Four unanswered Nashville Predators' goals propelled them to a 4-1 victory over the Dallas Stars Monday night at Bridgestone Arena on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Nashville struggled scoring early with two goals waved off after entering the net. The first one came at 3:06 into the game with Shea Weber ripping one by Kari Lehtonen, who fell down due to goaltender interference with David Legwand's stick.
Dallas capitalized on the negated goal 1:36 later with Cody Eakin's power play goal. Eakin's goal would be the only goal allowed by Carter Hutton, who made key saves and key times. Hutton made thirty-five saves, including nineteen in the first, in the win.
The second waved off goal was at 10:11 after Paul Gaustad tried to poke the puck across the goalline with Lehtonen having it covered. The puck never appeared to go in, however referee Wes McCauley said it entered in after the whisle blew.
Nick Spaling gave the Predators their first credted goal at 11:35 into the first period off a rebound from Roman Josi's one-timer. David Legwand setup the play with his good vision in finding Josi at the point.
With 2:44 remaiing in the opening period, Shea Weber snapped one by Lehtonen with traffic in front for the eventual game-winner.
The second period was quite slow until Kevin Klein gave the Predators an energy boost after a fight with Antoine Roussel at 16:58.
Just eighteen seconds later, Roman Josi set a career high goal mark (6). Josi not only set a career high goal mark, he also notched his career high in assists (14), on Spaling's goal, and points (20).
Entering the second period, Nashville held a 14-0-2 record when leading after two periods. They made it fifteen with the insurance goal from Mike Fisher at 3:46 into the third period, which was generated from the speed of Colin Wilson.
Nashville now starts a four-game western Canadian road trip Thursday against Vancouver, then Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg.
– The job is now Carter Hutton's to lose. The acquisition of Devan Dubnyk to hopefully improve the goaltending is not of use right now, although I'm sure it will be sometime during this upcoming road trip. Hutton's stellar performance Monday and his winnable showing last Thursday in Philly now gains favor from Trotz. In Vancouver, you can pretty much ink in Hutton's name as the starter.
– After two goals being waived off, Nashville's resiliency showed. Many teams would have checked out mentally and struggled to respond back. However, they were able to muster up four unanswered goals. A mentally strong Preds' team is something that has been missing as of late. Now, we see it and they are winning.
– Antoine Roussel is a little pest that gets on my nerves. After getting wailed on by Kevin Klein earlier, he wanted a piece of Patric Hornqvist as well. Hornqvist said something and then laughed in his face while being shoved.
DAL 1-0: PP Cody Eakin – Peverley and Whitney at 4:45 in the 1st
NSH 1-1: Nick Spaling – Josi and Legwand at 11:35 in the 1st
NSH 1-2: Shea Weber – Nystrom and Bourque at 17:16 in the 1st
NSH 1-3: Roman Josi – Gaustad and Nystrom (2) at 19:28 in the 2nd
NSH 1-4: Mike Fisher – Wilson and Hornqvist at 3:46 in the 3rd
NSH: Carter Hutton (W) – 35 saves on 36 shots; played 60:00
DAL: Kari Lehtonen (L) – 19 saves on 23 shots; played 60:00
My Three Stars
1. Carter Hutton: 35 saves
2. Roman Josi: Goal, Assist and +3
3. Shea Weber: Goal and +3
Line Up Report
Predators scratches: Ekholm
Predators starters: Wilson, Fisher, Hornqvist, Ellis, Klein and Hutton
Stars scratches: Benn and Nichushkin
Stars starters: Cole, Garbutt, Fiddler, Daley, Connauton and Lehtonen