NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Dallas Stars interim coach Rick Bowness liked what he saw from his team in its latest win.
Anton Khudobin stopped 37 shots and the Stars beat the Nashville Predators 4-1 Saturday night.
Blake Comeau, Roope Hintz, Jamie Oleksiak and Andrew Cogliano each scored and Alexander Radulov had two assists to help the Stars rally from a goal down early in the second period to win for the fourth time in five games (4-0-1).
The Stars were coming off a 3-2 overtime loss at home to Vegas on Friday night so Bowness wasn’t surprised by a slow start.
“We came into Nashville late Friday and had to play at 5:30 (Central),” Bowness said. “I was happy with the first period. We only had two shifts where were hemmed into our zone.”
Austin Watson scored the game’s first goal at 1:04 of the second period. The Stars then took over the scoring from there.
Bowness credited a short-handed goal by Comeau to tie it at the 4:46 mark for sparking the Stars to dominate the rest of the way. Comeau skated through the left circle and beat Pekka Rinne to his stick side.
“Nashville had scored on its first shift (of the period),” Bowness said. “I think the short-handed goal gave our bench a boost. … The guys were tired. The shifts got a lot shorter in the second period. We managed the game as well as we could.”
Pekka Rinne finished with 18 saves as the Predators lost their second straight.
Nashville coach Peter Laviolette credited his team’s mistakes for the surge by the Stars.
“It wasn’t a quantity thing,” Laviolette said. “It was the quality, starting with the first one, a breakaway. The second one, we have a chance to clear pucks out of there and we don’t. Again, another one turns over. It’s coming back at us quick. So, it’s not like we were under siege, but the mistakes that we’re making, they’re costing us.”
This was the first meeting between the teams since the Stars eliminated the Predators in the first round of the playoffs last season.
Radulov did not score, but he was a driving force behind the Stars offensive surge in the second period. He credited the way the Stars are scoring to everybody contributing.
“Everybody is working there, so that is simple,” the former Predators player said. “We know that we were playing back-to-back and it is always hard, but I think that we had a plan and we did it and we had a ‘W.’ It doesn’t matter who scored.”
Hintz put the Stars ahead for good as he scored five-hole from the slot at 6:40.
Oleksiak made it 3-1 with 7:42 left in the middle period as he skated across the crease and backhanded it past a diving Rinne on his glove side for his first of the season.
Cogliano ended the scoring with a wrist shot in heavy traffic to beat Rinne from close range with 3:51 to go in the period.
“We knew it was going to be a huge divisional game for us,” Comeau said. “Playing Friday night, we wanted to get off to a good start and I thought the first two periods we played really good hockey. … Then, in the third, their power play got going because they generated momentum. They had a push, but (Khudobin) was outstanding for us. We got kills on the penalty kill when we needed it. It was just a good win all around.”
NOTES: The Central Division foes will meet at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas Jan. 1 for the Winter Classic. … The Predators recalled F Colin Blackwell from Milwaukee of the AHL. F Daniel Carr was reassigned. … Nashville’s Mikael Granlund has a lower body injury and is day-to-day. … Mattias Ekholm sat out the game due to illness for the Predators. … Radulov’s two assists extended his points streak to four games and gave him 10 points in his last 10 games. … Hintz extended his team lead in goals to 12. … Khudobin’s saves total was one short of his season high.
Stars: Host Edmonton on Monday night. Predators: At the New York Rangers on Monday night.
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