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Cody McLeod latest to contribute in Predators playoff victory

Forward, who scored winning goal against Blues in Game 3, is 13th Nashville player to score in postseason

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- If a team wants to make a deep run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it needs to have contributions from everyone in the lineup.

The Nashville Predators have been getting those contributions, and Cody McLeod was the latest example in a 3-1 win against the St. Louis Blues in Game 3 of their Western Conference Second Round series.

The Predators lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

McLeod gave the Predators a 2-0 lead at 2:29 of the second period on what turned out to be the game-winning goal. Colton Sissons chipped the puck toward the net, and McLeod redirected it and scored on the rebound for his first goal of the playoffs.

Video: STL@NSH, Gm3: McLeod sends home his own rebound

"I guess that's playoff hockey, right? Everybody's got to contribute," McLeod said. "It was a great play by [Sissons] and just a rebound, go to the net hard and good things happen."

McLeod is a popular player in the locker room because of his willingness to stick up for his teammates, whether it's with a hit or a fight. He isn't a player that's necessarily counted on to produce offensively, but it gives his teammates an extra boost when he does.

McLeod, acquired from the Colorado Avalanche on Jan 13, had five points (four goals, one assist) in 31 regular-season games with the Predators.

"He's a character guy and whenever he's in the lineup, I've got to be honest, [he's] one of the most fun guys to play with, the energy that he brings to the rink and just his passion for playing the game and being in the NHL and having the opportunity to play for a Stanley Cup," defenseman P.K. Subban said.

"I know that he enjoys this opportunity just as much or more as everybody else. It couldn't have been a better guy to score the winner today than him. He just competes so hard. He gives everything he has and obviously is a well-liked guy because he stands up for his teammates all the time."

 

[RELATED: Complete Predators vs. Blues series coverage]

 

Coach Peter Laviolette even cracked a smile after McLeod's goal. 

"I might have because a guy like that will do anything for his teammates," Laviolette said. "He'll hit everybody. He'll fight and defend any one of his teammates. When he's able to factor into a goal like that, everybody is happy for him."

The Predators have been getting critical depth scoring throughout the playoffs. Vernon Fiddler scored the game-winning goal in Game 1 against the Blues, Harry Zolnierczyk has a goal and an assist in the playoffs and Sissons finished Game 3 with two assists.

Thirteen players have scored for the Predators in the playoffs.

"It's huge," McLeod said. "[Fiddler] stepped up in Game 1 and got that big goal, and it just shows that we've got a lot of depth here. Depending on what kind of game, whether it's a physical game or more of a skill game, we've got the guys to do it. Everybody's got to stay ready and just make the most of your opportunity when you get in there."

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