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Predators hand Canadiens fourth consecutive loss

by Robby Stanley

NASHVILLE -- Defensemen Shea Weber and Roman Josi continued their offensive output to help the Nashville Predators to a 5-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens at Bridgestone Arena on Monday.

Weber gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 8:40 of the first period on a slap shot from the point. Josi left a drop pass that Weber was able to step into and shoot past Canadiens goaltender Dustin Tokarski for his 10th goal. Weber's 15 points in December lead the NHL.

"The game is weird like that," Weber said. "Sometimes you think you deserve better and you go on a little bit of a skid or a little drought for a little bit, or whatever you want to call it, and sometimes you maybe shouldn't be getting the ones that you do.

"It all evens out in the end. The biggest thing is wins. We're focused on getting the team wins, and these two before the (Christmas) break are big."

Josi gave the Predators a 2-0 lead at 8:42 of the second period on a slap shot from the point during a power play. Josi took the pass from Weber and took a shot that went through traffic and beat Tokarski for his ninth goal. Josi's five goals in December lead all defensemen.

"It's been going well lately," Josi said. "I'm still young, so I'm trying to work on my game every day. Obviously playing with [Weber] these four years, for a young guy there's not much better than playing with one of the best defensemen in the world. It's been a great experience so far playing here in Nashville, and obviously playing with [Weber]."

Pekka Rinne made 35 saves for Nashville (17-11-6), which won back-to-back games for the first time in over a month and is 11-4-3 at home.

"That's one thing we're looking for … more consistency," Josi said. "I think we did a good job the last two games. Obviously we didn't start that well. I thought [the Canadiens] were the better team for two periods. [Rinne] kind of stood on his head and kept us in the game. Yeah we had a good third period, but that's one thing we addressed a lot, more consistency. We're happy to get two wins in a row now."

Alex Galchenyuk scored for Montreal (20-12-3), which has lost four in a row and eight of its past nine games. Tokarski made 11 saves before being pulled for Mike Condon, who made three saves.

"Puck luck is going to turn," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "We need better performances from goaltending obviously. Every goalie that we face, they end up having the first star. The thing a coach could ask is that they are focused on playing the right way, playing in a structure and having a really good work ethic. This is what we ask from the players."

Ryan Ellis gave the Predators a 3-0 lead at 3:08 of the third period. Ellis attempted a pass to the slot to forward Craig Smith, but it deflected off of a defenseman and past Tokarski for his third goal. The Canadiens pulled Tokarski following the goal.

"Our guys were opportunistic," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "We got one on the power play, got some goals by our defensemen. When we had the opportunities, we made the most of them. We didn't have that many, but when we did get the looks we were able to get it behind them."

Calle Jarnkrok gave the Predators a 4-0 lead at 8:58 of the third period on a wrist shot from the slot. Jarnkrok took a pass from forward Colin Wilson and shot it past Condon for his sixth goal.

"I think just at any time putting two wins together, I think it'll make the break a little bit nicer," Wilson said. "Four days, I think everybody would be thinking about it after a loss. It felt good, and we'll try to use that momentum after the break."

Montreal had an apparent goal by Daniel Carr at 9:56 of the third period, but it was disallowed after video review because of goaltender interference.

Galchenyuk scored to make it 4-1 at 12:08 of the third period on the power play. Galchenyuk took a pass from Max Pacioretty and one-timed a shot past Rinne for his eighth goal.

"I thought we as a line created some chances, but at the end of the day we have to score more," Galchenyuk said. "The chances were there, but we have to find a way to put it in. We especially had a good couple of chances in the first and second [periods], and it's unfortunate that we are trying to get offense and get goals and things aren't working."

Wilson scored an empty-net goal to give the Predators a 5-1 at 17:55 of the third period.

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