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Replay plays important role in game

12/14/2003

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Nashville Predators earned a
split decision in goals reviewed by video replay. Then they ended
in a tie with the Florida Panthers.

"It's a big part of the game now, but unfortunately it takes so
long because everything has to go through the league in Toronto,"
Nashville captain Greg Johnson said Saturday night after the 2-2
tie. "It's takes away some momentum from the game."

The Predators were awarded the tying goal on review but were
prevented from getting the winning goal when another replay showed
that Scott Walker batted the puck into the net with his arm.

"They like us in Toronto," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said.
"It is good that they take the time to make the correct call.

"No matter what happens the next shift had got to be a good
one. You can't dwell on the good or the bad."

The Predators pressed hard for the winning goal in the final
minute of overtime. They kept the puck in the Florida end the whole
time and fired several pucks at the net, including a drive by Scott
Hartnell that rang off the right goal post.

"A guy like Hartnell is trying to blast the puck at the net all
the time which is great," Trotz said. "We had a lot of puck
possession."

Nashville took a 1-0 lead when Greg Johnson passed the puck
across the front of the crease to Rem Murray, who was skating in
from the left side. Murray tapped the puck past Florida's Roberto
Luongo at 13:49 of the first period.

In the second, the Panthers needed only 25 seconds to tie it
and take the lead. At 7:35, Marcus Nilson gained control of the
puck along the left half wall and sent it toward the net. Bryon
Ritchie stuck it past Tomas Vokoun on his stick side. Nathan Horton
then scored on a wrist shot to make it 2-1 at 8:00.

The Predators tied it with 1:15 left in the second period
when Martin Erat skated from behind the net and made a wraparound
shot. The puck bounced out after hitting Luongo's skate. After a
video replay, the Predators were awarded the goal as it was
determined the puck crossed the goal line. Erat has points in his
last three games.

"He just stuffed it and I couldn't see if it was in or not
because it was under my pad," Luongo said.

Nashville's David Legwand pulled down Vaclav Nedorost as he
skated toward the net and was awarded a penalty shot at 5:28 of the
period. Vokoun stopped the attempt as the shot bounced off his
chest. Vokoun has faced nine penalty shots in his career and has
saved five.

"I wanted to go high glove, but I didn't go high enough,"
Nedorost said. "Vokoun made a great save."

The Predators thought they regained the lead at 9:00 when
Walker slid on the ice in front of the net and knocked a shot by
Hartnell past Luongo. Walker claimed the puck bounced off his
shoulder, but after a video replay it was ruled that he
intentionally batted the puck into the net.

"I didn't feel my arm hit the puck," Walker said. "We have a
fair bit of equipment on. I hit the puck as I was getting hooked
down, and I hit the ice at the same time.

"The wait was tough. We had a bit of a flow going. When you
wait that long and it's a goal it helps with the flow. When you
wait a long time and it's not one, it can really hurt you."

The Panthers, winners Friday night over Montreal, were pleased
to get three points out of back-to-back games.

"We had a really gritty performance," Panthers coach Rick
Dudley said. "You've got to like Nashville's team. They come hard
at you. They're really good at home."

Game notes
The penalty shot by Nedorost was the first against the
Predators this season. ... Florida's Mike Van Ryn had an assist in
the game to become the Panthers' top defensemen in points with 13.
Nashville's Kimmo Timonen played a team season-high 31:10.
Nashville's Vladimir Orszagh has six points in six games.