Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, bottom, of Finland, covers up the puck after blocking Nashville Predators forward Patric Hornqvist (27), of Sweden, shot on in the second period of an NHL hockey game on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Boston Bruins have dealt with their share of injuries this season. Still, they always seem to find a way to win.
On Monday night, Matt Fraser and Ryan Spooner, two players with 17 NHL games between them this season, and a potent power play led the Bruins to a 6-2 victory over the Nashville Predators that gave Boston coach Claude Julien his 400th career win.
"That is something I will look back on after I retire," Julien said. "I prefer to look at how we are going to do the rest of this season."
Tuukka Rask, who stopped 32 shots for the victory, was unaware of the milestone.
"That is great," Rask said. "Nashville had a lot of chances, especially in the third period. This was a great way for us to go into the break."
Reilly Smith scored a power play goal at 10:47 of the first period, one of three for the Bruins.
"There is depth in this organization," Smith said. "A lot of teams may have looked past us in the last few games because we have so many guys who aren't regulars on the roster like Spooner and Fraser."
Fraser scored his first goal of the season at the 5:59 mark of the first period. Spooner added three assists, two on power play goals.
"You know, the first couple of games, you get nervous out there," Spooner said. "But now that I've been playing a solid two-way game I've just been trying to focus on using my speed to create some chances."
The Bruins opened a 3-0 first period lead. But they were mindful that in Nashville's previous outing with Montreal Saturday night for force overtime.
At the 3:25 mark of the third period when Nashville's Craig Smith scored his second goal of the game to trim the lead to 3-2 it was time for Boston to find a way to retaliate.
The answer was the power play which produced two goals in the span of 49 seconds. Jarome Iginla scored first at 5:01, his second goal of the game. At 5:50 Carl Soderberg, who also had a pair of assists, found the net to give the Bruins a 5-2 edge.
Brad Marchand closed out the scoring with 4:06 left to play. Reilly Smith, who assisted on Soderberg's goal also had the assist on Marchand's goal.
The Predators outshot the Bruins 34-33. Nashville coach Barry Trotz was frustrated with the play of his goaltenders, pulling starter Carter Hutton at 5:59 of the first period after he gave up his second goal in four shots. Marek Macanec closed out the game and faced 25 shots.
"Once I saw the second goal I had seen enough," Trotz said.
"Right now they are going through a little bit of a dry spell," he said. "It's like getting hit with stun gun. But the goalies we have are trying their best, plain and simple."
Despite the late rally by the Predators, the Bruins never felt they were losing momentum.
"I thought we played well pretty much the entire game," Reilly Smith said. "They had that power play goal and they created a lot of good chances from what they had, but I thought we dominated the game for the most part.
"The power play was really clicking because when they jumped back in we were able to shut the door," he said. "Carl did a great job of putting it in the back of the net when he got the opportunity."
NOTES: This was the second game in a row that the Predators had been outscored by three goals in the first period. . This was the first meeting between the Predators and Bruins since March 17, 2011. . The Predators have scored eight power play goals in six consecutive games. . Spooner had a season high three assists. . Soderberg recorded two assists for the third time this season and has six points in his last eight games.
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