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Top 15 moments of the 2010-11 Preds season: #14

This is a multi-part series where we countdown our Top 15 moments of the Nashville Predators’ 2010-11 season.

He was a 38 goal scorer in junior and he was a point-per-game player during the Kitchener Rangers’ 2008 Memorial Cup run yet it took Nick Spaling 50 NHL games to bag his first NHL goal. On December 13, 2010, the Nashville Predators found themselves with a 5-on-3 power play in the final two minutes of action in a 4-0 game against the New York Islanders. Head Coach Barry Trotz called the 2007 second round pick’s number and he took a rare power play shift for his club. In the final moments of his 50th NHL game, Spaling had the puck on his stick while standing near the goal line and staring at a partially empty net. The goaltender that allowed his first goal? Dwayne Roloson. This was, of course, before he got traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning who are now in the Eastern Conference Final. Trotz later said, when the puck hit the twine, it was the loudest his bench had cheered for any single goal all year. Everyone wanted “Spals” to get one and, when he finally did, it was worthy of celebration. He would finish the season with seven more goals, including two two-goal games and two game winners. For a guy who provided offense his whole amateur career to embrace the two-way, grinding game of professional hockey, it really says something about who he is as a hockey player and who he is as a person. So it’s only fitting that a guy who is the essence of “Predators hockey” be rewarded with a spot on the countdown.

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