Skip to main content

Reimer backstops Maple Leafs past Predators

by Robby Stanley /

NASHVILLE -- Peter Holland scored in the fifth round of the shootout to helpthe Toronto Maple Leafs to a 2-1 win against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.

Holland scored the only goal of the shootout. He made a move from Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne's glove side to the blocker side and was able to lift the puck over Rinne's pad for the goal.

"I asked [Maple Leafs forward Nick Spaling] what [Rinne's] weakness was, and we both came to the conclusion that he didn't have any," Holland said. "I just said I was going to go down and do the move that I've done before, and just pull it to the blocker side quick and try and get it over his pad. It worked out for me there."

Toronto (4-8-4) won consecutive games for the first time this season and its first game in a shootout this season. They had been 0-3.

"Well obviously when you have success and you've earned it, you feel better about yourself," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "Two nights in a row we were down going into the third and found ways to win games. Points in five out of six, so to me you've got to start feeling a little better about yourself. I didn't think we were as competitive early as we normally are, but we got better as the game went on so that was good for us."

The Maple Leafs blocked 24 shots. It was the fourth consecutive game the Maple Leafs have played that has been decided by one goal, and they have gotten points in all of them.

"In order for us to be a successful team, we've got to be able to win one-goal games," Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri said. "As players sometimes you wish it was 10-9, but it's not going to happen that way. It's going to be tighter games, especially with how the goaltenders are playing nowadays. Chances are hard to come by. Goals are hard to come by."

Shea Weber gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 2:40 of the third period on a one-timer from the left faceoff circle that beat James Reimer. Forward James Neal passed the puck across the ice from behind the net, and Weber scored his fifth goal. It was his 70th career power-play goal.

Weber played in his 700th career game Thursday after scoring his 150th career goal and 400th career point in a 7-5 win against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.

"It's pretty cool," Predators forward Colton Sissons said. "I grew up idolizing him, and he was a legend in Kelowna. It's awesome to be by him in those milestones and playing alongside him on the ice. It's a cool experience for me."

Toronto forward Tyler Bozak tied the game at 1-1 at 5:52 of the third period on a one-timer from in front of the net that beat Rinne. Nashville turned the puck over at the blue line and forward Shawn Matthias passed it to Bozak, who scored his second goal.

"We haven't been scoring a lot, they're not easy to come by," Bozak said. "It's obviously nice to get one, especially down one in the third. Guys did a good job killing some penalties there, [Reimer] stood on his head and [Holland] had a great move in the shootout."

Reimer made 21 saves in his sixth consecutive start and stopped all five shots in the shootout; Rinne made 22 saves.

"I feel like I'm doing what I need to do but at the same time, my team's playing phenomenal," Reimer said. "They're battling, they're working hard and they're sacrificing. Tonight wasn't the prettiest night for both teams. The puck was bouncing. It was kind of a trappy, gross game out there. We just battled. We battled and competed, and we especially competed in our [defensive] zone."

The Predators had 1:49 of power play time in overtime but were unable to generate many quality scoring chances. They went 1-for-4 on the power play but had one shot in 6:49 of power play time.

"We had a lot of looks," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "We had a couple times to crank it up, but you had to put it to the side of somebody trying to block it or maybe just missed wide. There was definitely some chances there."

Maple Leafs forward Daniel Winnik returned to the lineup after missing one game with a lower-body injury. Forward Brad Boyes was the healthy scratch at forward with Winnik's return.

View More