Predators 3, Canadiens 0
If Pekke Rinne knew just how he and the Nashville Predators keep shutting down the Montreal Canadiens' offense they'd gladly face them more than once a season.
Rinne made 30 saves for his second shutout, Marcel Goc scored twice and the Nashville Predators ended Montreal's four-game winning streak with a 3-0 victory Thursday night.
Rinne got his 16th career shutout, blanked Montreal for the second time in just over a year. He made 20 saves in a 3-0 home victory over the Canadiens on Nov. 14, 2009.
''I wish there was an answer but I guess it's luck,'' Rinne said. ''We played the same way last year and this year we played really well as a team and that's the story behind it, I guess.''
Goc, who opened the scoring early in the second, got his second goal of the game 11:17 into the third to put Nashville up by three. Francis Bouillon and Kevin Klein assisted on both goals.
Cal O'Reilly scored earlier in the third for the Predators, who have won three of four following a five-game losing streak.
''It was big for us,'' Goc said. ''We wanted to show ourselves that we are able to play against teams like that and we don't just try to adapt to their game, we want to make them adapt to our game as well and I think we were able to do that for a little bit today.''
Carey Price, who recorded his second shutout in four games Tuesday, made 27 saves for Montreal.
''We just didn't have it,'' Canadiens captain Brian Gionta said. ''The jump wasn't there, the emotion wasn't there, we were just kind of flat right from the beginning and it obviously showed. We weren't crisp on our passes, we weren't making the smart play, we were back on our heels pretty much all night.''
Nashville's David Legwand left in the first period with a lower-body injury. Legwand was hunched over as he skated off the ice to the dressing room after he was checked into the boards by Montreal defenseman Roman Hamrlik. He did not return.
''It's nothing major,'' Predators coach Barry Trotz said. ''We'll just take it day to day but he shouldn't miss too much time, if he does.''
Goc scored 1:19 into the second to give the Predators a 1-0 lead. Former Canadiens defenseman Bouillon fed a centering pass from behind the goal line in the left corner and Goc beat Price with a backhand for his fourth goal.
''Franky came down the boards and made a nice play to me in front,'' Goc said. ''I just spun and it went in the net.''
Rinne came up with a big stop later in the period on Jaroslav Spacek, who suddenly found himself alone in the slot after a turnover in the Predators' zone with the teams skating four aside.
O'Reilly made it 2-0 with his fourth goal 8:55 into the third when Steve Sullivan's centering pass from the right side went in off him as he drove the net. A video review upheld the goal.
Goc, who scored in Nashville's 5-4 loss in Toronto on Tuesday night, made it a three-goal lead 2:22 later when he got his fifth of the season with a long wrist shot past Price into the top left corner.
''I think they played a pretty simple, sound style,'' Canadiens left wing Michael Cammalleri said. ''I would assume they're pretty happy with the way they played but I think that we've got some disappointed people in this room with the way we played tonight, for sure.''
Spacek left with 2:13 left in the third after he fell face first into the top of the boards in front of the Canadiens' bench. The Montreal defenseman was penalized on the play for tripping Patric Hornqvist, who also fell awkwardly into the boards.
NOTES: Rinne ranks second on Nashville's career shutouts list. Tomas Vokoun set the Predators' record with 21 shutouts from 1998-2007. ... Bouillon was given a warm ovation when he was introduced as the game's third star. ... The Canadiens recalled D Yannick Weber from Hamilton of the AHL earlier in the day. He did not play.