By Ron Wynn
The Nashville Predators started a tough five-game road trip in good fashion Tuesday night, beating the Stars 4-0 in Dallas, Tex.
The win ended a road losing streak that had seen the Predators go 0-5-1 over their last six games on the opponents’ ice. It also improved their overall record to 11-9-6.
It was Pekka Rinne’s fifth shutout, and he had 32 saves. But more importantly, it was the first time in nearly a month (Feb. 18) that the Predators scored more than one goal in a road game. The outburst came despite the losses to injury of Colin Wilson and Patric Hornqvist.
The Predators got goals from Rich Clune, Nick Spaling, Shea Weber and Gabriel Bourque. David Legwand and Craig Smith had two assists each, with Matt Halischuk getting the other one. Clune’s goal came on a penalty shot halfway through the second period. It made it 3-0 and pretty much assured the Predators’ win.
It also was their third straight game in which they picked up at least one point. They are 2-0-1, having lost one game to Minnesota in a shootout. But both the players and coach Barry Trotz were pleased with the balanced contributions, and their aggressiveness on both ends of the ice.
The road trip continues on Thursday with a game against Vancouver and then Friday at Calgary. Though they came into Tuesday’s game in 11th place, the Predators are only a couple of points out of eighth, and realize the importance of getting as many wins and points on the trip as they can. After its completion, they have a lengthy stretch of home games coming in the season’s final portion.
Photo by Jerome Miron – USA TODAY Sports