Tolvanen gets 1st NHL goal, Predators beat Blackhawks 5-2

“That’s a goal I’m going to remember my whole life,” Tolvanen said. “It was a great pass. I was kind of alone with the goalie and I tried a backhand and it went in.” ”

— Eli Tolvnen

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Eeli Tolvanen scored his first NHL goal and added an assist to lead Nashville to a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.

Tolvanen, the 30th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, got his first goal 3 1/2 minutes into the game. On the left half wall, Smith sent a backhand pass to Tolvanen alone in the low slot, where he sent a backhand over Ward’s glove to push Nashville’s lead to 2-0. “That’s a goal I’m going to remember my whole life,” Tolvanen said. “It was a great pass. I was kind of alone with the goalie and I tried a backhand and it went in.”

Tolvanen gets 1st NHL goal, Predators beat Blackhawks 5-2 at the NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. ( Photo: Mike Strasinger)


Tolvanen was recalled from Milwaukee of the AHL earlier Saturday after Filip Forsberg, the team’s leading goal scorer, was placed on Injured Reserve with an upper-body injury that will sideline the Swede for 4 to 6 weeks.

Nashville was already without forwards Viktor Arvidsson and Kyle Turris and defenseman P.K. Subban, who all are on IR. Center Nick Bonino missed Saturday’s game with illness. Anthony Richard was also recalled Saturday and arrived at the arena late in the afternoon in time to make his NHL debut.

“It’s different when you lose one,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. “When it was just (Arvidsson), it was. ‘Alright we’ll juggle it up a little bit,’ but I still think that there was a real belief that we were going to be successful tonight. Opportunity for guys like Eeli, like (Anthony) Richard coming up here. I thought he played a good game.”

Craig Smith, Kevin Fiala and Ryan Johansen also each had a goal and an assist, and Austin Watson added an empty netter for the Predators. Pekka Rinne stopped 19 shots.Nashville was motivated after a 3-0 loss to Arizona on Thursday night.”We had a tough practice yesterday, everybody was pretty angry,” Fiala said. “Today we (brought) it to the game and everyone was still (upset) about the last game and it was a great response.”Brandon Saad and Artem Anisimov scored for Chicago, which has lost three straight.

Cam Ward finished with 24 saves.Johansen’s power-play goal at 4:11 of the first made it 3-0.

Fiala attempted a wraparound on the right post but the puck sailed wide to Johansen positioned on the left post and he scored his fifth of the season.”We haven’t started well lately and we’re trying to figure out a way to correct that and it’s just not happened.”

Nashville Predators center Calle Jarnkrok (19) of Sweden, and Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brandon Manning (23) battle for the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

On a rare 7-minute power play for the Predators, including two full minutes of a 5-on-3, the teams traded goals, with Saad scoring short-handed with 7:40 left and Smith on the power play with 6:25 remaining to make it 4-1.”We got energy from the penalty kill,”Chicago coach Jeremy Colliton said. “It seemed like we got the desperation and the urgency that we needed when we were in that spot.”

The lengthy man-advantage was a result of Duncan Keith being assessed 29 minutes in penalties, including a game misconduct, at 7:18 after taking exception to a check that Predators forward Miikka Salomaki delivered to him on the right boards.

Anisimov scored the only goal of a relatively quiet second period. Brandon Manning drew three Predators to him in the left circle before firing a pass to an unchecked Anisimov in the slot, where he beat Rinne on the glove side to pull Chicago within two.

Watson added his empty-netter with 2:54 remaining in the third.Fiala scored the game’s first goal at 2:11 of the opening period. From the left point, Matt Irwin threw the puck into traffic in front of the Chicago net. In the low slot, Fiala grabbed the puck, spun around and beat Ward low on the stick side.

NOTES: Laviolette earned his 200th regular season victory with Nashville. … Predators C Anthony Richard made his NHL debut. … Nashville is 6-2-0 against fellow Central Division teams this season. …Chicago is 2-12-1 when giving up the first goal. .. Anisimov has scored in consecutive games for the first time this season.

