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Smith's hustle, goal sparked Predators to victory

NHL.com @NHL

Nashville Predators forward Craig Smith did more than score two goals Wednesday against the Edmonton Oilers. His extra effort on defense helped spark the Predators to a 4-1 win to begin a six-game road trip.

With the game scoreless in the second period, Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry connected with Jesse Joensuu, who found Matt Hendricks cutting toward the net. Smith put his body in front of Hendricks to deflect the puck and the Predators started a rush toward Edmonton's end.

Predators defenseman Roman Josi's shot was stopped by Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens. The rebound came to Derek Roy, and after Roy couldn't control it, Smith was in the right spot and put the puck past Scrivens at 6:23 of the second.

"Our line played well," said Smith, who played on a line with Roy and Matt Cullen, according to The Tennessean. "I think our unit was able to create some turnovers and use our speed and get in on plays."

Smith, the game's first star, scored his second goal in the third period. He had five shots on goal in 15:04 of ice time, and has five points and a plus-3 rating in nine games this season.

With the win the Predators improved to 6-1-2 and enter play Thursday with a three-point lead in the Central Division. They continue their road trip Friday against the Calgary Flames.

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