By Amanda DiPaolo
Anders Lindback made his fifth consecutive start Monday night when the Nashville Predators hosted the New York Islanders and recorded his second consecutive shutout. The Predators blanked the Islanders 5-0. It was the first time a Nashville rookie recorded two shutouts in a row. Lindback is now 7-1-2 on the season.
Nick Spaling also registered his first career NHL goal. It took the penalty-kill specialist his 50th game to do it.
The Predators got off to a slow start with New York controlling much of the play in the offensive zone. John Tavares registered two shots on goal in two different shifts before Nashville even got its first shot on goal five minutes into the game.
Once Nashville got on the score sheet, the offense just kept coming. Captain Shea Weber noted the importance of netting some early game goals. “I think it’s huge, especially with our goaltending playing the way it is. We are confident that those guys are going to make some big saves for us and if we can get a couple of goals early and play with a lead it is a lot different than trying to come from behind all game.”
The Islanders were assessed a penalty when Pa Parenteau tripped Predators defenseman Francis Bouillon 10:23 of the first period. It didn’t take Nashville long to capitalized when Sergei Kostitsyn netted his fourth goal of the season with 8:45 left to play, extending his point streak to six games. Franson and Erat collected assists.
Nashville went right back to the power play with 6:47 remaining when Rob Schremp got called for hooking Colin Wilson, but the power play was short-lived. Ryan Suter was called for tripping Frans Nielsen with 5:20 remaining in the period.
Nashville’s penalty kill remained perfect on the night. Joel Ward and Patric Hornqvist were both assessed penalties in the third period for goaltender interference and delay of game respectively. The Predators are now tied for fourth in the league in penalty kill percentage at 86%.
Nashville scored twice in the second period to take a commanding 3-0 lead.
Patrick Hornqvist scored at 14:38 of the middle frame. The real hero of the goal was Shane O’Brien who jumped over Parenteau who had slide on the ice to block the shot. O’Brien, once clear of Parenteau, was able to shoot the puck on net. The rebound was picked up by Hornqvist and he found the back of the net.
Just two minutes later Jerred Smithson netted his third goal of the season making it 3-0 just over two minutes later when Smithson scored his third goal of the season. Kostitsyn and Suter picked up assists.
The third period featured two Predators goals, a first career NHL goal, as well as a potential injury to Sergei Kostitsyn.
Hornqvist made it 4-0 when he took a feed from Franson, shot on goal and collected his own rebound for the wrap-around goal at 13:55 of the final frame.
With five minutes left to play, Sergei Kostitsyn went to the dressing room after taking a Shea Weber shot puck to the foot. Coach Barry Trotz said that Kostitsyn has a bruised foot only and will be ok.
With Frosties already secured for the fans, Nashville was sent to the 5-on-3 man advantage when both Matt Moulson and James Wisniewski were called for high-sticking.
Nick Spaling scored his first NHL goal with 1:45 minutes left to play in regulation. Trotz admitted to putting Spaling and Hornqvist out on the power play in hopes of helping one player get his first career goal or the other to net a hat trick.
At the end of action in the NHL on Monday night, the Predators sat in fourth place, just five points behind Western Conference leading Detroit Red Wings. Nashville is back in action on Wednesday when they host the San Jose Sharks in a battle for positioning in the standings.
Are you looking for tickets to an upcoming Predators home game? Follow this link for discounted tickets. Make an account and then use the word Preds as the code for the discount. Upcoming games include Wednesday when the San Jose Sharks make their first visit to Smashville this year and Saturday when the Kings come to town.