assist.
Mike Fisher doubled the Nashville lead less than a minute into the second, banging the puck over Clemmensen’s glove side on a Martin Erat feed from behind the net.
Wojtek Wolski (2) scored the Panthers first goal in five periods on a cross ice pass from Marcel Goc. Tomas Fleischmann collected the secondary assist on the play.
Sergei Kostitsyn slashed Sean Bergenheim at the 12 minute mark to give the Panthers their second power play opportunity of the game. Florida kept the puck in the Nashville zone for the entire first minute of the man advantage, as the Predators only cleared the puck once, by accident. Bergenheim would retire to the dressing room, as the Panthers failed to convert. Bergenheim shortly rejoined the on-ice action.
Jordin Tootoo gave the Panthers another chance when he tripped Brian Campbell at the 17 minute mark. Aside from a few Jason Garrison shots, the Panthers couldn’t generate any action on the scoreboard.
David Legwand scored his 15th in the third on a breakaway chance, easily beating Clemmensen at the seven minute mark. Assists were earned on the play by Patric Hornqvist and Andrei Kostitsyn.
Florida pulled the goaltender with two minutes remaining, but everything the Cats threw at Pekka Rinne was easily turned aside. Jason Garrison gave the Predators their first power play of the night with 16 seconds remaining when Jason Garrison hooked Martin Erat to prevent a sure goal.
Hits: Tied, 22-22 (Gabriel Bourque led Nashville with four, Tyson Strachan had four for Florida)
Blocked Shots: Panthers, 11-9 (Hal Gill and Rudi Josi each had two for the Preds, Keaton Ellerby and Erik Gudbranson each blocked two for the Cats)
Faceoffs: Panthers, 34-25 (Paul Gaustad won 15-of-22 for the Preds. Marcel Goc and Stephen Weiss each won half of their faceoffs, combining to split their 34 chances)
Shots On Goal: Panthers, 40-23 (Tomas Fleischmann and Wojtek Wolski each took five shots for Florida, David Legwand led Nashville with five)
Score: Predators 3, Panthers 1