NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz asked David
Legwand to play at a higher level.
Legwand responded with two goals, one on the power play, and the Nashville
Predators beat the New Jersey Devils 3-2 Saturday night.
"Any time you beat a team like New Jersey, it's a big game," said Trotz
after the victory over the Stanley Cup champions. "The guys are digging in and
all of the credit goes to them."
Legwand opened the scoring at 13:02 of the first period. He passed to Jason
York, who took a shot from the left circle. The drive bounced off the pads of
New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur, and Legwand skated low into the slot and
shot the rebound into an open net during a power play.
"With a key opportunity like that, at a time in the game like that, you've
got to put it in and take advantage of it," Legwand said. "I know I need to
pick up my game, and this was a start."
The Predators set the pace in the first period, outshooting the Devils 13-7.
"The first period wasn't very good for us," New Jersey coach Pat Burns
said. "It was probably the worst first period I've seen in a while from our
end of it. But we only came out of it losing 1-0. There's no reason to blame
the whole game on that."
The Predators took a 2-0 lead in the second period on a goal by Mark
Eaton at 4:48. Eaton was stationed just inside the blue line and fired a
one-timed shot past Brodeur.
Tomas Vokoun, making his 19th straight start made 38 saves for his
franchise record 82nd victory with the Predators.
"The Devils are fast," Vokoun said. "They play smart system hockey. Their
power play was good. They were passing it well They were moving and making it
tough on us.
"The credit has to go to us. We were able to stop them."
Patrik Elias brought New Jersey within 2-1 at 9:46 of the second period.
His shot from the left side of the net went over Vokoun, who was stretched out
on the ice in front of the net.
Legwand gave the Predators an insurance goal at 5:20 of the third period
when a pass from Scott Walker deflected in off of his skate.
"I was just going to the net and it hit my skate and went up over Brodeur's
shoulder," Legwand said. "Scott Walker just threw the puck to the net hoping
something would happen, and it did."
With 24 seconds remaining, John Madden scored to cut the Devils' deficit
"Nashville played really hard right from the get-go," Brodeur said. "They
took advantage of some breaks and got some chances.
"I thought we played really well in the second and third periods. We made
some mistakes, but we had a lot of good chances to score."