Predators knock Tuukka Rask out of game, beat Bruins 2-1 (Jan 12, 2017)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Nashville Predators know they need to start making a move up the Western Conference standings.
They hope winning back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 19 and 20 is a start.
Filip Forsberg scored with 2:24 left in the second period, and the Predators beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 on Thursday night after Bruins' All-Star goalie Tuukka Rask was knocked out of the game.
''It was a test for us, and we showed up and we played our hearts out and got two points and that's what we came here to do,'' Forsberg said.
It was a costly game for each team with Rask playing only 12:49 before going to the locker room, while Nashville defenseman Roman Josi, whose slap shot hit Rask in the throat, played 5:52 before taking a high hit from Anton Blidh that pushed his stick into his own face.
''I thought it was late and dirty,'' Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said about Blidh's hit a couple minutes after Rask was hurt.
Rask, named an All-Star on Tuesday for the first time in his career, took a puck off Josi's slap shot near the bottom of his mask at his neck. Rask immediately shook off his right glove and pulled his mask off. Once he got up, Rask skated to the bench and went straight to the locker room. He was replaced by Zane McIntyre.
''He wasn't well enough to come back, and we'll see moving forward how he does,'' Bruins coach Claude Julien said.
Austin Watson also scored a goal for Nashville, and Juuse Saros made 35 to improve to 4-3-1.
Torey Krug had a power-play goal for Boston.
Both teams came in 2-2-1 over the past five games with the Predators playing their last game in Nashville before heading out on a five-game trip, and the Bruins wrapping up a four-game swing of their own.
The slap shot was the third shot Rask faced, then McIntyre faced only three more himself the rest of the first period. This was just McIntyre's fifth career NHL appearance, and he now is 0-3-1.
The Predators managed only one shot in the final 4:29 of the period after Blidh was given a 5:00 major for interference. Blidh hit Josi high, dropping the defenseman to the ice. Josi didn't return with what the Predators called an upper-body injury, leaving Nashville without its top two defensemen with All-Star P.K. Subban on injured reserve.
The Bruins started the second by killing off the penalty, then Watson scored his fourth goal this season from in front at 1:02 of the period. It was Watson's third straight game with a goal, a career-best. The Bruins tied it up at 8:08 off a wrister from Krug near the blue line when Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson cleared the puck straight to the defenseman for his third goal this season.
Forsberg put Nashville ahead skating up and past Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo. He kicked the puck to his stick, then beat McIntyre for his 10th goal with a wrister.
''It's almost like he knew what he was doing the whole way in,'' Laviolette said. ''He was just waiting for the right time to get off a quick shot
Saros made that stand up as he made stop after stop, including smothering a shot from David Pasternak in the final minute with McIntyre pulled for an extra attacker. Saros now has allowed a goal or less in six of his eight starts.
NOTES: Nashville improved to 13-0-4 when scoring first and 15-0-4 when leading after two periods. ... Predators forward Craig Smith played in his 400th career game. ... Forward Derek Grant made his Nashville debut after being claimed off waivers from Buffalo on Wednesday. ... The Bruins scratched defenseman Colin Miller. ... The Bruins have scored at least one power-play goal in eight of their last 11 games.
Bruins: Host Philadelphia on Saturday.
Predators: Start five-game trip Saturday at Colorado.