NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -David Legwand 3, Boston Bruins 2.
Legwand beat Manny Fernandez in the fourth round of a shootout after scoring twice in regulation - including his third short-handed goal of the season - in the Nashville Predators' 3-2 victory over the NHL-leading Bruins on Saturday night.
"My objective was to get it high up over his pads," Legwand said about his deciding shootout goal. "Getting it over and into the net was all I was looking for."
Legwand has scored eight of his 14 goals this season in the last 17 games. Ten of his 14 goals have been scored on home ice. This was his second multigoal game of the season. He also had two goals Jan. 10 against Chicago.
"Legwand's first two goals were huge," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "He is skating really well right now. When you see him and Marty Erat skating the way they are, using their speed, taking the puck to hard areas and having a very high competition level it just enhances and showcases their talent and abilities.
"Leggy has a tremendous amount of talent. We have always wanted him to produce offensively. When he is skating like that he can be a force."
Boston forced overtime on Zdeno Chara's goal with 1:16 left in regulation, but ended up losing its fourth straight game.
Phil Kessel came close to preventing the shootout on a breakaway for Boston in the final seconds of the overtime period.
"We only had three guys on the ice at the time," Predators goalie Pekka Rinne said. "It was just a mistake by some of our guys. It was 4-on-3 even though there wasn't a penalty. I was watching the time and there was about 10 seconds left. I thought that I better make the save."
The Predators also won a shootout Thursday night, beating St. Louis 4-3. Rinne has watched as the emotional level of the team has been boosted by the 7-3 record since the All-Star break.
"You just have to look at the standings to realize how big every point is," Rinne said. "You can see our guys smiling. There is a good atmosphere in the locker room. If we just stick together we know we can do it. That's good."
Jordin Tootoo, back on the ice after a seven-game absence because of a hand injury, set up the Predators' opening goal, firing a slap shot from high off of the left boards. Legwand, stationed in front of the net, used his redirected the puck low to Fernandez's glove side at 14:24 of the first period.
The Predators are 13-0 when they score the first goal.
"I thought we came out with real good focus at the start of the game," said Trotz.
In the second period, the Predators made it 2-0 with Legwand's short-handed goal. Joel Ward skated in and passed the puck to Legwand in the right circle. Legwand's slap shot at 12:14 went through Fernandez's leg pads.
"The first one hit me in the foot," Legwand said. "Tootoo did a great job of just throwing it at the net and getting it to the net. On the second goal, Joel carried a couple of guys with him through the zone. That was a big goal."
A little more than a minute later, Blake Wheeler backhanded a shot from the inside of the left circle that went high to Rinne's glove side.
Chara emerged from a crowd in front of the Predators' net and pushed the puck through past Rinne to tie the game.
The Predators outshot Boston 31-25.
"It was the perfect East-West game," Trotz said. "We got two points and Boston got one."
Boston coach Claude Julien agreed it was great to get a point, but he didn't enjoy the Western Conference style of play.
"This conference is a little more open," Julien said. "At some point, especially going back and forth, I don't think they're the best team structurally. Unfortunately, we couldn't close."
Notes: Legwand has multiple points in his last two games. ... The Predators reassigned Patric Hornqvist to Milwaukee of the American Hockey League on Saturday.