Arvidsson scores 2 as Predators hold off Islanders 4-3

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NEW YORK (AP) — Viktor Arvidsson and the Nashville Predators are happy to be headed home after sweeping a season-opening trip to New York.

Arvidsson scored twice and the reigning Presidents’ Trophy-winning Predators held on for a 4-3
victory Saturday night, spoiling the Islanders’ home opener.

“We got what we came here for and a great start for the season,” Arvidsson said. “Excited for the home opener (against Calgary on Tuesday night), come home to Nashville and play for our fans.”

Mattias Ekholm and Craig Smith also scored, and P.K. Subban had two assists for the Predators, who beat the Rangers 3-2 at Madison Square Garden in the season-opener Thursday night.

“We did a great job coming off that first win. t’s never easy on a home opener and we had to face two of them so it’s good to get out here with the four points and go home.””

— Nashville Head Coach, Peter Laviolette

“We did a great job coming off that first win,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. “It’s never easy on a home opener and we had to face two of them so it’s good to get out here with the four points and go home.”

Juuse Saros, starting in place of reigning Vezina Trophy winner Pekka Rinne, finished with 26 saves for the Predators.

Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assisst, and Valtteri Filppula and Anders Lee also scored for the Islanders, who were trying to win new coach Barry Trotz’s home debut. Josh Bailey had two assists and Thomas Greiss stopped 19 shots.

“We play like that, most nights we’ll be fine,” Lee said. “They just played a better game”

Trotz led Washington to the Stanley Cup championship in June before leaving in a contract dispute. He was then hired as coach of the Islanders to replace the fired Doug Weight after New York missed the playoffs for the eighth time in 11 seasons. The Islanders opened the season with a victory in Trotz’s debut, 2-1 in overtime at Carolina on Thursday night.

“We handled their speed well, our overall execution was good and we defended well,” Trotz said. “Overall, a good effort. We just didn’t get the result.”

New York outshot Nashville 22-11 over the final two periods and had several chances at the tying goal in the third, but couldn’t beat Saros.

“We have great goaltending on this team and they’re doing a great job back there,” Arvidsson said. “We’re trying to help them as much as we can. Sometimes they do amazing saves. It’s good to have them.”

Trailing 2-1 after one period, the Islanders tied it early in the second. Tanner Fritz deflected a shot by Filppula that bounced off both posts, and Filppula tapped it in from in front of the goal line on the right side at 2:46.

However, Smith put the Predators up 3-2 as he got a pass from Kyle Turris and fired it from between the circles off the post and in with 6 1/2 minutes left.

Nashville Predators left wing Viktor Arvidsson (33) scores a goal past New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Arvidsson got his second of the night with 3:18 to go in the middle period from the right side to make it 4-2.

Lee, named the Islanders’ 15th captain in franchise history earlier in the week to replace the departed John Tavares, pulled New York within one with 29 seconds remaining in the second. Bailey’s pass deflected off Lee’s skate and then Saros’ pad before Lee knocked it in.

Arvidsson got the Predators on the scoreboard first as he passed the puck to himself between his skates while he got around defenseman Ryan Pulock, skated in and beat Greiss for his first 3:42 into the game.

“I thought I had (Roman Josi) on a 2-on-1 like last game but he was cutting behind me,” Arvidsson said. “So I figured I’d try to catch him (Pulock) standing still … and managed to do that and nice to see it go in.”

New York then tied it on a goal awarded after a video review with just under 8 minutes left in the opening period. Josh Bailey stripped the puck from Subban behind the net, sent it out in front to Barzal at the right side and the reigning Calder Trophy winner as the league’s top rookie put it between Saros’ legs. The goalie appeared to smother the puck with his pads, but the review showed his pad was across the goal line.

Ekholm regained the lead for Nashville as he beat Greiss from the top of the left circle with 3:04 left.

NOTES: Turris has 11 assists and 15 points in 20 games against the Islanders. … The Islanders and Predators conclude the two-game season series Oct. 13 at Nashville. … Islanders C Brock Nelson played in his 400th game. … Filppula, in his first season in New York and 14th in the NHL, has 10 goals and 27 points in 50 games against te Predators. … Trotz was Nashville head coach for the franchise’s first 15 seasons and holds the franchise records for games coached (1,196) and wins (557) — putting him third all-time in NHL history in both categories with one franchise.


