Fast start after early faceoff ensures Predators keep winning

Monday, January 16, 2012 at 2:45pm
Staff reports

The Nashville Predators scored on their first two shots and extended their current win streak to five games with a 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Monday afternoon in New York.

Sergei Kostitsyn and Matt Halischuk gave the Predators a 2-0 lead 5:34 into the contest, which began at noon (CST), with well-placed shots that beat New York goalie Kevin Poulin. David Legwand made it 3-0 at 11:37 of the opening period when his 13th goal capped a well-executed rush with Martin Erat and Colin Wilson.

Kostitsyn scored for the third straight game, and Legwand broke a tie with Patric Hornqvist for the team lead in goals.

The score remained unchanged until Islanders center John Tavares scored with 3:58 to play.

The Islanders ultimately outshot the Predators 37-32, but goalie Pekka Rinne made 36 saves and improved to 24-11-4 for the season.

Nashville matched its longest win streak of the season and moved within a point (at least temporarily) of Detroit for third place in the Central Division and fifth place in the Western Conference.

The Predators also won five straight from Dec. 8-17 and have won eight of their last nine and 14 of their last 18 overall.

They did so despite an abbreviated performance by defenseman Ryan Suter, who was questionable because of an upper body injury. His status prompted coaches to dress seven defensemen.

Suter, who last week was chosen to participate in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game, started the contest but played just 7:04 before he was pulled.

Nashville is back in action Tuesday against the New York Rangers (6:30 p.m., Fox Sports-Tennessee).