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game recap

Saros, Predators shut out Stars, move into tie for Western wild card

Makes 33 saves, Forsberg ends drought in Nashville's first win in four games

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Saros' 33-save shutout

DAL@NSH: Saros boosts Preds with 33-save performance

Juuse Saros turned away all 33 shots he faced, propelling the Predators past the Stars with his third shutout of the season

  • 01:58 •

NASHVILLE -- Juuse Saros made 33 saves for the Nashville Predators in a 2-0 win against the Dallas Stars in the first game of a home-and-home at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.

Filip Forsberg scored for the first time in 17 games for the Predators (33-26-8), who ended a three-game losing streak and are in a four-way tie with the Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets and Arizona Coyotes for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

"The penalty kill has been doing an unbelievable job," Forsberg said. "The other night, obviously seven kills against the [Minnesota Wild], and then [four] … (kills) today too against a really good Dallas power play. I think our power play looked good too. Two big goals. [Saros] played good in net. Sometimes, that's how easy it can be."

 

[WATCH: All Stars vs. Predators highlights]

 

Nashville went 2-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.

It was Saros' third shutout of the season and the 10th of his NHL career.

"We were tough to play against," he said. "We blocked a lot of shots. Guys really sacrificed, and our D-men did a really good job clearing all the rebounds. So it was an all-around good game."

Video: DAL@NSH: Forsberg banks puck in for a power-play goal

Stars coach Rick Bowness said, "That was an easy night for [Saros]. We had talked before the game about getting to their net. There's two things that we still refuse to do: get to the net and shoot the puck when we have the opportunities. It's in their heads they have to make an extra play. We've been fighting with that all year to get it out of their heads. Tonight is a perfect example."

Dallas (37-22-8), which has lost four games in a row (0-2-2), leads Minnesota by seven points for third place in the Central Division and is six behind the Colorado Avalanche for second. Anton Khudobin made 30 saves in his third straight start.

"They played like a very desperate hockey club, which they are, to make it to the playoffs," Bowness said. "Give them full marks because they came at us hard. Just disappointed that we didn't respond better. Clearly, the specialty teams were the difference. We'll address that tomorrow in practice, but it is the desperation that they played with that we didn't play with that's disappointing."

Forsberg gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 19:08 of the first period when he scored with a wrist shot from the right face-off circle. It was his first goal since Jan. 30.

"I would lie if I said I wasn't a little frustrated," Forsberg said. "There's been chances, but we've been playing better hockey. Ultimately, that's what matters. Those nights when we don't win and I don't score, it's obviously more frustrating than other nights, but I'm here to help in every way I can, and scoring goals is one of them."

Matt Duchene made it 2-0 at 13:44 of the second when he tipped a shot by Calle Jarnkrok.

"It might have been the best poise and puck movement we've had all season," Duchene said. "It just looked more like what we should look like as a hockey team. We had way more good looks and good rushes. We looked dangerous tonight, and we haven't looked [dangerous] very much this season."

Video: Saros earns Thursday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

 

They said it

"It wasn't as crisp as we'd like. When we did make a couple passes, it was the next one that we didn't execute. Execution felt low. We didn't get a lot of second chances. We didn't shoot to get it back. We didn't do a lot of those things, so it's something that can improve for sure." -- Stars forward Joe Pavelski

"We've been grinding. It's kind of funny, it's maybe a little foreshadowing. I mean, we've been grinding hard this year. Our slogan right now is 'Embrace the grind,' and now the city is kind of going through something like that where people are grinding and trying to get through. It's inspiring to us, just the strength that the city is showing. Just people yesterday showing up and donating so much of their time and money and buying stuff for the city and for people who are ailing right now. This was really nice to get a win for them tonight." -- Predators forward Matt Duchene on playing the first game at home since the Nashville area was hit by tornadoes Tuesday

 

Need to know

Stars goalie Ben Bishop backed up Khudobin after missing a 2-1 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday with a lower-body injury. ... Predators defenseman Roman Josi extended his point streak to five games with an assist on Forsberg's goal (two goals, four assists).

 

What's next

Stars: Host the Nashville Predators on Saturday (2 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-SW, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Predators: At the Dallas Stars on Saturday (2 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-SW, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Video: Saros, Predators shut out Stars, 2-0

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