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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Smith's goal-scoring prowess turning heads

Tuesday, 09.13.2011 / 2:29 PM

By Lonnie Herman - NHL.com Correspondent / Prospecting the future

The surprise of the Florida rookie tournament so far has been Nashville Predators forward Craig Smith.

Smith had 2 goals today against the Panthers, which follows the 4 goals he scored Monday against the Lightning. Smith, who played three seasons of junior hockey with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League, has spent the last two seasons at the University of Wisconsin.

Goal scoring is something Smith has proven he can do in the past. He had 19 goals in 41 games with Wisconsin last season, and 28 in 54 games in 2008-09 in the USHL. He was taken by the Predators in the fourth round (No. 98) in the 2009 Entry Draft.

In the second period today, Smith ripped a slap shot from the right faceoff circle to beat Panthers goaltender Jacob Markstrom for his first score, and then pounded home a rebound from the slot in the third.

Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1