Predators: Host Calgary in their home opener on Tuesday night.

Islanders: Host San Jose on Monday.


Follow Vin A. Cherwoo at


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Nashville Predators Central: The Highlights from the 2017-2018 Season

As a member of the prestigious news service, Associated Press, the Hillsboro Globe is honored to announce it will be providing coverage of the Nashville Predators for the 2017-2018 season.

In this gallery, fans will find highlighted  game coverage from this season. Click on photo and both story and images will appear.

Forsburg follies continue with his second All-Star shot of the playoffs; Rinne’s shut out sets up Predators to force Game 7

Nashville Predators’ P.K. Subban (76) celebrates his goal against the Winnipeg Jets during the second period of Game 4 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Thursday, May 3, 2018. (John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP)

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Filip Forsberg, Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators showed they aren’t ready for their season to end yet.

Forsberg had two goals and an assist, Rinne stopped 34 shots for his second shutout of the playoffs, and the Predators beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-0 on Monday to force a decisive Game 7 in their Western Conference semifinal series.

“Desperation,” Rinne said after his fifth career playoff shutout. “It just shows that we have a really tight group.”

Viktor Arvidsson also scored twice, including a late empty-netter, and added an assist for the Predators. Roman Josi and Ryan Johansen each had two assists.

After the Jets’ top line combined for eight points in a 6-2 victory in Game 5 in Nashville to take a 3-2 series lead, the Predators No. 1 trio of Forsberg, Arvidsson and Johansen did the same when it mattered most.

“It’s the most fun,” Forsberg said. “You can never have more fun than playing these elimination games. … Just try to enjoy it as much as possible.”

Connor Hellebuyck stopped 25 shots for the Jets.

Game 7 in this series in which neither team has won consecutive games is Thursday at Nashville, Tennessee, with the winner advancing to face the expansion Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference final. Each team has also won twice on the road.

“It’s been back and forth, up and down,” Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice said. “It’s probably right that it’s going seven.”

The Jets finished 0 for 4 on the power play, including three chances in the first period.

“The power play is probably just a microcosm of the way we played,” Winnipeg center Paul Stastny said. “We probably weren’t moving as well or as sharp as we wanted.”

With the Predators up 1-0 after one period, Forsberg doubled the lead at 8:44 of the second on a great solo rush for his sixth of the postseason. After breaking his stick in the defensive zone blocking a shot, the Swedish forward raced to the bench to get a new one as the puck almost simultaneously arrived at his feet. Forsberg stayed onside, fought off Jets defenseman Ben Chairot and beat Hellebuyck short-side before crashing into the net.

Winnipeg had made an earlier push coming out of the first intermission, with Paul Stastny’s shot just wide being the best chance after Mathieu Perreault’s dump in hit the linesman and caromed into the slot. Stastny also missed from a tight angle off the boards on the follow up on Rinne.

After Forsberg made it 2-0, Rinne was there to stop Adam Lowry with his pad before just getting a piece of Mark Scheifele’s shot on an abbreviated 2-on-1 to keep Nashville up by two.

The Jets got their fourth power play of the night early in the third, but Scheifele fired wide on the best opportunity.

Forsberg then took a pass from behind the net, played it between his own legs and beat Hellebuyck for his second of the night and seventh of the playoffs at 5:55.

“I don’t think there’s any question that Fil’s a big-game player,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. “(The second) goal was just good work by their line, but he had to finish it off. Let’s be honest, none of us in this room can make that play. … You’ve got to give him a lot of credit.”

With Hellebuyck pulled for an extra skater, Arvidsson scored into the empty net with 4:02 left to seal Nashville’s win.

Nashville took the lead just 62 seconds into the first period to quiet the usual rowdy, white-clad crowd at Bell MTS Place on Arvidsson’s fourth. The speedy winger crashed into the end boards after being taken down by Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. Arvidsson briefly complained to the referee before getting back in the slot just in time to make a defensive deflection of a blast from Josi that looked destined to hit him directly in his head as he dropped to the ice.

