Bourque makes NHL debut in Predators 2-1 shootout win over Wild
The Nashville Predators snapped a two-game losing skid when they beat Minnesota 2-1 in a shootout. The loss was the eighth in a row for the Wild who are 0-5-3 during that span.
Gabriel Bourque made his NHL debut for the Predators, taking Blake Geoffrion’s place in the lineup. Geoffrion was sent down to Milwaukee of the American Hockey League. In his first game, Bourque played 8:05 and was on a line with Jerred Smithson and Matt Halischuk.
Head Coach Barry Trotz was impressed with the debut of the 21 year old forward and said Bourque’s low ice-time was not indicative of his performance. “That’s bad coaching by me. He played really well. I think he was really hard on the puck. I can guarantee you this, if he plays like that, which I expect him to, night in and night out, he’s going to play a lot more,” Trotz said.
The game was scoreless after 40 minutes, but it would be Nashville who got on the board first. Jordin Tootoo scored his sixth goal of the year when he redirected a Jon Blum shot from the point past Minnesota netminder Josh Harding at the 7:00 minute mark of the third period.
Dany Heatley tied the game with only 4:01 left in regulation. Heatley’s 11th of the season was scored on a wrap-around beating Pekka Rinne.
The Wild had four shots in overtime. Nashville didn’t register any shots on goal during the extra time. In the shootout, no Wild shooter was able to beat Rinne, though two skaters failed to even register their shot on goal.
Colin Wilson beat Harding in his second ever shootout attempt to give the Predators the much needed two points in the increasingly tight Western Conference standings.
Wednesday night’s game was the fifth consecutive sellout at Bridgestone Arena. It was also Ryan Suter’s 500th NHL game.
The Predators will now face the Blues on Friday night when they travel to St. Louis. The Blues are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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