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Petrov quickly joins Preds' lineup - The Tennessean
By JOHN GLENNON
ST. LOUIS — Newly acquired Predators forward Oleg Petrov arrived in St. Louis only hours before the opening faceoff last night, but made his debut against the Blues.
Predators Coach Barry Trotz put Petrov on the team's top offensive line with center Greg Johnson and right wing Scott Walker.
The threesome showed some flashes of potential, but predictably also had trouble with chemistry at times. The same happened on the power play, which was one of the reasons the Predators were 0-for-6 with the man advantage.
''I thought Oleg was good, and he was dangerous out there,'' Trotz said. ''He fit in well. He showed a lot of courage and he had some jump.''
The game marked an end to a long day for Petrov, who began his journey in Montreal, switched flights in Detroit, arrived in St. Louis around 4:30 p.m. and headed straight to the rink.
''I'm not used to that,'' said Petrov, who had the Predators' first shot on goal. ''I was feeling a little tired. But it was nice to play, anyway. It's a different system, so it'll take a couple of days to figure out.''
Petrov had struggled offensively at times this season for Montreal, totaling seven goals and 16 assists in 53 games. But he had a combined 41 goals and 47 assists for the Canadiens over the previous two seasons.
He said he was eager to play for Nashville.
''[The Predators] are fighting for a playoff spot,'' Petrov said. ''It's exciting, and they've got a lot of players with skill and speed, and that's the way I like to play.''
Predators defenseman Jason York, who used to play for Ottawa, said he was impressed by Petrov when the two went head-to-head in the Eastern Conference.
''He's a lot like [Sergei] Samsonov in Boston,'' York said. ''He's really quick, he's hard-working and he's a good offensive player. He should help a lot.
''It's nice to see that management has seen how well we've been playing, and is stepping up now that we don't have [David Legwand or Andreas Johansson].''
Predators forward Reid Simpson, a teammate of Petrov's for a short time last season in Montreal, complimented the 5-foot-9, 172-pound forward as well.
''He was a clutch player and he scored a lot of very big goals,'' Simpson
said. ''He sort of reminds me of a cross between Vladimir Orszagh and Denis
Arkhipov. He's hard to get the puck away from the corners like Vladdy,
and he has the kind of skills to go right through you like [Arkhipov].
He can definitely be an impact player.''