Referee Wes McCauley initially waved off the goal that bounced past Hellebuyck for high-sticking, but it was determined after video review that Arvidsson’s stick was below the crossbar on the tip.

The Predators and Jets finished with the two best records during the regular season — Nashville had 117 points to win its first Presidents’ Trophy, while Winnipeg was right behind with 114 points.

Rinne, Preds rebound with 2-1 win vs Jets to tie series at 2

 May 03, 2018 11:45PM

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Pekka Rinne made 32 saves, P.K. Subban and Ryan Hartman scored and the Nashville Predators held off a late charge by the Winnipeg Jets to win 2-1 on Thursday night and even their second-round series through four games.

Patrick Laine, after a full three periods of frustrated stick banging on the ice, scored off a face-off in the final minute, but Nashville’s Nick Bonino won two key face-offs after that to end it.Connor Hellebuyck stopped 27 shots, but Nashville snapped Winnipeg’s 13-game home winning streak, which dated to March 2.Rinne allowed five goals amid a series of defensive miscues in a 7-4 Game 3 defeat.

He rebounded impressively behind a team that was much sharper in its own end.The Jets found far less space in the neutral zone, but also saw a couple of golden opportunities bounce over their sticks.

Laine is experiencing his first playoff series of his career, and every round is a first for him. His frustration grew in the 4th game as the checks were closer and every player on both teams had to work that much harder because with each playoff game the intensity increase. Laine was seen arguing with the referees, throwing his stick into the ice, and spent a good portion of the game complaining until his score late in the 3rd.

A shot by Winnipeg Jets’ Paul Stastny (25) is stopped by Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) as Scott Hartnell (17) defends during the first period of Game 4 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Thursday, May 3, 2018. (John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP)

The Predators led 1-0 after the first period and stretched their lead with 5:24 left in the second when Subban blasted a one-timer on Nashville’s first power play.Booed by the thunderous white-clad crowd every time he’s touched the puck the last two games, Subban seemed to feed off the noise. It was Subban’s third goal of the series after being held without one in the first round.

The Jets had a couple of great chances to tie it earlier in the period. Kyle Connor missed on a pass from Bryan Little in the slot on a power play, and Mark Scheifele let the puck skip over his stick on a 2-on-1 with Blake Wheeler moments before Subban silenced the crowd with his goal.Laine scored on a 6-on-4 with 50.2 seconds left in the third — his third of the playoffs and first of the series — but the Predators held on from there to wrestle back home-ice advantage.

Nikolaj Ehlers was back on the Jets’ top line alongside Scheifele and Wheeler after switching spots with Connor following Tuesday’s disastrous opening 20 minutes when Winnipeg fell behind 3-0. Connor once again skated with Laine and Paul Stastny.Nashville opened the scoring with 2:40 left in the first when Hartman scored his second of the playoffs off a scramble in front.

An attempted clear by Winnipeg’s Ben Chiarot in front instead went off defense partner Tyler Myers and directly to Hartman, who beat Hellebuyck up high.The teams traded chances earlier in the period, with Hellebuyck stopping Roman Josi and Scott Hartnell on 2-on-1 breaks, while the butt end of Rinne’s stick stopped Josh Morrisey’s backhand chance along the ice at the other end.


Notes: The Jets inserted winger Joel Armia into the lineup after he missed the first three games of the series with an upper-body injury.

Rookie forward Jack Roslovic was a healthy scratch. … Hartnell stepped in for Kevin Fiala, who scored in double overtime for Nashville in Game 2.

The Predators also dressed defenseman Yannick Weber in place of Alexei Emelin.

Forsberg carves up the Avalanche, scores twice in 3rd leading the Predators to 5-2 Game 1 win


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Filip Forsberg scored twice in the third period and the Nashville Predators rallied to beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 on Thursday night in Game 1 of the first-round Western Conference series.

The Predators were ready for a big party having won their first Presidents’ Trophy and looking for the Stanley Cup lost in six games to Pittsburgh last June.

