Anders Lindback continues to make it look easy.
The Nashville Predators’ rookie goalie won his fourth straight and improved to 8-1-2 when he made 25 saves in a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. His play in place of the injured Pekka Rinne helped the Predators improve to 16-8-6, which tied them with four others at 38 points, second-most in the Western Conference.
Statistics suggest that things won’t get any easier than on Friday, when the Predators play at New Jersey. The Devils are last in the NHL in goals per game with an average of 1.80.
It will be the third time in the last four games Nashville faces one of the league’s six worst offenses.
Lindback held the New York Islanders (ranked 29th) without a goal on Monday, two days after he recorded his first career shutout, against the Florida Panthers (24th).
His current streak of six straight starts also includes games against San Jose (11th) and Carolina (13th). The most challenging portion of that run came in back-to-back games against Atlanta (fifth) and Detroit (third).
Atlanta was the only team that scored more than twice against Lindback.
“(Lindback) is a little of everything right now,” forward J-P Dumont said. “All of our goalies work extremely hard in practice and it shows in a game They want to save every puck. Even in practice they don’t want a puck to go in.
“That’s definitely a big plus for any team.”
So is playing teams that have a hard time scoring.
• Forward Steve Begin was recalled from Milwaukee because of the uncertain status of Patric Hornqvist, who missed Wednesday’s victory over San Jose with an upper body injury.
The 32-year-old veteran of 486 career NHL games has four points (three goals, one assist) in 21 games for Milwaukee this season. He made a career-high 77 NHL appearances last season for Boston.
• The Predators will conduct a toy drive to benefit Toys For Tots when they play the Los Angeles Kings, 7 p.m. Saturday at Bridgestone Arena. Fans are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys to the main entrance where collection centers will be established.