NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Victories have been elusive of
late for the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Bruins. The
Nashville Predators have had no such trouble.
David Legwand scored twice in regulation before netting the
decisive goal in the shootout as the Predators skated to a 3-2
triumph over the Bruins on Saturday.
Pekka Rinne made 23 saves for Nashville, which has won six of
its last eight games.
Rookie Blake Wheeler and captain Zdeno Chara tallied for Boston,
which has lost a season-high four in a row (0-2-2).
Still looking to become the first 40-win team this season, the
Bruins fell behind in this one as Legwand opened the scoring
with 5:36 remaining in the first period.
Jordin Tootoo, who returned to the lineup after missing seven
games with a hand injury, unleashed a slap shot from along the
left wing boards. With Manny Fernandez screened, Legwand tipped
the puck past the goaltender for his 13th goal of the season.
The second overall selection of the 1998 draft, Legwand doubled
the lead with 7:36 to go in the second. While teammate Steve
Sullivan served a hooking penalty, the 28-year-old Legwand
received a pass from the top of the slot by Joel Ward and
one-timed it past Fernandez from the right faceoff circle for
his third shorthander of the campaign.
Legwand, who has recorded a pair of multi-goal performances in
2008-09, entered the season with four career shorthanded
Wheeler began Boston's comeback 61 seconds later, grabbing a
loose puck in the low slot and backhanding it by Rinne for his
The rookie Rinne maintained the slim advantage by forcing David
Krejci to miss the net during a shorthanded breakaway less than
eight minutes into the third. But with Fernandez pulled for an
extra attacker, the Bruins got the equalizer with 76 seconds
After defenseman Dennis Wideman prevented Nashville from
clearing the puck from its zone, Patrice Bergeron gained
possession behind the net. He threw it in front to Chara, who
had his first shot stopped but buried the rebound for his 13th
of the season.
Neither team was able to end it in overtime, even though the
Predators received a power play thanks to a holding infraction
on former Nashville defenseman Shane Hnidy.
Wheeler gave Boston an early edge in the shootout, deking and
sliding the puck under Rinne's right pad with just one hand on
his stick. Vernon Fiddler put a backhander off the right
goalpost on the Predators' first attempt and Sullivan was denied
by Fernandez before Martin Erat fired the puck just under the
crossbar in the third round to keep alive Nashville's hopes.
After Rinne made a glove save on Phil Kessel, Legwand lifted a
backhander past Fernandez to clinch the win and help the
Predators remain the only unbeaten team in the NHL when leading
after one period at 13-0-0.