The Avalanche simply wanted a big win on a stage their franchise hadn’t seen since 2014, and the youngest roster this postseason outplayed the defending Western Conference champs early.

Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9), of Sweden, celebrates after a second score in the third period against Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jonathan Bernier (45) during Game 1 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. ( Photo/Mike Strasinger)

Pekka Rinne made 25 saves, including a handful on Colorado’s Hart Trophy candidate Nathan MacKinnon.

Austin Watson had a goal and an assist for Nashville, which has won 11 straight over Colorado. Craig Smith and Colton Sissons scored a goal apiece, and Ryan Johansen had two assists.

Nikita Zadorov and Blake Comeau each scored a goal for Colorado.

Forsberg, who led Nashville with 64 points in the regular season, gave Nashville its first lead of the game at 3-2 when he redirected a shot from captain Roman Josi past Jonathan Bernier at 6:08 of the third. Then Forsberg made it 4-2, passing the puck through his legs skating by rookie Samuel Girard before beating Bernier with 7:50 left.

Game 2 is Saturday afternoon in Nashville.

This series featured a team that won a record 53 games during the regular season and Colorado, which had to win its regular season finale to squeak into the postseason a point ahead of St. Louis. The Avalanche came in with only 14 players having any playoff experience, and their most season player Colin Wilson was on Nashville’s roster a year ago.

Fans filled the arena more than 30 minutes before the puck dropped, waiting for a pregame video that included a giant curtain that dropped down over the ice for a giant video board. Rascal Flatts handled the anthem as the Predators continued their tradition of big stars stepping in for the postseason, and two catfish hit the ice almost as soon as the last note ended.

Colorado scored on its first official shot as Rinne didn’t appear to see Zadorov’s wrister with the puck going over his glove at 6:36 off assists from Mikko Rantanen and MacKinnon.


The Predators were a bit sloppy early.

The team that led the NHL in penalties took two late in the first, including giving Colorado 19 seconds of a 5-on-3. Rinne seemed to settle the Predators down with a big save with 20 seconds left in the period, stopping Tyson Jost’s shot from the slot before sticking his right skate to the postwith MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog trying to pounce on the puck.

In the second, Rinne got help from Matt Irwin clearing J.T. Compher’s shot, and the Predators tied it up at 1 on a wrister from Watson that squeezed over Bernier’s left shoulder and the post at 3:14. The goal was being announced when Comeau got a stick on Carl Soderberg’s shot from the point to give Colorado a 2-1 lead at 4:51.

Rinne came up with his best save with 2:24 left in the second with Rantanen on a breakaway. The goalie spread out and stuck his right leg out, stopping the puck with his pad.

Sissons capped the scoring with an empty-netter with 1:57 left.

NOTES: Nashville had been 12-14-5 after giving up the first goal and 8-10-2 when trailing after the first period in the regular season. But the Preds were 11-1-2 when tied after two periods. … Watson and Smith each had their fifth career goals of the playoffs.


Game 2 is Saturday in Nashville.

Nashville Sounds 2018 Schedule

“Wrap it up, we’ll take it”: the Nashville Predators accept President’s Trophy –

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Nashville Predators presented the President’s Trophy to the largest sold out crowd in the history of the Bridgestone Arena, wrapping up a regular season of play that is symbolically setting up a play-off season of high expectations.

The franchise’s first Presidents’ Trophy brought a fan intimacy to center ice that has been a hallmark of the club for the last 20 years. And though the house was rockin’ with pride, it was definitely not the hardware the fans of Nashville hope to see hoisted in center ice a few months down the road. It’s time to chase the hardware the Predators really want: The Stanley Cup.

The President’s Trophy is given to the team who wraps up the season with the best overall record in the NHL. “It’s definitely a good regular season for us, definitely something we can be proud of,” Josi said. “But now the real work and the real fun starts.”

The Predators accepted the Presidents’ Trophy before the game from NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and took a moment to remember the moment with a team photo on the ice. Fans then chanted “We want the Cup” for the defending Western Conference champs who lost the Stanley Cup in six games to Pittsburgh last year.

Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said he’d never coached a team that won the Presidents’ Trophy before.

This night was to remember all the personal milestones, including David Poile notching the most NHL games by a general manager, an accolade acknowledged earlier in the season. “It was nice to take a minute just to acknowledge that,” Laviolette said. “Our guys are proud of it. They worked really hard this year. They stayed focused for the entire year. It’s all been part of a vision of something bigger than what happened tonight.”

Indeed it has been a season of firsts through out this entire year.

The Nashville Predators are having a record breaking season this year, coming off of a 10 win streak, here are just a few of thier current accomplishments in the 217/18 season.

Other records and firsts for the franchise this season include:

  •  1st Central Division title.
  • A regular-season Western Conference crown.
  • The Presidents’ Trophy as the League’s top point-getter.
  • Franchise records in points and victories. And they’re still not done.
  • Nashville Predators team has ever recorded 117 points
  • Best home record posting a 66-21-13 record
  • The Predators sold out their 102nd straight game with a franchise record 17,594; this streak began  almost two calendar years ago
  • Pekka Rinne earned his 300th career game
  • Predators went nearly a month scoring a point in every game, for a streak of 15.
  • Nashville’s 15-game point streak

Filip Forsberg scored three goals for Nashville’s first hat trick of the season, and the Predators finished off the best regular season in franchise history by beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 Saturday night.

Goalie Pekka Rinne made 22 saves through two periods before being replaced by Juuse Saros. Rinne finished 42-13-4 this season.

The Predators scored three goals in the first period with Watson starting the scoring at 7:52 of the first and Forsberg adding a pair on the power play.
Forsberg scored on a snap shot at 11:04. Then he got his 26th goal of the season just before the buzzer for a 3-0 lead with a shot from the right circle that went off the post and then Korpisalo into the net. Officials reviewed the play, which crossed at 0.4 seconds before the end of the period.
With Korpisalo pulled, Forsberg got the hat trick with an empty-net goal with 39.4 seconds left as fans celebrated by tossing the giveaway visors onto the ice.
Forsberg tied his career high with 64 points and also became Nashville’s scoring leader for the regular season with Viktor Arvidsson (61 points) scratched.
Anderson got his 19th goal at 7:55 of the second, and Dubinsky pulled Columbus within 3-2 with a short-handed goal at 7:20 of the third.”We played a pretty good game,” Dubinsky said. “Obviously, we gave a couple power-play goals to them there in the first, got down 3-0 two a really good team.”

NOTES: Defenseman P.K. Subban played his 82nd game, the only player on the Nashville roster to play every game this season. … The Predators improved to 41-4-6 when scoring first and 23-4-4 when leading after one period. …

Blue Jackets: Face Washington in the first round of the playoffs.
Predators: Hosting Colorado in Game 1 likely Thursday

The Nashville Predators extend point streak to 15 and clinched bid to Playoffs!

DENVER  — The Preds are in!

The Nashville Predators didn’t break out the bubbly or anything rowdy like that after becoming the first NHL team to clinch a playoff spot this season.
“Business as usual,” defenseman Ryan Ellis said of the low-key celebration that included some pizza. “Back to work.”

With their win against Colorado, the predators are first in going into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Monday night’s win against the Sabres extends the point streak with the Pred’s win, 4-0.

Pekka Rinne earned another shutout with 35 saves.

In addition, The Predators only need fewer than 10 more points in their final 11 games to top the franchise record.

Nashville is coming in hot to the playoffs. They have 106 points as of Monday night and continue to stay on top being chased by Tampa Bay who is second overall in the league. The streaking Predators are 13-0-1 in their last 14 games and haven’t lost in regulation since Feb. 17 against Detroit.

Rights Reserved-Hillsboro Globe AP
Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35) watches the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres Monday, March 19, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Clinching Game against the Avalanche
“The guys knew with a win tonight we would clinch and I think they fought hard for it,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “I really liked our game tonight.”
Starting goalie Pekka Rinne was given the night off after helping Nashville to a win Thursday at Arizona.

