It may not have been a postseason-saving victory, but the Nashville Predators knew how to win a challenge they would face if they lost the first two games of their Western Conference first-round series at home. Instead, the Predators have re-entered the game at the Dallas Stars on Monday night.
Although Nashville dominated Game 2, the Central Division needed a goal from Craig Smith five minutes into the game. “It’s a huge win for us,” Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne said. “Not too high, not too low, enjoy this, but also get ready for the next Dallas games couple.” The Stars were outshot by a two-to-one margin in Saturday’s 2-1 setback but they headed home with a mission-accomplished mindset after a 3-2 victory in the opener series. “It’s a seven-game series.” We came into Nashville wanting to get one, “Dallas center Tyler Seguin said. “We did not know what we’re going to do.”
TV: 9:30 pm ET, NBC Sports Network, TVAS, Sportsnet, FS Tennessee (Nashville), FS Southwest (Dallas)
ABOUT THE PREDATORS: While Smith, who has scored at least 21 goals in five of the past six seasons, won a record-tying third playoff game-winner, Nashville received a huge contribution from a much less heralded player. Rocco Grimaldi, Brian Boyle has been dealing with an illness. 19. “I think it’s a huge booster anytime he’s cracks in the lineup,” Rinne said. “He’s always one of the bright lights out there. Again, he did a really good job.”
ABOUT THE STARS: Despite captain Jamie Benn scoring the opening goal, Dallas managed only 23 shots on net and struggled badly on the power play, failing to capitalize on any of its six chances with the extra skater. “You go 0-for-6, you get a couple of good chances.” But you’ve got to come through, “coach Jim Montgomery said. “We need to think first.” “We’re all looking at the next play instead of looking at score.” That’s not only power play but also 5-on-5. Ben Bishop had another stellar game and had his way 70 of 74 shots through two games.