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Predators vs. Capitals Plus/Minus: Glass Goes Down, Tomasino Vindicated



Photo of Roman Josi, left, Philip Tomasino, center, and Michael McCarron by John Russell/Nashville Predators

Owners of the longest win streak in the NHL, the Nashville Predators stayed red-hot with a 3-1 win over the Washington Capitals at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday night for their fourth straight win.

Colton Sissons, Philip Tomasino and Yakov Trenin each scored goals while Juuse Saros stopped 21 of 22 shots for his 10th win in his last 11 games.

With every game you take the good with the bad, so here’s a look at what went right and what didn’t in the Predators’ win Saturday night.

(+) Tomasino ends his goal drought

For 15 games, Tomasino had some of the worst puck luck of any Predators skater. His shots were blocked, deflected or stopped, his shooting lanes closed, his breakaways stifled and his scoring chances come up empty. His last goal came on Nov. 9 against the Winnipeg Jets, and even that was a result of being in the right place at the right time more so than anything else.

But his game-winner against the Caps was different. He was perfectly in place to gather a puck that Cole Smith had poke-checked toward the blue line. As he skated toward Capitals goalie Charlie Lindgren, Tomasino admitted he pulled out a go-to move from his junior league days that helped him notch his second goal of the season and break a four-week, five-day goal-less streak.

(-) Cody Glass possibly injured, again

With just 13 seconds in regulation, Glass beat two Capitals defenders for a loose puck just as he entered the offensive zone and looked to have a golden opportunity for an empty-net goal. Dylan Strome, however, had other plans.

He dug his stick into Glass’ right shoulder and pulled him backward as he tackled him to the ice. Glass stayed down on the ice for a bit favoring his shoulder, and once he made it back to the bench, he was hunched over in visible pain. He’s missed 18 games this year with two separate injuries, and the last thing he needs is to miss even more time with a third.

(+) Saros looks to be hitting his stride

Many were concerned when Saros, a notoriously slow starter, had won just 30% of his starts and had a goals-against average north of 3 through the first four weeks of the season.

But his performance over the last 11 games has been a night-and-day difference from his first 13 games. He won just four of those 13 games compared to 10 of the last 11, and his .891 save percentage improved to .932 while his 3.24 goals-against average dropped to 2.04. It’s no secret the Predators go as Saros goes, and now that he’s appeared to settle into a groove, the Predators should expect to be in the win column more often than not.

(+) Sissons flying under the radar

Brunette has been given credit for unlocking Filip Forsberg’s scoring prowess and helping Ryan O’Reilly turn back the clock, but perhaps his greatest work this season has been what he’s done with Sissons.

The 30-year-old center ranks third on the team in goals (10), and he’s set new career highs in short-handed goals (3) and power-play goals (2) while playing more minutes than he ever has (16:39 per game). Sissons is also just five goals and 14 points away from tying his career highs with more than 60% of the season still left to play.

Follow Michael Gallagher on X/Twitter @MGsports_