MacKinnon nearly tied the game late in the third period, but his shot hit off the shoulder of Saros.

Nashville weathered two penalties by P.K. Subban in the final period. Colorado pulled Varlamov in the final two minutes and it led to a game-sealing goal by Forsberg into an empty net with 1:09 remaining.

Landeskog gave the Avalanche a 2-1 lead in the second, but Forsberg tied it three minutes later. Sissons put the Predators up for good when his shot clanged off the crossbar and dropped into the net.

The Predators have at least one point in a franchise-best 14 consecutive road games. Sissons scored in the first period by sending in a shot off Varlamov’s shoulder. “You have to be happy with our effort,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. Laviolette felt the same way, and took a measure of pride in becoming the first team to clinch. Now, about that muted celebration. “There’s no champagne in there,” he said. “We’re moving on.”

Extending the Western Conference Lead Over Las Vegas

Mike Fisher and Ryan Johansen scored goals 4:34 apart in the second period, and Filip Forsberg and Ryan Hartman sealed the victory by scoring in the final four minutes improving the Nashville Predators point streak to 14-0-1 in their past 15 games

The Preds also extended their team-best road winning streak to nine straight. They haven’t lost in regulation since a 3-1 defeat to Detroit at home on Feb. 17.; And they improved to 12-0-3 in their past 15 road games since a 3-0 loss at Vegas on Jan. 2.

Rinne won his 11th straight to match his personal best in a stretch in which he’s allowed just 18 goals.

The shutout was the 51st of his 12-year career and third in nine games.

And Rinne also improved to 40-9-4 in becoming the NHL’s seventh goalie to win 40 games in a season three or more times.


Looking Forward to Thursday’s Game.

Predators Host Toronto Maple Leafs 


Rinne joined a list of three-time 40-game winners led by former New Jersey goalie Martin Broduer, who reached the milestone eight times.

Washington’s Braden Holtby is the only other active goalie to win 40 games three times.

The other three-time 40-game-winners were Terry Sawchuk, Jacques Plante, Mikka Kiprusoff and Evgeni Nabokov. … Sabres RW Kyle Okposo returned after missing three games with a concussion. … With 10 games left, the Predators inched closer to matching franchise records for most wins (51) and points (110) set in 2006-07.



Predators, Bettman honor David Poile for most wins by NHL GM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Nashville Predators waited a week to honor David Poile as the general manager with the most victories in the 100-year history of the NHL, throwing a big celebration before a home game Thursday night.
Among those in attendance were Rod Langway, Poile’s first captain after being hired as general manager of the Washington Capitals in 1982, and Tom Fitzgerald, Poile’s first captain with the then-expansion Predators in 1998.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was on hand, too. Bettman was booed heartily by the fans — not an unusual occurrence for him — but said he’d get jeered anytime for Poile.

“In a profession with a high rate of turnover, the fact that you’ve done it with only two teams and you’ve only had five coaches is a testament to your stability, your professionalism, your consistency, your patience and your desire to win,” Bettman said to Poile. “When it comes to being the heart and soul of our game, David has no equal.”
Poile won his 1,320th game as general manager March 1 in a 4-2 win at Edmonton, passing Glen Sather’s 1,319 wins. The Predators still had to finish a road trip, so the celebration waited until Thursday before a game against the Anaheim Ducks — the team the Predators beat last May to clinch their first Western Conference title.

The Predators had “1320” painted into the ice behind each net before their 2-0 win Tuesday night over Dallas.
Thursday’s festivities started with a video recapping Poile’s career . Langway presented his former boss with a Capitals’ jersey with the number 594 to commemorate Poile’s wins in Washington. Bettman gave Poile the score sheet from his first win with the Capitals and last week’s record victory framed as a keepsake.

Also on hand were Dick Patrick, who hired Poile as general manager of the Capitals, and Cliff Fletcher, who gave Poile a job in the front office of the then-Atlanta Flames. Peter Bondra, a Slovakian star who played for Poile in Washington, recalled before the game that he didn’t know if he could play in the NHL until Poile not only saw something in him but helped ease his transition to the United States.

