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game recap

Predators win Game 2 in OT, even series with Stars

Smith scores at 5:00, Rinne makes 22 saves

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

Smith scores overtime winner

DAL@NSH, Gm2: Smith wins it in OT for Predators

R1, Gm2: Craig Smith locates the loose puck and snaps it by Ben Bishop to lift the Predators to an overtime win

  • 01:33 •

NASHVILLE -- Craig Smith scored 5:00 into overtime to give the Nashville Predators a 2-1 win against the Dallas Stars in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

Smith scored off a bouncing puck inside the left face-off circle after a shot hit Stars defenseman Roman Polak.

"It was kind of a delayed reaction," Smith said. "I didn't see what it hit or how it went in or if it was in. Pretty exciting stuff. I've been on the bench watching overtime winners, but never have gotten one before, so it was awesome. It was cool."


[WATCH: Stars vs. Predators Game 2 highlights | Complete series coverage]


The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1 with Game 3 at Dallas on Monday.

Ben Bishop made 40 saves for the Stars, who were 0-for-6 on the power play and outshot 42-23. 

"I think we needed to shoot a little bit more," Dallas forward Mats Zuccarello said. "Obviously I think we didn't play our best game today, but we're playing a really good team over there. If you would've asked me before the series if we would take a 1-1 series going home, I would take it. It's a good home team. We gave them two good games." 

Jamie Benn gave the Stars a 1-0 lead at 1:59 of the second period. Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm turned over the puck in the defensive zone, and Tyler Seguin found Benn in the crease.

Rocco Grimaldi tied it 1-1 at 3:56 from the low slot off a pass from Austin Watson. Grimaldi replaced forward Brian Boyle (illness) in the Predators lineup after not playing Game 1 on Wednesday.

Video: DAL@NSH, Gm2: Grimaldi scores off feed from Watson

"It was difficult at first to get [Grimaldi] in there," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "He jumped into the lineup as a late decision here today. Just the way the game played out with the penalties that were called early on, he was a guy that was always kind of the odd man out. It makes it even more difficult to keep your legs in the game, keep your head in the game. I thought he did an excellent job."

Pekka Rinne made 22 saves for the Predators.

"It's a thriller when it comes to an [overtime] game," Rinne said. "It's a one-shot game. But I thought that we did an unbelievable job, especially the third period and [overtime]. We were able to pressure them hard, get the puck in their zone and they had to ice the puck a lot. We kept changing fresh bodies on the ice and kept the pace of the game really high. I felt confident that we were going to get it, but until you see that hit the back of the net, you just try to stay in the moment." 


They said it

"We're going to move on from this game just as quick as we moved on from winning last game. This is a seven-game series here. We came into Nashville wanting to get one and steal one. That's what we wanted to do on the road, and we did that. We're excited to get home and play in front of our fans." -- Stars center Tyler Seguin

Video: DAL@NSH, Gm2: Seguin, Benn connect for opening tally

"I think right from the start you could see it in our game. I felt like we were pretty steady throughout that whole game. Obviously there's good players over there and at times (they) made some plays, but for the consistent part of executing the game plan, I thought we did a good job." -- Predators center Ryan Johansen


Need to know

Stars forward Mattias Janmark was helped off the ice in the second period with an injury but returned. He slid into the end boards trying to make a play on the puck against Predators defenseman Dan Hamhuis. … Nashville forward Wayne Simmonds left the game in the first period after being hit by a shot from Predators defenseman Roman Josi. … Seguin had an assist, four shots and eight shot attempts. … The Predators were 0-for-3 on the power play.


What's next

Game 3 of Western Conference First Round on Monday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVAS, FS-SW, FS-TN)

Video: Predators tie series with Smith's OT goal

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