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game recap

Girard gets first NHL goal in Predators win against Stars

Forsberg, Arvidsson, Subban also score, Rinne makes 30 saves for Nashville

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Defenseman Samuel Girard scored his first NHL goal and had an assist in his second game, and the Nashville Predators defeated the Dallas Stars 4-1 at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.

The Predators (2-2-0) won their second straight at home.

"I thought we got better as the game went on," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "They're a good team. They're capable of flipping a switch offensively, and I thought we tightened down a little bit defensively as the game went on."

 

[WATCH: All Stars vs. Predators highlights]

 

The Stars (1-3-0) are 0-2-0 on the road. Stars coach Ken Hitchcock (782 wins) remains one win from passing Al Arbour for third in NHL history.

"I'm concerned," Hitchcock said. "I'm concerned, not so much the production. I think that's the end result. But I'm concerned that we're missing a number of glorious opportunities, and it's too many games now that we're letting goalies outwork us, to be honest with you. 

"That's the big concern for me right now. We've had three games that we've lost where we've made the goalie the first star or the best player on the other team. We're going to have to figure that out quick." 

Girard scored to tie the game 1-1 at 3:27 of the second period.

"I felt great on the ice," Girard said. "It's good for me to play with those guys. To play with [P.K.] Subban, [Mattias Ekholm and Roman Josi], those players are on the ice and talk a lot so it makes my game easy." 

Filip Forsberg gave the Predators a 2-1 lead at 6:21 on the power play. Girard took the original shot, and Forsberg beat Stars goaltender Ben Bishop on the rebound for his fourth goal.

Video: DAL@NSH: Forsberg buries rebound for power-play goal

"Obviously it's always good to help the team win games," Forsberg said. "Last game it was that way, and this game obviously our line played pretty well I think. That's what matters to me. If I score goals and we don't win, it doesn't really matter. But obviously it feels good to help the team." 

Viktor Arvidsson gave the Predators a 3-1 lead at 15:09 of the third period on a breakaway. Subban scored an empty-net goal with 1:54 remaining to make it 4-1. It was his first goal.

Jamie Benn gave the Stars a 1-0 lead at 8:04 of the first period on the power play. He was there to collect the rebound on a shot by John Klingberg and beat Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne for his first goal.

Rinne made 30 saves, and Bishop made 27.

Predators defenseman Yannick Weber was hit in the head by Stars forward Martin Hanzal in the first period and did not return. Hanzal was assessed a major interference penalty.

Video: DAL@NSH: Benn nets Klingberg's rebound for PPG

 

Goal of the game

Girard's goal came on a one-timer from the point on a pass from Subban and seemed to completely change the momentum of the game.

Video: DAL@NSH: Girard scores his first career goal

 

Save of the game

Rinne made a save on a wrist shot by Stars forward Tyler Seguin at 14:07 of the second period as the Stars had hemmed the Predators in the zone.

 

Highlight of the game

Arvidsson was the beneficiary of a forced turnover by Forsberg against Stars forward Alexander Radulov. Forsberg retrieved the puck and found Arvidsson, who beat Bishop on the blocker side for his second goal.

Video: DAL@NSH: Forsberg, Arvidsson combine for nice tally

 
They said it

"I thought in the first period we played as good of a period as we've played all year. We were going along, and they dialed it up in the second for about seven or eight minutes and we didn't have an answer and they scored their two goals. Then you're pressing for the rest of the game." -- Stars coach Ken Hitchcock

 

"When I think about myself when I was 19, there's no way I could've played in this league. Guys seem to be more and more ready the younger they are, and they seem to, I don't know, play like a man. He looks like a veteran player out there." -- Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne on Samuel Girard

 
Need to know

Stars forward Radek Faksa went 2-for-9 (22 percent) in face-offs. … Forsberg had three goals in his first 28 games last season. He has four goals in four games this season. … Predators forward Colton Sissons returned after missing one game because of a lower-body injury. … Josi missed his second consecutive game because of a lower-body injury. He is day to day. … Stars defenseman Dan Hamhuis missed his second consecutive game with a groin injury. 

 

What's next

Stars: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

Predators: At the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-TN, WGN, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Rinne, Forsberg lead Preds to 4-1 win over Stars

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