The Predators also gave Poile an engraved silver platter and announced a scholarship in Poile’s name at Scott Hamilton’s learn-to-skate program.
Poile wrapped up the 15-minute celebration by talking about his love for hockey, “the ultimate team sport,” and thanked everyone who helped him along the way.
“It is an honor to be the general manager of the Nashville Predators,” Poile said.
In his 36 years as a general manager, Poile just got to his first Stanley Cup Final last year with the Predators — they lost to Pittsburgh in six games. Nashville is on pace for its best season ever with 95 points through 66 games going into Thursday night, on track for 118 points. That would top the franchise-record of 110 points by the 2006-07 team.
“Coming here, I’m not sure he thought he would be here as long as he (has) when he first came in in 1997,” Fitzgerald said. “But when you have success, you can stay as long as you want, and I’m sure the door’s going to be open to him for a long time.”
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Predators stretch record to 10 straight wins, beat Ducks 4-2

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A year after an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, the Nashville Predators have been hard at work preparing for the postseason.

It’s just a happy byproduct that they’ve matched the NHL’s longest winning streak this season in the process.

Austin Watson scored a short-handed goal late in the second period and the Predators beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 on Thursday night to extend their franchise-record run to 10 games.

“We’re focused on the process and what we need to do to be ready come playoff time,” Predators center Ryan Johansen said. “We’re just taking it day-by-day and looking at our team game and what we can always be improving on and these wins are obviously nice as they keep coming along.”
Pekka Rinne made 31 saves to improve to 18-1-1 over his last 20 games.

Johansen had a goal and an assist and also fought with Ducks center Ryan Kesler.
“What did he have, a fight, a goal and an assist?” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. “That’s old school.”

Craig Smith and Viktor Arvidsson each scored. Filip Forsberg had two assists for Nashville, which honored David Poile before the game for becoming career wins leader among NHL general managers with his 1,320th victory last week.
Rickard Rakell scored twice in the third period for the Ducks, who snapped a three-game winning streak. Rakell’s second goal at 16:35 pulled the Ducks within 3-2 before Arvidsson scored over goalie John Gibson’s glove with 1:46 left.
The Predators swept the three-game season series against the Ducks, the same team they beat for the Western Conference championship last year. Center Ryan Getzlaf said the Ducks were too tentative early with the puck.
The Predators didn’t miss a beat as Smith scored at 5:26 of the first period with a writer that beat Gibson glove-side. Then Forsberg found Johansen at the edge of the crease with a pass, and Johansen redirected it for his 10th goal at 15:10.
The Ducks went on the power play late in the second period, and the Predators quickly turned that into a 3-0 lead. Colton Sissons skated up and took a shot, then Watson scored off the rebound with 1:18 left for his third short-handed goal this season — tied for second in the NHL.
“That was a momentum changer,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “I thought we started to impose a little more will in the second period and then we had an opportunity to make it a 1-goal game and then we give up a short-handed goal.”

Anaheim opened the third taking the first few shots. Arvidsson hit a post for Nashville, then the Ducks came back the other way with Rakell scoring on a pass from Corey Perry at 6:04 of the period. Rakell made it 3-2 with his 30th goal of the season.

Notes: Nashville improved to 30-2-3 when leading after two periods. … Smith has 21 goals this season, three away from matching his career best. … Ryan Hartman has four points (two goals, two assists) in six games since Nashville picked up him in a trade from Chicago. … Forsberg has five points (two goals, three assists) in his last five regular-season games against Anaheim. … Rakell has a five-game point streak (seven goals and two assists).
Ducks: Visit Dallas on Friday night.
Predators: Host Devils on Saturday night.
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More AP hockey:

General Manager David Poile honored Thursday and win #10 is a Nashville Predators franchise record

Everybody hands go up

Predators and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman honor GM David Poile for becoming the winningest general manager in NHL history with 1,320 wins.

Nashville’s top line combined for six points as the Predators defeated the Anaheim Ducks by a 4-2 final on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena. The victory extends Nashville’s franchise-record win streak to 10 games and gives them a three-game sweep in their season series with their California rival.

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