Stars fall 2-0 to Predators in Nashville
Forsberg also ended his own 16-game skid with his first goal since Jan. 30, and Duchene scored his first since Feb. 15 to move the Predators back to the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot at least for the moment.
Juuse Saros made 32 saves for his third shutout this season and the 10th of his career.
The Predators opened with a moment of silence before the national anthem for the 24 victims of tornadoes that swept through Tennessee early Tuesday morning. Coach John Hynes and his assistants also wore “Nashville Strong” T-shirts instead of shirts and ties under their blazers as the Predators sold the T-shirt to make money for relief efforts.
The Predators avoided a possible season sweep by the Stars, who won the first two games. The teams meet again for the final time this season on Saturday in Dallas.
Dallas, which beat Nashville in six games in the first round of the playoffs last spring, currently is third in the Central Division. The Stars have lost four straight, though they got a point out of the previous two.
This was the first game in the NHL this season with both starting goaltenders under 6 feet with Saros in net for Nashville and Anton Khudobin for Dallas — with both listed at 5-11.
But Nashville led 1-0 after Forsberg, who shot wide off a cross-ice pass from captain Roman Josi with about 2 minutes left, scored from the right circle with 53 seconds left off another pass from Josi. Dallas defenseman John Klingberg, who came in with eight penalties all season, had two in the first. He was in the box for holding Forsberg, setting up the man advantage the Predators forward scored on.
Saros, who made a big stop on Jamie Benn in the first period, made a flurry of saves late in the second. First, he stopped a backhander from Alexander Radulov, then Mattias Janmark‘s wrister before Joe Pavelski‘s wraparound try to preserve the 2-0 lead. He made nine saves in the third to preserve the shutout and improve to 9-4-0 in his last 13 starts.
NOTES: Forsberg now has 164 career goals, all with Nashville. That put him third on the franchise’s all-time list, passing Martin Erat (163 goals), who Nashville traded to Washington for Forsberg. … Defenseman Korbinian Holzer made his Nashville debut after being acquired in a deadline trade. … The Predators improved to 24-6-4 when scoring first and 19-2-3 when leading after two periods.
Stars: host Nashville on Saturday night.
Predators: visit the Stars on Saturday night.
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