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Game of firsts still not good enough for win…

Unlike his first NHL game, this was probably exactly what Colin Wilson had in mind for his first NHL goal.

In front of his friends and family in his hometown, the Nashville Predators rookie slammed the puck over the goal line for his first ever tally as a professional. It was the go-ahead goal at the time but, unfortunately, it didnt hold up as the Predators lost their sixth game of the season (and sixth in a row) by the score of 3-2 to the Boston Bruins.

Since Saturday, the Predators have looked like a completely different team than they did in the three games before. And not just because of the close final scores either. Sure both games finished with the final score of 3-2 in favor of their opponents, but the overall intensity and resiliency has been present, unlike the previous three contests.

And they haven’t been without some adversity too. Not only did they have to regain confidence after being blasted 6-1, 6-0 and 3-1 in consecutive games, but Barry Trotzs club found themselves without some key players since the road trip began. Defenseman Dan Hamhuis has been out since Saturday with a concussion and, on Wednesday night, they skated without captain Jason Arnott who’s dealing with an upper-body injury.

Arnott is slated to be out for at least the entire road trip.

But the young guys picked up the slack. Patric Hornqvist extended his team lead in points (7) by registering an assist, rookie Wilson scored his first goal, recent call-up Cody Franson earned his first NHL point and Cal OReilly created some good chances while skating on the top line with veterans Steve Sullivan and JP Dumont.

Wilson’s goal wasn’t the only first for the Preds as Jerred Smithson became the first forward not playing on the top line (sans Martin Erat’s own goal against Chicago of course) to score for Nashville. Recent free agent signee Dave Scatchard, who hasn’t played in an NHL game since January 27, 2007, donned a Predators sweater for the first time on Wednesday. And, in a personal triumph, defenseman Kevin Klein was not on the ice for a goal against his team for the first time since last Wednesday.

The Predators wont get a day off between games as they’ll skate against the Senators in Ottawa tomorrow night.

Puck drops at 6:30pm Central. The game will be seen on FSN-TN.

* Tough guy Wade Belak got less than 2:00 of ice time in what was his 500th career NHL game.
* David Legwand played his best game of the young season so far. He was all over the ice, earned an assist on the first Preds goal and even dove in front of a Zdeno Chara slapper to register a blocked shot. The only area he seemed to struggle in was the face-off dot, clicking at only 33%.
* Nashville was able to avoid the penalty box for the first 42 minutes of action, but then took two infractions back-to-back. Boston, however, couldn’t convert on the power play either time.
* Sullivan finished the game with a minus-2 rating despite showing good chemistry with his line mates and leading his team in shots (4).
* Dan Ellis, in probably his most average outing of the season, allowed three goals on 27 shots.