Better effort, but Leafs fall in Nashville

Nashville scorers: Jones (4), Weber (11), Fisher (13), Wilson (16)
Leafs scorers: Winnik (4), Kadri (14), Santorelli (10)
Goalies: Hutton (Win), 59:38 minutes played, 25 saves, 3 GA, Bernier (Loss), 53:29 minutes played, 24 saves, 4 GA

After a lackluster performance against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday evening, the Leafs were in Nashville to take on the Predators and were hoping to avoid their tenth straight loss against a team that handed them an embarrassing 9-2 thrashing during their previous meeting in November.

But it didn’t look very promising for the Leafs with the first period underway as Seth Jones scored on a shorthanded breakaway at just past the midway point. The Predators were up by two three minutes later with a power play goal from Shea Weber.

As the game entered into the second period, the Leafs would soon prove that they weren’t out of it just yet and Daniel Winnik got his team within one as the period approached the halfway point. The Leafs seemed to somehow find an offensive spark that has been absent in their previous game and quickly tied the game on a goal from Nazem Kadri in the opening minutes of the third. Mike Santorelli gave his team their first lead of the game less than two minutes later.

But the Predators weren’t going to let the game slip away that easily and Mike Fisher tied the game at three shortly after. Jonathan Bernier had just returned to the game after previously suffering a minor injury. Although the Leafs had several chances to regain their lead, Carter Hutton was outstanding in net and Colin Wilson eventually scored the game’s winning goal late in the period, securing a 4-3 win for the Predators.

The Leafs will have a pair of back-to-back games this weekend that will see them face off against the New Jersey Devils and the Edmonton Oilers.