Sunday, February 19, 2012

Preds hold on to beat Dallas despite lackluster third period

The Nashville Predators got back to their winning ways on Sunday night at American Airlines Center when they defeated the Dallas Stars by a 3-2 score. Pekka Rinne made 22 saves on 24 shots to help improve Nashville's record to 34-19-6.

Michael Ryder got the Stars off to a good start in the first period when he was able to fire a wrist shot from the slot past Rinne for the first goal of the game. Mike Ribeiro took the puck behind the Nashville net and brought two defenders with him. He was able to get the puck to Ryder for the easy goal.

Nashville would respond with a goal of their own at 15:39 of the first period when Gabriel Bourque tipped in a shot by David Legwand from the boards. The Predators took a 2-1 lead on a dramatic goal from Shea Weber with 0.1 second remaining in the first period. Weber's goal was reviewed, but it was upheld.

Colin Wilson gave the Predators a 3-1 lead in the second period with a beautiful backhand goal that beat Kari Lehtonen. Wilson made a great individual effort to keep the puck on his stick, and was able to shoot the puck through traffic for the goal.

Dallas made a serious push in the third period. The Stars controlled the play for the majority of the period, firing 11 shots on goal at Rinne. Alex Goligoski was able to put one past Rinne to bring the Stars within one goal at 15:11 of the period. Nashville was able to hold on for the victory, but their lackluster play in the third period almost cost them two points.

With the win, the Predators(74 points) pulled with five points of the St. Louis Blues(79 points), and stayed three points ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks(71 points) in the Western Conference Standings. The Predators have a four-game homestand coming up, which gives them a huge opportunity to collect points. The first game of the homestand will be on Tuesday night against the Vancouver Canucks.

Hockey Night in Nashville's 3 Stars of the game:
1. Shea Weber(NSH)
2. Matt Halischuk(NSH)
3. Colin Wilson(NSH)

Official 3 Stars:
1. Shea Weber(NSH)
2. Michael Ryder(DAL)
3. Pekka Rinne(NSH)

(Photo Credit: Leanne Charles)

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