In the hardest-fought, most physical battle staged to date at the 2011 Florida Rookie Tournament, the Nashville Predators fought back from a 1-0 deficit to defeat the Florida Panthers 3-1.
Taking center stage for the second consecutive day was Nashville rookie Craig Smith. Smith scored a pair of goals, which follow the 4 goals he scored Monday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
In three games here, he has 6 goals and an assist.
Florida took an early lead behind a goal by Jonathan Huberdeau off a rebound of a hard shot from the point by Erik Gudbranson. Panthers goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped 34 of 37 shots, including several of the challenging variety.
For Nashville, the goaltending tandem of starter Atte Engren and Chet Pickard, who took over at the halfway point of the second period, produced their second consecutive win. Engren stopped 16 of the 17 shots he faced, including a highlight-reel glove save on a wide-open Quinton Howden from in front of the crease, and Pickard was perfect on all 20 of his chances.
The final game of the tournament is Wednesday at noon, when the Lightning try to break into the win column against the host Panthers.