Predators hang on to beat Bruins 5-3
Smith scores twice to lead Predators over Bruins 5-3
By JIM DIAMOND, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Craig Smith scored twice and added an assist to lead the Nashville Predators over the Boston Bruins 5-3 on Monday night.
Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist, and Nick Bonino and Filip Forsberg also scored for Nashville, which has won three of four. Pekka Rinne made 36 saves.
Charlie McAvoy, Zdeno Chara and David Pastrnak had the goals for Boston, which won its previous two games.
Smith scored the game's first goal at 1:26 of the opening period. Boston goalie Anton Khudobin stopped Alexei Emelin's slap shot from the left point, but Smith was positioned in the slot to bang home the rebound.
Smith struck again with 17.4 seconds remaining in the first.
From the left point, Mattias Ekholm sent a pass to Smith in the slot, sending him in on a partial breakaway. Smith beat Khudobin high to the glove side with a wrist shot for his 11th of the season.
Bonino made it 3-0 at 2:15 of the second.
Bonino won a faceoff back to Viktor Arvidsson at the top of the left circle. Arvidsson's shot hit Colton Sissons and the puck bounced to Bonino on the left side, where he had a virtually open net to put in his fifth of the season.
Fiala's goal at 4:10 spelled the end of the night for Khudobin. He allowed four goals on 14 shots and fell to 7-1-2 this season.
Tuukka Rask made 10 saves in relief.
McAvoy got the Bruins on the scoreboard at 10:14 of the second on a power play. From behind the Nashville net, Danton Heinen sent a pass to McAvoy at the right faceoff dot, where he beat Rinne with a one-timer low to the far side.
Boston made things interesting early in the third, getting goals from Chara and Pastrnak 1:15 apart to draw within one less than six minutes into the period.
Forsberg responded 34 seconds after Pastrnak's goal to put the Predators back in front by a pair of goals following a timeout called by Nashville coach Peter Laviolette.
NOTES: Nashville D Yannick Weber returned to the lineup after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury. ... Predators C Ryan Johansen missed the game with an upper-body injury. ... Smith scored 12 goals in 78 games last season. ... Boston RW David Backes had an assist, giving him 500 points in his NHL career.
Bruins: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.
Predators: At the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.
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