The Predators lost to the Senators in overtime in Turris’ return to his former home.
MONTREAL — The home team wasn’t the main attraction Saturday.
P.K. Subban, still beloved by a large section of his former city and flourishing with the Predators, received a welcome befitting a returning hero.
The Montreal Canadiens, meanwhile, seem directionless and are perilously close to the bottom of the NHL standings. Fans, to put it politely, are displeased.
So you’ll understand why a scalper outside the arena Saturday afternoon sought takers not for Canadiens tickets, but “Subban tickets.”
The Predators, of course, were more focused on ending their road trip with a victory, which they accomplished 3-2 in a shootout to earn six of eight possible points in four games.
Here are three observations from Saturday’s win:
Subban grabs spotlight
The adoration of Subban in Montreal is limitless.
His Predators teammates sent him onto the ice alone at the start of warmups, then he lingered as usual at the end, drawing effusive cheers from the crowd. Scattered chants of “P.K.” also popped up throughout Saturday’s game. As it intensified, those cheers transformed into boos.
Truth be told, Subban was unspectacular Saturday, doing little to slow his former teammates and at times assisting them with questionable decision-making and shaky defensive play.
Rinne’s ridiculous performance
Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne salvaged the team’s below-average effort Saturday with a 47-save performance, the second-highest total of his NHL career. If not for Rinne, the Predators would’ve been throttled.
Ten of those 47 saves came in overtime — tied for the most in an overtime period since the NHL instituted the three-on-three format in 2015-16 — as the Canadiens beelined toward the crease.
The Predators’ net-front defense was unsteady, leaving them and therefore Rinne susceptible to countless high-danger scoring chances.
In 11 starts during the 2018 portion of the Predators’ schedule, Rinne has a 9-1-1 record, 1.87 goals-against average and .936 save percentage.
Forsberg returns from suspension
Predators forward Filip Forsberg, having finished serving his three-game suspension, rejoined the Predators’ lineup Saturday. Between the suspension and a recent stretch on injured reserve, the Predators have an 8-2-4 record this season without Forsberg, who disagreed with the severity of his league-imposted ban.
Nashville hoped that Forsberg could help to iron out the inconsistencies that cropped up in his absence. Instead, the Predators slogged through another so-so performance on both ends. Forsberg’s neutral-zone giveaway started the sequence that led to Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher’s second-period goal.
The Predators, who trailed after two periods in each of the first three games of this road trip, entered the third period tied Saturday, the result of a late goal from forward Scott Hartnell.
Predators forward Kevin Fiala scored his 18th goal this season with under eight minutes left, but Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin answered with 1:14 remaining.