Erat Scores Twice In Predators Fifth Straight Victory

By Amanda DiPaolo

The Nashville Predators extended their winning streak to a season-high five games by beating the New Jersey Devils 3-1. Martin Erat scored twice, both goals on the power play. Sergei Kostitsyn extended his career high points streak to 8 games, tying a franchise record set by Ryan Suter. The Predators have collected at least a point in 10 straight games, tying the franchise record.

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 17: Travis Zajac of the New Jersey Devils takes the shot against Anders Lindback of the Nashville Predators at the Prudential Center on December 17, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Travis Zajac couldn’t get anything passed Anders Lindback (Photo: Yardbarker.com)

With the win, Anders Lindback moves to 9-1-2 on the season. Lindback has been taking the place of starting netminder Pekka Rinne who has been out with a knee injury. Nashville also played without Cody Franson who has returned to B.C. for a family funeral and will also not play Saturday night.

New Jersey, coming off a win Wednesday night against Phoenix, decided to keep their same lines intact, including a new top line of former Predators captain, Jason Arnott, centering Ilya Kovalchuk and Dainius Zubrus.

In the first period, Nashville and New Jersey exchanged power play opportunities but not goals.

Just 1:30 minutes into the game, Nashville got their first power play opportunity of the night. Anton Volchenkov was called for elbowing Cal O’Reilly. Nashville registered the game’s first shot on goal but was unable to sustain any real pressure with the man advantage.

At 13:42 of the opening frame, Alexander Sulzer got called for hooking. Nashville killed off the penalty.

With under a minute left Rod Pelley hit the post, but Nashville was able to clear the puck leaving no rebounds. As the puck went down the other end of the rink Nashville would open scoring with only 17 seconds left to play. Shea Weber shot the puck from the point and it was redirected by Steve Sullivan who was standing in front of Martin Brodeur.

In the second period, Nashville found themselves back on the power play early when Pelley took down Sulzer and got called for tripping. After having killed off the last 20 man advantages, New Jersey’s streak would end when Martin Erat beat Brodeur top shelf on the glove side to make it 2-0 Predators.

Before the period would end, the Devils had an opportunity to get within one when Kovalchuk was able to undress Weber and had Lindback beat, but Kovalchuk hit the post.

Just 4:32 into the third period, Zubrus was called for hooking Jordin Tootoo in the offensive zone and the Predators were sent to the power play. It didn’t take long for Erat to notch his second of the night, and fifth of the year, when Erat tipped in a shot from Suter at the blue line. Sergei Kostitsyn picked up an assist on the goal extending his point streak to eight games. The goal came just 23 seconds into the power play.

New Jersey did get on the board. Colin Wilson was called for hooking at 5:30 into the final frame. With Wilson in the box, Mattias Tedenby’s wrist shot beat Lindback.

Nashville registered 20 shots on goal to the Devils 16 shots, a season low for New Jersey.

Steve Begin made his Predators debut after being called up from Milwaukee. Begin took a minor penalty for holding and registered no shots on goal in 7:47 of ice time.

The Predators will have the opportunity to extend several season, career, and franchise high records when they return home to host the Los Angeles Kings Saturday night. Game time is at 7 pm CT. Tickets are limited but still available.

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Topics: Anders Lindback, Cody Franson, Dainius Zubrus, Ilya Kovalchuk, Jason Arnott, Los Angeles Kings, Martin Brodeur, Martin Erat, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, NHL, Patric Hornqvist, Pekka Rinne, Ryan Suter, Sergei Kostitsyn, Shea Weber, Steve Begin

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