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Tavares powers Islanders past Predators

Scores natural hat trick in third period

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- John Tavares had a natural hat trick in the third period to help the New York Islanders to a 6-2 win against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

It was Tavares' second hat trick in his past three games.

 

[WATCH: All Islanders vs. Predators highlights]

 

"A lot better response than the way we competed in Minnesota," Tavares said, referring to the Islanders' 6-4 loss at the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. "We played with a lot more pace and just that competitive edge, and the execution was good. I think some of that leads from just the way we played. We played with pace and were hard on pucks. Just played an up-tempo game.

"The young guys have got a lot of skill, and finally we were rewarded on the power play. We were a little more confident today, I thought. But overall, we did some similar things to what we've been doing. We've been getting pucks to the net, and some of them finally went in."

Jordan Eberle scored his first two goals with the Islanders (6-4-1), who are 4-1-0 in their past five games.

Video: NYI@NSH: Eberle pots his second goal of the game

"It definitely helps," Eberle said. "I just want to continue to contribute. It was good to get a win tonight. We obviously didn't play very well in Minnesota, so it was a good bounce-back game for us."

The Predators (5-4-2) lost in regulation at home for the first time this season (3-1-1).

Tavares gave the Islanders a 4-1 lead 12 seconds into the third period. He made it 5-1 at 2:52 and 6-1 at 7:26 on a one-timer from the point during a power play. It was his seventh goal in his past four games.

Eberle gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead at 4:21 of the first period with a power-play goal. He received a pass from Ryan Pulock and put a wrist shot past Juuse Saros for his first goal.

Filip Forsberg scored for the Predators to tie the game 1-1 at 3:55 of the second period on a wrist shot from the slot. Kevin Fiala drove to the net and had the initial shot, and Forsberg got to the rebound and beat Jaroslav Halak for his eighth goal, setting a Predators record for most goals in October.

Video: NYI@NSH: Forsberg nets rebound to tie the game

"I think when you get behind like that, the air goes out of the bench," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "We gave up too much after that. Guys kept pushing offensively. They competed for each other."

Eberle gave the Islanders a 3-1 lead at 19:31 of the second period on the rush. He took a pass from Mathew Barzal near the right faceoff circle and beat Saros with a wrist shot for his second goal of the game.

Craig Smith made it 6-2 at 13:57 of the third period.

 

Goal of the game

Tavares gave the Islanders a 4-1 lead 12 seconds into the third period.

Video: NYI@NSH: Tavares pads Islanders' lead with tap-in

 

Save of the game

Halak made a save on Calle Jarnkrok on an odd-man rush at 8:27 of the second period to keep the game tied 1-1.

Video: NYI@NSH: Halak stones Jarnkrok on a three-on-two

 

Highlight of the game

Pulock gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead at 9:49 of the second period on the power play. It was his first goal of the season.

Video: NYI@NSH: Pulock wires one-timer past Saros for PPG

 

They said it

"I think, overall, we played a pretty good game. Obviously there's always some shifts or some plays you'd like to be better at, but it's obviously a tough league, playing a really good team in a tough building to win in, so overall I think a pretty good effort. Hard to be too critical of anything tonight, but we know these efforts and these results don't always come this way." -- Islanders captain John Tavares

"There's definitely things that we could've done better in front of him. There were some redirect goals. There were some funny bounces there in the third period that came out right on somebody's stick, and they ended up knocking it home. There's not much that he could do on those." -- Predators coach Peter Laviolette on goaltender Juuse Saros

 

Need to know

Tavares has 10 points (seven goals, three assists) in his past four games. Halak is 14-3-4 in his career against the Predators. … Saros is 6-8-2 in his past 16 games played with a 3.34 goals-against average and a .889 save percentage.

 

What's next

Islanders: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday (7 p.m. ET; ATTSN-RM, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Predators: At the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Eberle, Tavares lead Islanders to a 6-2 win

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